As President of the Carson Research Center, she served as a consultant to 50 industries on six continents, advising them on current business trends and cutting edge opportunities to stay ahead of their competition. The author of five books, she hit the Amazon’s best sellers list, was a winner of the Best Seller Quill Award and was inducted into the National Academy of Best Selling Authors.Currently, she hosts over a dozen radio shows per month and is the founder of the sobradionetwork.com She is also the only woman in the world who has a Doctorate, a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), CMC (Certified Management Consultant) and an FIMC (Fellow to the Institute of Management Consultants)
2:21 minute mark
Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Create your own jobs if you don’t want to work for anybody else.
Gayle talks about how she created her own jobs after completing her college because she didn’t want to work for anybody.
5:27 minute mark
Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep talking to people about things you are good at and comfortable with.
Gayle talks about how she kept talking to students about things she knew which led into coaching and afterwards public speaking. And that’s how her business grew organically.
7:18 minute mark
Agile entrepreneur takeaway: To become an entrepreneur, start by understanding what is in your heart and in your head.
Gayle talks about starting with what’s in someone’s head and heart before she starts coaching them on becoming entrepreneurs. It’s not easy to become an entrepreneur.
9:12 minute mark
Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Successful entrepreneurs differentiate themselves from rest of the pack.
Gayle emphasizes the importance of standing out from the crowd with some unique differentiators.
12:48 minute mark
Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep believing in yourself to persevere through difficult times.
Gayle talks about how she never gets depressed in spite of multiple surgeries, multiple chemo therapies, loss of a husband and a son. Please listen to this one section if not anything else to find your inspiration.
15:00 minute mark
Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Find your innate personality and use it as your strength.
Gayle shares a funny anecdote from her childhood days to tell us that she has always been spunky and she uses that to get the drive in her life.
17:18 minute mark
Agile entrepreneur takeaway: It's important for people to know that it's never too late.
Gayle talks about why she focuses on people over 50 years of age because she thinks it’s never too late.
20:58 minute mark
Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Be unique and do your market research to be successful.
Gayle advises would-be entrepreneurs to find what they are good at, be unique, and do market research before jumping in.
22:53 minute mark
Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Just focus on the most important social media platforms and stick to them.
Gayle talks about why it’s important to focus only on the important social media platforms (in her case facebook, linkedin, twitter).
Episode Transcript (Click to expand)
Ramesh: Hello everyone, welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and running your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance and possibilities. Today I'm excited to introduce a very inspiring guest Dr. Gayle Carson. Gayle as president of the Carson Research Center served as a consultant to 650 industries on six continents. Advising them on current business trends and cutting-edge opportunities to stay ahead of the competition. She is an author, speaker, a coach and a mentor. She was selected as 2007 legend of the speaking profession. She currently hosts over a dozen radio shows per month and is the founder of www.sobradionetwork.com and she has founded the www.spunkyoldbroad.com website and she continues to be very active as a coach inspiring lots of entrepreneurs. Hi Dr. Gayle Carson welcome to the podcast.
Gayle: Hello Ramesh, how are you?
Ramesh: Pretty good. Thank you very much for accepting my invitation. I looked at your profile you're a very very
Gayle: Oh my gosh well thank you so much.
Ramesh: All right so let's get started with the question on my mind and probably on everybody else's mind. What is this SpunkyOldBroad.Com?
Gayle: Well that's a website for especially for women 50 plus. You know I I’ve had a lot of websites and I’ve been in business a long time and I found that in recent years as I worked with more and more women over the age of 50, they kind of got to that age and thought it was all over and I'm past 50 and I said no, it's not. You can do whatever you want. So, I founded the spunky old broad. It's all trademarked. I have clubs and worked with women who are over 50 who are doing fantastic things.
Ramesh: So, have you been an entrepreneur all your life or was there an inflection point in your life?
Gayle: No all my life, all my life Ramesh I have my first job, if you want to call it a job. It wasn't a job. Because I’ve really never worked for anybody was when I was 13 years old and my father had told me if I ever broke another pair of glasses, I was going to pay for them. Because I had broken 22 by that time and I got to the optometrist office picked up my new glasses and came down to my father's car, he was waiting by the curb and I put the glasses on the seat of the car and promptly sat on them and broke them. So, I didn't want a babysit, which was the only thing available to a 13-year-old and I went through the newspaper, which was the way you found jobs in and became an Avon lady. So, I’ve always created my own jobs. I've worked in a radio station and I created that job when I was like 16 and I’ve just always created whatever I wanted to do to get experienced sold people on. It was a camp counselor where I taught music and dance and drama when they didn't ever have anybody like that before. So, I was just always an entrepreneur and then I came to Florida when I finished college and started my first business when I was 21.
Ramesh: So, what was the first business again?
Gayle: Well I had a modeling school and then I developed it into a chain of career schools and I had a SAG after talent agency. So, we did movies and commercials and print jobs and so forth and also had a convention service company. Which also did the theme parties and spouse programs, industrial shows etc. for the conventions that came to South Florida. So, I ended up with seven offices, 350 people which I never want to do again and then I sold that and went into the speaking business and spoke in 50 countries in 49 states had a thousand clients and 50 industries and then started coaching and consulting and writing books and now I do all the other things you mentioned.
Ramesh: Yeah so actually I was looking at your profile and then it's a very interesting statement I found. One is you are the only woman in the world who has a doctorate, a certified speaking professional, a certified management consultant and fellow to the institute of management consultants.
Gayle: That is true and that and a nickel will not even get you a cup of coffee. So just shows you what initials will do after your name. I mean I'm very proud of all of that. But it just contributes to Who I am.
Ramesh: Yes, so one thing that seems to be fascinating about your background is you've evolved in a sense that you started with something, but you didn't just stay in that industry as that. But you continued to like, then you said from a whatever you started even into speaking and then from there you went into coaching .so how did this evolution happen?
Gayle: well it really happened naturally. Because when I had my first business that I talked about how I got my students and how I got my contacts and how people got to know about me was that I always spoke that's what I went out and I did. I spoke and gave speeches and I just did it all the time and it was very successful and people who I booked as speakers and who were you know very well-known speakers said to me well you know you want to join the National Speakers Association. Because you're a better speaker than we are, and I thought well yeah right you know, but I didn't have time. Because I was running my businesses. So, one time finally after three or four years I went to the convention and realized that I could make a living at it and that's when I put my business up for sale and went into speaking so and then the speaking led to coaching and consulting. Because people I spoke to said Oh we'd love to have you come in and do this and do this and do this and that led to writing articles and then books and then training manuals and one thing really just led to another. I mean it was a very, it was very very you know I would say easy, not easy to go into these businesses. But it was just very organic the way it happened.
Ramesh: That's interesting so one of the things in this podcast is about people who want to be entrepreneurs are people who are already entrepreneurs, but finding you know ways to be more successful. So, let's say your coach and you've coached many entrepreneurs and I think one of the areas that you said is you know helping women. So, let's say if women in her whatever age right so in the middle of her life she comes to you and she wants to be an entrepreneur. So, what is your approach? How do you go about it?
Gayle: Well I have to know where her head and her heart is. I mean people say I want to do this or I want to do that, but they don't really know what's involved in any of that. So, when you start talking about what an entrepreneur has to do to be successful, it kind of puts people off or they say wow I'm ready for it. So, you know being an entrepreneur means doing being chief cook and bottle washer when you start. You do everything and then eventually you hire people. But if you've never had any experience in your own business or you've never even worked, then you've got to ask yourself some very deep questions. So, we start off with questions, so I really understand what's in their head and heart. But if they have had experience, if they've been a part of Corporate America somewhere, then they have to understand what it's like to be an entrepreneur. Because you don't have the resources of a big company behind you. There are no paid benefits. You know you have to do everything and you don't necessarily get paid for it. So, there's just a lot of questions that have to go on before anybody or before I advise anybody to become an entrepreneur. Because it's not as easy as it sounds, and you know they picture themselves being their own boss and running their own life and working their own schedule and yes all of that is true. But also, you're responsible for everything. You don't get paid until money keeps coming in and there are all these other things that you have to worry about and much of it is promotion and PR.
Ramesh: So, I mean you have coached many people. So, what are some of the main characteristics of the people who have been successful? And also pointing out people who could not make it I mean what are the reasons behind their failures?
Gayle: Well I think the reason behind the failure is there's just no business. So, they don't make any money and eventually they have to either shut the door, because they can't afford to keep it open anymore or they have to find a way of bringing some money in. So, it's really lack sales and lack of customers that gives people the non-ability to succeed and as far as what makes it possible, they need to be unique. They need to be different. They can't be like everybody else, they can't offer what everybody else is offering or they're one of many. So, they've got to take themselves out of the pack in some way. But that may take anywhere from six months to five years depending on what they're doing and what kind of business they have, and you know whether it's online or offline or do they have a retail space. Are they operating out of their home? Are they in one of these shared spaces? I mean there's just so many things that go into it. That's the things that make it successful or not successful.
Ramesh: Okay so I mean that's how I think the spunky old broad does it makes you very unique. I mean even though it's just you could say it's a brand positioning. But you combined all the elements of your personality looks like into this unique positioning that you put out there.
Gayle: Well it's true. I mean I’ve got the whole thing trademarked and there aren't a lot, when I started in business there I mean which was a hundred years ago really. You know I’ve been in business for over sixty years. So, when I went into business there were no women really and then when I went into speaking there were hardly any women and I had to wear my little navy-blue suit, which was not my color and my little tie, and I had to be able to get on stage and strike a power pose and say I'm Dr. Gayle Carson and I'm here to teach you whatever it was I was speaking on and you know so it took a lot. But I'm very disciplined and I'm very persistent and so just by hanging in there and doing what I needed to do, you know it's like I mean I literally called a hundred meeting planners a day to be able to speak. I just called 500 people a week. Now I didn't talk to 500 people and you can't do that today, because nobody answers their phone. But that's what it took, and you know not a lot of people are willing to do that.
Ramesh: So was there any time you had downtime you said what am I doing, why am I doing maybe I should quit and then go back to getting a job or something along those lines.
Gayle: Well there were times when I said what am I doing of course. But I never really wanted to quit, and I never wanted to go get a job, because I never had a job. So, I was never going to go into that world anyway. Because I'm just not you know as people say I'm not employable. Because I just won't do things that I don't think are ethical or honest. I won't do things that I think are stupid you know to do, and I won't do things that don't make my heart sing. I have to love what I do in order to do it.
Ramesh: That's fantastic. So, Gayle while I'm along these topics I went to your website and I read about you right. There were some personal issues that he had to deal with. Whether it's a health issues, whether it's your husband, with son. I don't know if you want to talk about those issues, but how they affected impacted you personally on your business?
Gayle: Well to be open to everyone who is listening, I have lost my husband, I lost a son. I am currently going through my fourth case of breast cancer. I've had 16 surgeries. I've been through chemo, I’ve been through radiation a few times and now I'm going through hormone therapy. But it sounds, and I don't mean to be altruistic Ramesh when I'm talking to you about this. But it just it really it only made me stronger. Because I just don't give up. Am I sad my husband is gone? Absolutely. Am I sad my son is gone? Absolutely. Do I wish the cancer on anybody else? Absolutely not. But that's called life and you have to deal with it and that's another reason why an entrepreneur is successful or not. If you let these things get you down or you let people talk you out of something, then it means you didn't have this belief in the first place. So, I continue for example before our conversation today, I worked out for two hours. I work out every single day. Even through the pain, you know everything else I go through. I've had to adjust things because of what I'm going through. But I still do it, because if I didn't I would turn to mush and so yeah it affects me. But it also doesn't affect me, because I'm very very disciplined. I also do not get depressed. It's very hard for me to be depressed. So, you know I'm pretty much wake up happy and go to bed happy and that's what counts.
Ramesh: Gayle I'm sorry, it's extremely inspiring thank you very much for sharing your personal story. I mean at the beginning I said it's an inspiring story and it continues to be an inspiring. One of the things I read I think you get asked a lot how to do you stay so positive? You know and where does the inner spunk come from? So, can you talk a little about where is the drive coming from?
Gayle: That's a really good question that I'm not sure I can answer. Because I don't know where it's coming from and I’ve just always been like that. I was in my first dancing recital when I was three and I did a somersault. That was January, we were doing the months of the year and I was first, I was January. And I did a somersault, my crown fell off. I put it on and I evidently put it on backwards and the crowd started laughing and my mother told me I don't know this you know for a fact, but my mother told me that I put my hands on my hips I told the piano player to stop, I didn't move until everybody stopped laughing. I then adjusted my crown and finished my dance and I was 3 years old. I was in my first piano recital when I was 5. So, I’ve just always pursued what I wanted to do just like you know the Avon lady when I had broken all those glasses. It's just I don't know it's just when I make up my mind to do something I just dig in and do it and I really don't know. I'm not a person to stay negative and I just keep going and I don't know where it's coming from. But I was like that in high school. I got through high school in three years and I still danced, and I played the piano, gave a recital and in college I went through in three years and always worked while I was in college and was on all the musicals and did radio shows in college. So, it's just something I’ve always done you know and I could tell people where it comes from. But it's just innate with me, it's the way I’ve always been.
Ramesh: Oh, the three-year-old story is fantastic, that's is great. And then other thing I think you really are passionate about the Silver Line. Like people 50 and about is, something drove you to you know focus on that area is it because of your personal situation or do you think there is a need for people in that age that they really need to get some help?
Gayle: Well both, really both. I do think that when you're over 50 and you haven't had the experience, or you haven't reached your dream or you're still looking for that magic something, I think you need a coach. I think you need someone to guide you and so yeah, I do think that. In terms of do I think that it's because I think that it's a golden opportunity? I mean people you know start thinking about retirement they're 50 or 60 and I’ve never of course wanted to retire, and I will never retire. However, I think that it's important for people to know that it's never too late. I get so excited when I see somebody who's 80 who's gone back to school to get their high school diploma or goes to college to get certain classes. I think it's terrific when people decide they want to take up a new hobby and they're over 50 or 60. I think it's great when people start learning new skills. I mean I just think it's an opportune time you've spent your time raising your family or working you know at something to make a living to support your family and now you're freer and I believe it's your time. And so, I do believe that it's necessary that people get some coaching if they can't do it on their own and I also think it's the prime time for people to strike out and go for their dream.
Ramesh: Fantastic. So, I mean you've been a mentor to many people and a lot of your mentees have been quite successful. But who was your mentor? Like mentors. Who inspired you? You talked a little bit about your dad. So, I mean any other stories about your dad or people who have inspired you?
Gayle: Well really, I have to say it was probably my mom more than my dad. My dad was a pharmacist and he was in a very small town and he was very successful. He was named president of the New York State pharmaceutical Association. So, he was a very very successful person. However, my mom also raised me with a lot of discipline and a lot of, but a lot of love at the same time. But when I was eight years old I had to be able to call in my father's drug orders and you know I could hardly read his handwriting. It was almost like a doctor's and you could never go out with a second boy that asked you out, it was always the first one and you know it just, I mean I didn’t always do what they wanted me to do. I mean they did not want me to move away from home. They did not want me to go into my own business. They did not want any of those things. But you know in the end they were proud of me. So, I mean they didn't even want me to marry my husband. Because we were different religions and he had two children. But we were married for forty-five years before he passed away. So, it’s just you know I think my mom was my biggest mentor. Have I had other mentors? Have I had coaches? Have I joined mastermind groups, yes to all of that? But I think my greatest mentor was my mom.
Ramesh: Fantastic so towards the end of this podcast if I could focus a little bit on people who want to be entrepreneurs, what advice would you give them?
Gayle: I would give them the advice of really looking at what it is they're saying they want to do. Probably looking at three four five or more businesses who may be doing the same thing or almost the same thing. See what makes them tick, see what's involved with them, see how successful they are. See what they had to do to get where they are and then how they can separate themselves by doing it in some other unique way. But I think that they shouldn’t just jump into it. I think they should look at you know what it is they're interested in and see if there's a market for it where they are and how they want to do it. That's number one. So, whether it's going in and maybe working for someone in that industry and seeing what it's all about and how they get there their business and what kind of tools they need and so forth. I think that's a very important thing. I also think it's good to ask maybe some close friends or some people you meet in organizations you belong to what they think of this idea that you have, whatever it is and see what kind of feedback you get. Now you don't have to listen to anybody, you can just listen to your own heart. But I think it's important to take a look at what's going on around you and do you fit into that niche whatever it is.
Ramesh: That's fantastic, thank you. One of the things that comes across in my discussions with and definitely people in the Middle Ages who start the business is the social media. So, the challenges associated with staying involved the social media using that as a tool, how have you adopted to the social media and then what are the tips that you can give to people?
Gayle: I have not adapted very well. Because that's not my strong suit. However, I do spend a little time on certain platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook or Twitter. Those are my three. I'm not on the others. And then I also have hired people to do my social media for me and they do it far better than I do it, I could tell you that. I think that that's one of the problems that entrepreneurs have. you can get really sucked in on social media. You can you know you go there for 10 minutes and you're there for 10 hours. So, you really have to limit yourself if you're going to do social media. But I would certainly either suggest taking courses in it or hiring somebody. Because the algorithms change, what is good one day is not good the next day and I think it's really really important if you're going to be on there to do a good job at it.
Ramesh: It's fantastic. So Gayle thank you very much. It's been truly truly inspiring. It's inspiring to me. I keep going back to your website and reading more about it. So, there you have it folks Dr. Gayle Carson www.spunkyoldbroad.com, the only women in the world with multiple, a doctorate, a CSP, a CMC and then FMC. So, an inspiring story, Thank You Gayle.
Gayle: Oh, you're so welcome thank you for having me.
Ramesh: All right