In this episode of The CEO Mastery Show podcast, we’re going to hear from a farmer from North Dakota who started out with nothing but an idea and managed to turn it into 10 million units of her Earthkind products!
This is not your average entrepreneur story.
In fact, it’s more than just an entrepreneur story—it’s a story about how one woman overcame rejection after rejection, and how she stepped up to get over some failures and challenges in order to pursue her dreams.
In this episode of The CEO Mastery Show, you will discover:
- How she won her Dream retailers and secured dream press that helped her sell over 10 Million units of her Earthkind products!
- Her inspiring story on how she began from zero to CEO and what it took to get there
- How multiple rejections and challenges fueled her purpose as an entrepreneur
Meet Kari Warberg Block and hear how her passion for her business helped make big moves in the industry.
Listen in to learn all about her success story! Her story is inspiring, and her advice for other entrepreneurs is invaluable.
Continued Learning: The Story of the Dream 100 Strategy
- Want to know what’s keeping you from doubling your sales in the next 12 months? Take our quick QUIZ to get answers: Howtodoublesales.com
- If you’d like to have a profound breakthrough in your business, schedule your breakthrough call with a LIVE expert here: Chetholmes.com/Breakthrough
- Claim your FREE chapter 4 from the top 10 most recommended marketing and sales books of all time! Visit: Ultimatesalesmachine.com to find out how you Create 9X More Impact from every move you’re already making to win clients!
*this transcript was mostly generated by AI, please excuse any mistakes
Amanda: Welcome everybody. I am so thrilled to have Carrie War Block. Warberg Block. Wow.
on with me today. C e o of Earthkind, but more, more importantly, a wonderful friend and I have. Been lucky enough to see just the last few years, but over the last decade, the growth that you’ve had with Earthkind and from something that was just an invented idea, something that had never been a part of the market before, who would’ve thought of plant-based rodent repellants, and I’m sure even.
More beyond rodent, repellants, just plant-based ways to save everything from mice to rats and the things that you would think everyone would want to kill. You went out there and said, I’m going to save this and do it in a way that helps the environment. And and over the next 30 minutes, we’re gonna cover with Carrie.
She’s gonna give us some of the great information about how she’s been able to grow. 40% year over year for the last decade. If you’re not giving her a round of applause, she deserves that. It’s amazing what you’ve been able to do. Carrie, thank you so much for being here with me today.
Here is your dose of the Ultimate Sales machine coming to you from the new edition. Visit ultimate sales machine.com to get your copy or multiple copies. Hi, I’m your host, Amanda Holmes, CEO of Chet Homes International. What you’re about to learn has assisted a quarter of a million businesses to generate billions of dollars working faster, better, smarter.
Kari: I’m so excited to share today.
I worked with your father and , I credit so much of the success to the strategies that I learned. And it goes to show you with especially, I think people will understand after this interview a few things they can watch out for. Because I’m gonna get very transparent and shared.
Yes. Some things that I, lost hundreds of thousands of dollars doing when I went off strategy, having second guessing myself. . And I think I’m a really great example too to prove that there is a market for anything and a person really doesn’t need any more than a purpose and a really good strategy to, to make something happen in our.
I, you’re right. I, I’ve never thought of a plant-based pest repellent. God forbid I didn’t grow up thinking I wanted to go into this. It wasn’t sexy, it wasn’t fun. But here’s the thing, there was a market need, and that’s when an entrepreneur can step up.
Amanda: Yes. Can you share with everybody quickly, a bit of, you were a farmer in North Dakota, you were tilling the land and making your crop.
Can you share about how you went from that to then discovering this idea?
Kari: Sure. I was living in a very remote, quiet corner of the world, Western North Dakota, and basically the Durham Triangle, where the best pasta in the world is growing. We had about 1100 acres. We grew corn and wheat and oats and barley and canola.
And because of that we also had rodents getting into our tractors and combines and trucks and what have you. It is just a fact of life on a farm because rodents are man’s number one. competitor for resources on the planet. . And most people don’t know that but they are. So wherever there’s food, there’s gonna be rodents And there’s other pests too that are communal with us in that way.
But we had problems with mice getting into our tractor calves and do damage, and we couldn’t. Afford it. And it was my job to keep these tractor cabs clean and I was at my wits end. I was, it was extremely painful. And I’m like, how could this be happening? But in the same respect, there was nothing out there that was safe to use around my kids and my pets.
And safe to use for wildlife. Anything that, Forward and yeah, I put my imagination to work as I’m going around the fields. Going there [00:04:00] has got to be a better way. There has got to be a better way. And I ended up coming up with one, patenting it bringing it to market as the first federal registered by e p a product to be sold on the market.
And here we are, tens of hundreds of millions of dollars later. After all these years, we’ve commercialized it and changed the market. . It was 98% kill and poison when we entered it, and now today it’s 88%. So that’s, that means it’s no longer a trend. That means that people are now becoming aware that, hey, there is a better way.
Amanda: Wow. It’s amazing what you’ve done and for those that are live too, this is a conversation. So I’m watching the comments if you want to say hello or have some que comments for Carrie let’s bring you into the fold as well. Can you share a bit about the commitment that you had to this mission?
Because when people are trying to figure out how to run their dream [00:05:00] 100 or how to.
Build a big company and push out their mission or their ideas. You have to be committed. There is this, there is that pigheaded discipline and determination. What? What did you do at the very beginning? Because I love this story.
Kari: Yeah. For you, dreamers and doers out there, congratulations. Because entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes there is very gun, gut wrenching decisions you have to make to make that leap of faith. How far do you really wanna take this? And for me, I started out because I had a purpose.
I thought, it’s fundamentally wrong that we don’t have a way to control pests without having to alert them in, trap them, kill them, dispose of them, harm the environment, risk harming wild. And I called every company out there and they all said, oh, for God’s sakes, lady , [00:06:00] nobody cares. And I went, okay, somebody has to care.
And that really what it did is it shifted the context of the conversation. It wasn’t so much about, I can’t, it became more of a question of how do I , how do I make this. .
And so how did I make it happen? I didn’t have a college degree, , I didn’t have experience in the industry. I really didn’t know anything about manufacturing.
I didn’t know anything about product development other than when I started mixing my own formulations of herbs and health stuff when I was a little kid. So it was like how do I make this happen? So I basically sold everything that I. A couple times . The first time it was my pack horse, which was my, pride and joy.
And I’d go riding in the mountains and with this beautiful, amazing horse. And then I sold my camper, which was my other favorite hobby. and I used that money to do some [00:07:00] initial research. I applied for grants. Fortunately I got one, an egg diversification grant from the U S D A for farmers that are struggling because in Western North Dakota we were struggling.
And that $5,000, what I did is I got a computer and I got samples, and I took it around to the implement dealers. That would be your John Deere dealerships and your k I H. And I had this invention and I said, try this. If it works, you call me back. And then within a year I had a distributor and so I had cash flow that I could continue to, and I started other businesses to actually make this business work.
So I sold produce and yeah, or organic produce and. All kinds of things, but yeah, I was pretty deeply committed. Yeah, the second time around when I knew, okay we were market tested, things were going good. Then the e p A came [00:08:00] in and said no. You can’t do this without a E P a registration.
And I was like, you’re kidding me. This is like natural. What are you talking about? You let the poisons of the kill methods that can like, kill a child, you’re gonna, yeah, absolutely. And so how that came about, and this is a funny story, and entrepreneurs go through this.
You have a successful moment and the media shows up and. . It was 20 below in North Dakota and there was two blocks down the street of people waiting to buy my product cuz they’d heard about it and they’re like, I need something that keeps mice out of my tractor cabs. Wow. And they had farm dogs and it made sense to them.
So these companies on one hand said, this isn’t, nobody cares. And I saw something, I’m like, people care. So that really gave me the fuel. And then I got the call from the EPA and they said, you can’t do this. And then they said, it’s probably gonna be a couple million dollars to [00:09:00] get this done and it’s probably not gonna happen.
And you’re probably way out of your league here, honey. Wow. And I was, And then that, that all that did was fuel me more and I’m like, everything at my disposal to figure this one out. And so I made allies of them. I gathered around the table. With my public officials and I gathered around the table with the universities and I asked for these meetings and I’m sure they were, they were seeing me as a farm way from Western North Dakota.
And they’re like what, let’s just, let’s try and support this girl not thinking I was really maybe gonna make it you. And they all helped and I wrote a book about it, but we can talk more at the end. But even starting with nothing I just found the right people that would believe in that vision and help me make that vision come true.
Yeah, and as we got some momentum [00:10:00] and got the E P a registration, that’s when I needed to make another deep investment . So that one included a marriage and selling my house . Yeah, big stuff. But my farmer husband at the time said, honey, more power to you. But that is not my path in life.
That is not the end of the road is here for us. I hope you can understand. And he bought me a beautiful winter coat and he bought me a suitcase, . And he said, let’s not get a lawyer. I’ll support you. Anything that you need, we’ll, I’ll help you get this house and whatever. . Yeah, it didn’t take long.
I sold that house and plowed it back into actually consulting with your father. And of course my kids are like, oh my gosh, mother, what are you doing? ? And sometimes there’s just things that it’s like I identify [00:11:00] with the strategy. I identify with, what we’re doing.
And plus I had faith in my purpose in myself. And I knew that the universe, God, what have you, was not gonna let me down. Because it had taken me all the way to that point, right? As far as losing everything, I wasn’t so concerned about that because I lost everything. I don’t know how many times, including my own life, once I died for three minutes and no big angel moments.
But it just really gives you validation that we have a lot more power than we think we do just by taking a step.
Amanda: Wow. I just love your story. It’s so wonderful. So then, so talk me through a bit of, you decided to do this Dream 100. You wanted to go after retailers. , did you know that you wanted to go after Lowe’s in Home Depot in these retailers?
Kari: Yeah. What started out Amanda was I knew this was an invention that needed to [00:12:00] happen because I proved scientifically that it was highly effective. And that you could actually affect the behavior. Of a pest coming into an area by the, the invention that I’d made, which was basically plant-based and using the essential oils and plants in a unique process.
So I knew that the product worked. I had 100%, satisfaction in that. So then the next step became who is going to buy this product? Yeah. And that’s how I started my dream hundred. And I created like a 10 year dream 100 plan. . So did you really? Yes, and I’ve still stayed to it all these years later.
I stayed to it. What I did is I listed all the retailers. And then, and there’s 145,000 in the us. Okay. And then I categorized them [00:13:00] into different channels. So I knew our stuff would be great with farmers because I had the problem. They had the problem and I knew it would be good with people with RVs and boats and campers.
And I knew it would work with government people storing things like state parks and that. and I knew it would be like for hardware farm and home stores. I knew there’d be all these different niches that we could go into. So then I ranked them from there. And I ranked them according to those that I thought would have the least barrier to entry.
Okay. And then I started going through the Dream 100 plan and I, I love it. And that I can, I took some notes here so I don’t leave anything out. Yeah. It started with, I said, okay, I have no money, right? , I was just like, I had to go in cash flow. I’m gonna start in my backyard. So I started with the local John Deere dealership.
Okay. [00:14:00] And then I had asked for a referral, and then we got all of them in the state, and then we got all of them in a region, and pretty soon we got all of them in the country. And then I did the same thing with Tractor Supply, which today is one of our top five accounts, and they are, Fire. They’re one of the best performing retailers out there.
Wow. And so they started putting our product in these big bins in the front because it says farm woman owned. And so I used the process to do this and it. People would say, oh, you’re so genius. You’re a genius marketer, and all of this . But really there’s some fundamental things. So I’ll share my notes now.
Yeah. So I picked the Dream 100 and I was like, okay, who could sell the most? And it would be the easiest to get into. And then it was who best aligns with us? . Cause we had a purpose. Our products came [00:15:00] from Agricul agricultural ingredients, which was very different. So I thought definitely those that support agriculture support, purpose-driven business, a woman-owned business, cuz at this time, It was not cool to be a woman.
And they’d go, oh, okay, cute. See? And then they’d look at the rep and they’d say, come on in here, sir. And my reps would say, no, she’s the boss. And they’d be like, what? ? It was totally a foreign thing for them. But after I picked those dream hundred, then the next step was to choose a gift, and that is how are we going to really get their attention?
And so I was like, what kind of a gift you’ve give? And I tried different things and really how we started was similar to what we do today as I took out these little two by two ads in newspapers across the entire country. Nice. Like remnants space, you could get it for 25 bucks, a hundred [00:16:00] bucks. And I said, got mic.
Farm wife invents a solution that’s 100% guaranteed and good for the environment and your farm. And then I put on there ask your local a store, ask your local tractor supply for this product. So all of a sudden they had these people coming in by the hundreds going. , I wanna buy this.
Amanda: And they didn’t Ha And they hadn’t supplied it yet.
Oh, . No, that’s good.
Kari: So then they started calling us. So I didn’t actually need a Salesforce because of this. We didn’t need a Salesforce until just in the last couple years actually. And I’ve got some real horror stories about onboarding the sales force, but that’s how we did it. And it also helped us become number one in the category as far as share a voice in the pest industry.
So people came to see us as the expert because then I would help them [00:17:00] solve these problems. Okay, you need this and this, and you can get these things at your local hardware store. So people would walk in with their list and these retailers, Let’s put her stuff up here in the front because , she’s referring people to us and they’re buying caulking and they’re buying door sweeps, and they’re buying steel wall and all these other things.
So that, that was our gift. And I’ll share with you what we did during the pandemic because it was a little bit. . And then there was these creating the dream 100 letters. So what I thought of that is, is who are those champions? And I made the media into that. So I would pitch to the media with a core story, which is something I learned from your father.
And they loved it because I could give them an entire script. and all I’d have to do is show up and their whole entire segment was done. [00:18:00] I got one with it, probably my favorite one. And if your dad was still alive, he’d talk about it. It was Fox News, Fox nine in Minneapolis. And just by chance happened to hit where this lady was nine months pregnant, ready to deliver any minute, and she had four spots to fill that week,
And I called her and I said, I have something that you might be interested in, because right now, across the city, 50% of everybody. City is probably getting invaded by a rodent. 8% of those, their house might burn down because rodents chew on wires.
Amanda: Market data. Market data,
Kari: yeah. And she said, you’re kidding me.
Oh. Oh my gosh. And she goes, can you come down in the morning? She goes, but I have a doctor’s appointment. Go, where do you? I said, tell you what, let’s do the first set in Fred’s hardware. I’ll show up. Get your [00:19:00] car cameraman. You don’t even need to be there. So I got the retailer, which was pulling us back to choosing the gft.
You? Yeah. So people would see the retailer and go, oh, that’s where they buy that stuff. So that retailer was super busy. , but I brought in a few extra cases. I said, when this airs, you’re gonna have more people coming. And so she was excited. She shared it with all the other ACE merchants and said, you know what, you, this business is so awesome to deal with and still today we just had our line review last week.
We still sit in the number one spot on their planogram right there, and we still have incredible growth. We break the turns actually cuz we sell more than they can, efficiently. , but really that’s, so this whole power of branding came with it. With this checklist I followed and I didn’t even realize it until later.
. Wow. Yeah. And for me, thinking about being the [00:20:00] expert, that’s where the media really came in because they needed good stories to educate. And I wasn’t selling my product, I was educating. But then when you go to the media Exactly, they give you the credit, because that’s just how it works. In the end, they’ll say, and by the way, We tried this, we love this product.
Sometimes they’ll throw in another one, but then they’ll pass you on. If you’re a really good interview, they will pass you on Wow. To others. So that just, paid back more than ever. But it helped us get the trust and it helped us get the respect and it helped us grow that market share too, which was really important for the retailers and, kept us in a hiring.
And the fourth step is creating a calendar. And this is so important because you can’t ever let off the gas, thank you. Thank you. Yeah. And so many people think you can like, . Okay hey, [00:21:00] I got a bunch of press and I’m gonna, I’m gonna stop on it, right? Or I got that big customer and I’m gonna stop.
So what we do is we have a line review. Schedule that goes out an entire year or maybe more by category. And we know when they wanna be talking to the companies. And we’ll start three months ahead of time is meticulous, is pig head of discipline. And then we say, okay, how are we gonna pepper them?
What is that? What is that gift? . And you’ll see those if you follow our media you probably recognize it and the stories or the blogs that I write. And so there’s a cadence to this of getting out and it actually supports those customers and helps them know, hey, they’re a partner for us, because it used to be just us.
Now there’s. Dozens of new people coming in, doing similar things to us. And it’s exciting because that’s how I know change is happening, right? . And it makes us all better. And then the [00:22:00] fifth step is the follow up phone calls. And your dad taught something in the book.
I gotta share this with anybody cuz this book . One of the hardest things is getting people on the phone, and I think it’s even harder now, but there is a process you can learn and I literally have gotten. , anybody on the phone that I wanted? I got up all the way to the top with Terminex.
Thank you. Hey, we could work together. They weren’t ready yet in the structural pest industry for what we had. But now it’s getting closed, but I literally can get anybody on the phone with what I learned, so . It’s really important and we can’t forget. the importance of follow up phone calls and connection.
So many people and I watched the competitors do it that are coming in. Actually they’re like cooperative competitors. I call ’em neighbors, not necessarily competitors, , cause we’re all in this ecosystem [00:23:00] together. But it’s funny how they’ll ignored those little things, that connection. And.
Nothing can take the place of true human connection because every, it’s reciprocal, every time you give them something, they’ll give you something. of my favorite questions to ask and I still do it, and people say you’re a c E O really? Do you wanna be doing this? But yeah, I sit down with my key customers once a year and I ask them two question.
The first question is what don’t I know that I need to know? And you look ’em in the eyes and you don’t back off . And it’s confusing. Yes. And it’s amazing because it, that I’m telling you, connects. It connects because it, it just does, it’s how us humans are wired, especially in business. We have to be competitive.
We have to, and they know we are in it. There you go. They know we are in it for the long run, and I guarantee you [00:24:00] they never forget it because they’re like, you asked such good questions, but I find out. It’s golden what you find out. As long as your ego doesn’t get in the way.
Amanda: Always the best process to drive with the ego. Get outta the way. Okay.
Kari: And then the second question is, what is, if there is one thing we could do better for you, what is it? That’s great, Tim. and oftentimes they’ll actually pull, they’ll pull their groups, p o l, pull their groups. And it’s, that’s another thing about the power of gathering and it’s so incredibly important to set the intent and not to cloudy, muddy it up with 10 million objectives. It’s, it’s, it just gets to the heart of the matter. And then the last thing is the executive briefings. And this is something that we do [00:25:00] and I’m teaching my people to do and it’s cool, is we’ll go into our customers and we’ll give them a report, just like if they were our board of directors.
Wow. And. This has God and me invited into their boardrooms, actually, and I’ve been able to bring my people. We have one handicapped worker, we call her Handicapable, and she came, she was invited with me to Lowe’s headquarters, 200 merchants. $8 billion of business. She got up on the stage with me and she thanked them for the business, and she told them what her job means to her.
It changed, it literally, I got emails later that it literally changed their culture because they saw something from a different perspective. and so the shifting the context with people and being really strategic about it, that’s where the idea for that came from is [00:26:00] do an executive briefing so then I can go to Target or I can go to.
John Deere, whoever we do business with, and say, here’s the state of the market. And it’s all core story .
Amanda: I know,
I’m sorry. I just have to interject for every person that’s listening to this right now and will be as they go through the Dream 100 course, you are an expert strategist. This is the difference between, okay, I’m gonna write an email cuz I got a script and we have templates and we have scripts and that’s wonderful.
But a tactician can only get so far a strategist will always over accomplish a tactician. And every single thing you’ve told me in this interview has just shown that you approach it from a strategic point of view. Mission driven. It’s not just how do I get the sale? It’s multiple different objectives.
How do I have the best relationship possible? How do I set myself up as the number one expert in the market? How do I understand not just my product, but what’s going on in the. In the [00:27:00] environment right now and with my clientele, even with the 50% that probably have a rodent repellent
problem right now,
Or a rodent problem.
It’s just that you are just such a shining example of a strategist. So thank you. This is, this has been my big takeaway from us so far. I hope you have a couple. Do you have a few more minutes, a above the 30 minutes, cuz I do wanna also cover your lessons learned.
Deterring from your way? Do you have a few?
Kari: Yeah. Oh, absolutely. That is could be so valuable to people listening cuz it was so painful. to me. Yes. Yeah. Tough lessons learned. Yes.
Amanda: I’m sorry, I did cut you off. You were in the midst of a thing. I just had to get that out. You were talking about the executive briefings and being strategic, so that’s, so give me an idea of kind of what that, is that just of talking about market trends?
Is that what you’re doing when you say executive briefing?
Kari: .So in an executive briefing I like to think of it as like a health report. If you’re gonna go to the doctor, okay, here’s your [00:28:00] pulse, right? Here’s your vitals here’s some things you might wanna do for preventive, like behavior, right?
So this is something that I like to have my employees involved in so they know the health of our customers. They can bring their own ideas to table. Like during Covid, it was amazing. Some of the most valuable conversations I’ve had in my life have been with our people. Wow. Our employees, they can be on the line, it doesn’t matter where, and they’ll see something just a little bit differently and they deeply care.
So we can bring that to our customers and that is a competitive advantage. them. And it doesn’t just come from reading a Harvard article.
Amanda: Oh. It’s core story. Through and through. I love it.
I love it.
Kari: So that is that’s where I was at on that. So we go out and do that with, yeah.
With all our customers. And they learn a lot from it, and they learn to see us as that expert and they’re like, oh, I had no idea. [00:29:00] And they’re freaked out when I tell ’em, 70% of people don’t wanna kill a pest . They would rather just avoid it. . Wow, that is so good. Every other company tells me, You’re free to keep your own mind.
One of the things I learned that was pivotal was I started to ask my merchants, cuz they were all males, and I’m a female, right? , it’s changing now because they’re younger, they’re millennials and there’s a lot more females in it. But I’d say, take this home to your wife and your children and ask them what they think.
That’s the future. And many of them reported back and they said, no one ever said to do that. And man, they have such a different perspective. I thank you so much for that. Wow.
Amanda: And everybody that’s listening to can also understand that Carrie isn’t just talking about her product and saying, these are all the features of my product, and look at this product and that [00:30:00] product.
She is giving advice. That’s the concerns that they have in. Business in their livelihood, like you said their health. That’s just crucial. I think that’s a place where people hear it and then they go, I get it. But then in, in the actual deployment of it or the trying to do it they miss out in the execution.
Kari: Perfect. This perfectly brings us into the mistakes I’ve made with regard to veering off because. As the business started to grow and we started to scale, Carrie could not do it all anymore, and we got an investor and he knew a recruiter, people that was specialized in salespeople who were in cpg.
Okay? This comes with some pretty high price tags. It can cost as much as 70 a hundred thousand per person, not to mention the salary and everything else you need. . [00:31:00] And so we did. I put, I can’t even, I’m embarrassed to even say how many hundreds of thousands of dollars I put into this. It was, so we do the interviews, get down to it.
Amazing human beings, right? Then they came into the company and they’re like, you know what? You have to trust me on this because I know what makes it work. I have these relat. And I gave them some leeway rather than aligning them and training them in what had made us successful. And I don’t know if I was taking a shortcut or what it was, Amanda, but it was a miserable failure, right?
And then all of a sudden, for the first time since 2007, our sales were not like this. , right? And it is so interesting cuz my employees around said, why can’t they do this job? Oh my God. They’re like a professional, right? But the [00:32:00] way you sell strategically,
That’s it. You were selling using core story education based marketing.
You were doing a strategist versus. Now you have a tactician that says I’m in the good old boy club, I have these relationships. I can sell ’em relationships. Oh, it’s so good. Clemen and Hugh also are loving this too. They’re saying hi.
Kari: And it’s, it’s something I really beat myself up on and because you don’t bring an investor on and then make big mistakes like that, and then you know, to be able to pick back up.
Thankfully we picked back up and got back on. And got back onto strategy, but it was my own employees who said, I could do this. I was like, they’d never been in sales before, but they’re like, I’ve watched you do it. I helped you get the presentations ready. I’ve heard you go head to head in these rooms with them because I will if I need to.
And it works. So we got back to that and all of a sudden it, you didn’t need to have an [00:33:00] experience in sales to be an incredible salesperson. It more became about, I got chills. Yeah. Strategy and caring and I can’t even tell you from an how it feels as a C E O. To see somebody go from, a 12 or 15 an hour position up, up to buying a home and buying a car, going on trips and it’s, it just it’s worth everything in the world to be able to lift lift people up like that because of, using a good process and a good strategy and giving the customers what they need.
And I think going forward we’re gonna see so much more of that. Another thing I should share is what we did when the Covid started.
Amanda: Yes. So all, you have
complete market blackout, right? You’re in retailers all over the place and they have just shut down. How do you.
Reply to that. What do you do,
Kari: Yeah. It’s [00:34:00] pretty scary, right? Yeah. Fortunately part of what I do as a strategic leader is I handle transition and crisis very well, and so you make a question and you stick to it.
Amanda: I think I was at your house when this was just starting to roll out. I stayed with you. And you were cool, calm, and collected.
I have to say . Yeah.
Kari: Sleep too, right? Yeah. Cause we just like, yeah, there’s no negative energy around it. And with the employees too, we even had a. Professional come in because I was like, I need to get the pulse of everybody and see if people have fear. What anxiety, because it was, people were just going off the deep end and said, we’ve never seen a company before that didn’t have fear inside of it.
But what it is I got everybody together and I said, okay, we need everybody’s head in the game on this one, every single person. And I said, I can’t [00:35:00] tell you what’s gonna happen because we don’t know. But I can tell you that the answers will come to us and they always do. And they always have. And they always will.
And it was amazing how the people bloomed during this time. It was just tears to my eyes. But when
Amanda: I’m tearing up Oh,
Kari: and the power, the power of asking your people is so important. I just turned off everything else and I said, you know what, it’s in here. The answers are inside of us. And I made all the quick decisions that I needed to.
We got a Covid task force. We looked at our Dream 100 and says, okay, , what is our dream 100 over the next three months? And then we did the next three months and the next three months. So we came out with we did a trade show in a box. Wow. Old fashioned suitcase. This is the fields in [00:36:00] North Dakota world protection.
This is me standing in a field across from my house in North Dakota. We sent a video on a flash and then emailed them a video, which was me talking. It was like a minute long hold them. We’re sending them our trade show, bringing it to them, and then we had like our whole pitch right here. Wow. All their products.
Amanda: Oh, beautiful.
Kari: Most important to them is number one rated because everybody, what their fear was, what’s Amazon gonna do to us? Are we gonna be out of business? Everybody is going online. So what we did is we made little stickers of all of our reviews. so people could see that, hey, we are getting reviews.
And then we created a report for them and said, oh, by the way, this is how much web traffic we get each week or each month. [00:37:00] And we’re, it’s staggering how much people come to our website. Because of the expert content, which we’ve built up over 15 years. And so this SEO gives us, people pay a lot of money to get that.
We’re not having to pay really that much. But what we did is created a customized report and said, this is how many people in your area are looking for our product. . We’ll, we’re sending them to you if your stores are open. And we created a plan like that and they were like it gave them a sense of, oh my gosh, maybe we’re in this together.
Wow. And it, cuz a lot of them didn’t know how to do that, do all of the online stuff. And we said, tell you what, we will email. You created a Dropbox. Here’s some posts that you can use. Here’s the latest. Oh, by the way, if during Covid they’d, we could say things like, We’ve never had our pantries overloaded like this.
That’s why you have [00:38:00] so many mice coming in. Oh, we have the perfect solution. In fact, it’s the only solution out there that is perfect for this. And we did the same thing with Moss and we did the same thing with spiders. And so that accelerated us so much that we even got more. , like on shelf space. I, one major retailer gave us three more facings in all stores.
Wow. Just that. But the demand was so high. And then I pulled back on the U utilizing, we went to Martha Stewart and we went to Better Homes and Gardens, and they know me already as an expert. Quote me often and we said, Hey, this is a big problem right now. We will write content and help people, face some of this cuz pests are coming in at an all-time record.
And so it really helped us, plus it created more in the [00:39:00] category two for other things and for other products. Wow. Yeah. In a nutshell, that’s what we did and we ended up finishing up, I think about 33% up year over year, which we are so thankful and grateful, and we were like so celebratory over it because.
Amanda: It’s amazing. Amazing.
Kari: And we were in the cloud, so we were able to work from home and we didn’t have to spend two months figuring all that out. We could just jump right into how do we , do our dream 100 covid Dream 100.
Amanda: This is also a really important point that you said, because so many CEOs think that they need to have all the answers.
What a hard hitting. It just hit me right in my chest of this concept of you saying, I don’t have the answers. Let’s come up with them together. Everyone on board, everyone is a part of this. That is something that every c e o can learn from [00:40:00] you is how do I get more people to be invested and they will come up with great ideas and bringing everyone together will create an even better solution.
So that really meant a lot when I heard you say that. And Dawn too is saying, you’re both inspiring and awesome ladies. So you’re getting getting some love over here on social, but wow. It’s just such a powerful story and continue to be so many wonderful stories. Where, so I know that you have different social media channels.
Where do you spend your time so that people can find you? What do you normally recommend?
Kari: On social media? You mean? Online? Yeah. So I spend most of my time on LinkedIn. Oh, okay. But you can also see me on Instagram. I do a little bit on Facebook, but I’ve got a book launch going on right now. Yes.
My book called Gathering Around the Table. , a story of purpose-driven change through business. , and this book is the book that I needed when I was 19 and started my first business. I’ve started six [00:41:00] of them and actually what it is it’s like a, a. Kind of a decision making book because it takes the reader through the stories of how the decisions were made based on my values.
Walks people through when I said no to Walmart, , and why. And basically how to create a strategy around a purpose. So there’s a lot woven in there. You know that I like.
Amanda: Yes. Where do I, where do we find that book? You said it’s pre-selling
right now, right?
Kari: It’s pre-sale. I have a website called carrie warberg block.com.
Okay. And we have a book page on that. It’s on Amazon, Barnes and Noble. It’s published by Conscious Capitalism Press. So it will be used in universities cuz currently our business case this year, it was used in the McGraw Hill 1 0 1 entrepreneurship book. We were, I think, chaptered. Six or nine.
Pretty amazing, right? Elon Musk is in [00:42:00] there. Wow. Girlfriend Kara from Hint Water is in there. . And it’s it’s interesting. But we won a global entrepreneurship case study a few years ago called Building a Business from Nature. And it, there’s a shortage of women owned businesses and a shortage of those that started from nothing.
because I didn’t come from money and I, didn’t come from , a family so to speak, just had this love for nature and it’s can’t we just all coexist ?
Amanda: Wow. That is wonderful. So everybody heard that? It’s carrie warberg block.com. You’ll see her. Name as well in, if you need spelling.
Exactly. And I think you’ve sent me, I’ve, I swear I’ve read little bits and pieces of this as you’ve been writing it, haven’t I, ? It’s what a wonderful,
Kari: yes. Yeah,
Amanda: that’s what I thought. Yeah. The title and Yeah, it’s quite a deal writing a book. Oh, you’re telling
- I’ve been working [00:43:00] on the New edition for two years of Ultimate Sales Machine.
My goodness. But I’ve realized it took my father 50 years to write that book. So if it takes me two. , maybe even three.
It’s worth it.
Kari: Not bad. What is it the number one like sales book of all time? ,
Amanda: it’s voted in the top 10.
Kari: It’s, yeah, it’s OK that you take some time. .
Amanda: Thank you. Thank you.
So Carrie, I love you. I could talk to you for hours, . It’s so inspiring and I’m sure every single person that’s heard this, I also see Mark saying, wow. Wow. Absolutely brilliant. He wrote a whole paragraph on how amazing this has been. And for every person that will continue to go through this as they’re in the Dream 100 course, I am just so grateful for your time here.
I’m so happy to be here. Yeah.
Make sure to get your copy or copies at the ultimate sales machine.com. There’s a lot of special bonuses that you can’t get going to Amazon, so make sure you check it [00:44:00] [email protected]