Here is a “podcast” audio interview about our experience auditioning for Dragons’ Den:
In this 3-part series, we recount our journey with Easy Daysies to the Dragons’ Den (the Canadian version of Shark Tank). This episode is all about the auditions, probably the most nerve-wracking part of the whole journey! Hopefully this will provide motivation and inspiration to anyone who is thinking about applying for a business reality TV show.
Find Elaine’s Kitchen Table on Twitter @chatwithelaine, and Facebook @elaineskitchentable.
And you can find Easy Daysies online at www.easydaysies.com
Be sure to also check out episodes 12 and 13 – about our experience in the Den, and after the Den!
Why, Easy Daysies of course!
www.EasyDaysies.com – this is my company! “Daysies” is spelled with a “y” because we are all about helping kids have easier days.
If you know any kids (and especially moms of kids) aged 3+ who could benefit from easier days brought about by Easy Daysies Magnetic Schedules for Kids, shop now and use this promo code at checkout:
to save 15% on your entire order!
Elaine: 00:07 Hi, welcome to Elaine’s Kitchen Table I’m so honored to have you here with us today, where we talk about the lessons we learned in business and in parenting. Today we’re going to talk about a topic I often get asked about and that is my experience and journey to a show called Dragons’ Den
Dragons’ Den: 00:28 First up, a school teacher with an invention that helps families stick to a schedule.
Elaine: 00:35 So I’m not sure if you recognize this song, but yes, that was the intro to our episode back on season six. Episode three I believe is what it was. So that was about a few years ago and we’ve actually been on it two more times after that. Our second time was an update episode and then following that, there’s a sponsor for Dragons’ Den called Ford and Ford selected nine companies they thought exemplified their four pillars of success and Easy Daysies was one of their companies they chose and we were so honored, we didn’t want a car, but that’s okay. We did win two 30 second commercials during prime time television, which is priceless to me and that has been a huge blessing. So with me today is my husband Ron. He’s very good at being cued in and I thought he should be here. He was absolutely a part of that crazy experience. And leading up to that of course is our journey. How did we get on this show? And I often get asked about how we got on Dragons’ Den.
Ron: 01:47 Hold on, hold on. You say you often get asked? Often. I would say you get asked every day. So this is a great topic for a podcast because hopefully when people ask you now, you can tell them about it and say you can get all the details on episode, whichever episode this is. Yeah.
Elaine: 02:02 Indeed, indeed. And it’s funny because we know exactly when Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank auditions happen because our mailbox gets full and our phone gets all these great calls of how do I do it and what do I say? How do I valuate my company? How do I get on the show? And, we appreciate all of those questions. So we thought we’re going to do a podcast just about that. You See Dragons’ Den is a series of reality television programs featuring entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas in order to secure an investment either financially or in partnership from a panel of venture capitalists. And I believe that the first show actually started in Japan and then it aired on BBC in Britain in January of 2005 and then our the first episode in Canada was on CBC in October of 2006 and then it went to the USA on ABC and it was called Shark Tank.
Elaine: 03:07 And that launched in August of 2009 where two of the Dragon Investors, Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec went on as Shark investors. Now if you have not seen either of these shows, and you are an entrepreneur or wanting to be an entrepreneur, I strongly recommend that you look up some of the episodes and get educated. You will learn a ton of information on what to do, what not to do, how to do it, and anything possible that can be done has been done. And so it’s a great place to learn from. And I cannot recommend it strongly enough. So if you’ve never been to business school, tune into a Dragons’ Den episode, I believe they’re actually on Netflix now too.
Ron: 03:57 Just make sure you’re not a “nutbar”.
Elaine: 03:59 What is a nutbar Ron?
Ron: 04:01 Well there’s, because this is television, there’s two types of pitches they allow onto these shows – actually Dragons’ Den more so than Shark Tank. Shark Tank is a little more uh, conservative, but in Dragons’ Den they’ve got the actual entrepreneurs with actual ideas that are really good that, are going for investments. And then they got people with kind of crazy-ish ideas or crazy-ish personalities and they put those on the show for entertainment purposes, not necessarily to get an investment and while it will still get you exposure, it will end up making it look like a nutbar!
Elaine: 04:34 Well the scariest thing is nobody knows if they are a nutbar because I was a little concerned that even after we aired, and I would, sorry, after we taped, I was really concerned that I was going to fall under that category. So you just never know. But on a side note, in the past, I would say try it. Now the term “try it” is no longer part of my active vocabulary because to me the word, the term try it means a lack of commitment and that you just can stick your toe in and pull out when the tide comes in or when the going gets rough or when the water gets deep. When you are in business or trying to be an entrepreneur, you cannot just try it. It’s all or nothing. So being an entrepreneur is having that drive and that passion, to get it done because many of us already have that lovely quality of getting distracted by shiny objects. And I think that might be a trait of entrepreneurs. So don’t just try it, just jump on in and do it. So let me release this shiny object and get back on our topic of Dragons’ Den.
Ron: 05:48 That’s a good point though hon. If you’re going to do it, do it. You know, you can go out for a hike and you start going up the mountain and as soon as you find the first obstacle, it’s a little tough to get around. You use it as an excuse to turn around and go home. But uh, you know, as they say, go big or go home, you’ve got a choice, you’re not going to try, you’re either going to do it or you’re not. So if you, if you’re committing to something like going for an investment or going on a TV show like Dragons’ Den or Shark Tank, you’re either in or you’re out.
Elaine: 06:16 Okay. So let’s get into the story of how we actually got onto Dragons’ Den as mentioned in the previous episode about how I became an entrepreneur without really planning it. We got back from a successful trade show and found out that the Dragons’ Den auditions were in town in just a few days. So I was freaking out a little bit. I didn’t want to tell anybody, but I had to tell my wonderful in-laws because I was supposed to work for them on Saturday morning at their camera store for a scrapbooking event. So I had to tell somebody, even though I was incredibly shy about telling anyone. And so my husband and our oldest daughter, I believe she had just turned seven or as she was seven maybe. And we went to the auditions and I thought it was going to be like auditioning for American Idol where you had to line up around the block.
Elaine: 07:15 That was not the case. I was number seven. And I remember we were in this building and there was no one there from CBC, which is the station that airs Dragons’ Den, but people kept pouring in. Auditioners kept coming in and I think I went into teacher mode because I found some paper and I ripped it up and I put numbers on it and I started handing them out just to organize the room and create an environment where there wasn’t going to be chaos when CBC showed up and everyone thought I worked for CBC and I would say, no, no, I’m just number seven.
Ron: 07:50 You’re just super organized.
Elaine: 07:52 No, I just, I’m just crazy like that. And so when by the time CBC producers and staff came in, I think I’ve already handed out, I dunno, 60 – 60 numbers at least, and it was just growing and growing and I just handed it all over to their staff and they were so impressed and so happy that someone had handed out numbers and it was now very organized. And I was still number seven. And I remember being incredibly nervous and the only people who knew were my in-laws. And I think I may have told my parents, but at this point, uh, my, I don’t think my parents watched the show yet. And I knew Ron’s parents loved the show. They were huge fans and I was so nervous now because I didn’t want to let them down, but I knew that I had to nail this and, and who knew what was going to happen.
Elaine: 08:49 It was an audition in front of producers. And at one point the producers, their crew and staff came around asking all the different numbers if they were conceptual or if they actually had an actual running business – “product or prototype” I think they said. Yes. And then it began and the nerves, I don’t think I was ever as nervous as I was at that moment. And I had products with me, my seven year old and my husband and, um, they, the producers told us that they had just started a nationwide auditions, which was going to run for six weeks and they would only call back people at the end of six weeks if they were invited to the taping of the show in Toronto. So I knew exactly when those six weeks was going to end. And I remember number four being called in and, and just watching the chaos in the different rooms of people practicing in front of each other, practicing out loud to themselves, laughing, joking, questioning each other about their products and businesses.
Elaine: 09:59 And it was fascinating. Met some incredible people who I’m still in contact with today and very honored to be. And then it was my turn when number five went up, I was called to, we went into a waiting area, which was just a hallway and you can just feel the nerves in the room. And, and I knew that I had to nail it in 60 seconds and capture someone’s interest and you need to tune into our episode, our podcast episode about nailing the perfect pitch. And I highly recommend that because it is crazy the things that I have learned since then and I want to share with you so that you could pitch to any investor. So make sure to tune into that podcast. So the door opened and it was our turn and it was insane. And we set up our product and we were in front of two producers and they said, go, go for it.
Elaine: 11:03 And I remember, okay, I got my pitch, I got this, I know exactly what I’m going to say in 60 seconds. And I started. And I never even got through that 60 seconds before I was bombarded with questions. And the questions did not stop. And they were hard questions. They were like, isn’t your business too small for the Dragons to consider? Why would they even care about a product that a mom makes? Why would they want to look at a business that you have that it’s so small? And the questions kept coming. And I answered every single question and, and I offered them a sample to take with them and they wanted it and they took it. But who knew what that meant? And I remember leaving feeling, oh, that was awful. Just horrible.
Ron: 11:50 And by the way, the producers are very nice people. They’re not jerks. They just play devil’s advocate because they want to see how you will handle the pressure.
Elaine: 11:58 Yes. Unfortunately I didn’t know that then. No, it was all good. I did feel like I had done a horrible job in pitching
Ron: 12:07 And I thought you’d done a wonderful job.
Elaine: 12:10 Oh you’re kind, but I did know that I was able to answer every question that came and we did get that phone call six weeks later and then it got crazier.
Ron: 12:23 And I think that’ll be for part two.
Elaine: 12:25 We promised that our podcast would be short and sweet so we are going to end it here. So stay tuned for next time when we enter the Den and that is where the fun begins. As always, I love to hear your feedback. So please do find me on Twitter @chatwithelaine or on Facebook at Elaine’s Kitchen Table and you are welcome to check out my product that we presented on Dragons’ Den at www.easydaysies.com. And I’d be honored if you wanted to follow Easy Dasyies on Facebook too. Thank you for joining us. And you do not want to miss our experience in the Den because we are going to take you behind the scenes. And we really hope that this podcast has inspired you in the business of real life. So thank you for joining us. Good bye for now!