How She Turned a Disaster into a Million Dollar Success – Mary Harcourt￼
What do all entrepreneurs have in common? The jump-first mentality, that’s for sure. And our guest today is the perfect example.
Mary Harcourt is the Inventor and the CEO of CosmoGlo Light, which is one of the biggest innovations to hit the beauty industry. Before that, she ran a lash salon in Los Angeles for several years but when Covid hit, she was forced to quickly pivot her business and shift gears.
As it turns out, she had already been working on a prototype for beauty room lighting so this newfound time gave her an opportunity to switch her focus entirely on launching CosmoGlo. Fast forward a few years, CosmoGlo is now a million-dollar company that has opened many doors for Mary, from being a speaker and a guest on various podcasts to launching her own podcast.
She believes that if she can do it, so can everyone else, and there is so much power in that!
In this episode of the Think Business with Tyler podcast, we talk about why every experience in life makes you stronger, the value of the jump-first mentality in entrepreneurship, why starting your own business is both scary and rewarding, and how to just start.
If you want to learn more about the rocky entrepreneurial journey, tune in to this episode to hear Mary’s inspiring story.
💡 Name: Mary Harcourt
💡 What she does: She’s the Inventor & Founder of The Cosmo Glo Lash Light.
💡 Noteworthy: Mary had already been working on a prototype for beauty room lighting before the pandemic so this newfound time gave her an opportunity to switch her focus entirely on launching CosmoGlo.
💡 Key Quote: “I think an entrepreneur looks at something and goes, ‘How can I make this better?’ or ‘How can I make it, how can I solve a problem? How can I fix the solution? How can I do that?’ And I think normal people are just kind of like, ‘Well, it’s broke and that works.’ They go about their life.”
💡 Where to find Mary: LinkedIn
Every experience makes you stronger. Life is all about experiences. Some experiences are happy, but some of them are challenging. The trick is to learn from every difficult experience and try to do better next time. Just like in personal life, entrepreneurship is also full of ups and downs. Mistakes are inevitable but it’s how you handle them that matters.
According to Mary, some of the most challenging experiences can turn out to be the most valuable for you. She shares her story. “I was an overachiever thinking that I knew how to run a business. And when I started learning lashes, I thought, ‘God, why would I want to work for someone else when I could just buy my own business?’
And, news flash, that is not always the best-case scenario. So I bought a business and literally opened, day one, zero clients. And it was a really harsh, upward battle. But in retrospect, I realized that it made me the most incredible business owner because I had to apply myself and study faster, read books, go through courses and understand how I was going to pay my rent.”
Entrepreneurs are driven by an invisible inner force. What is the entrepreneurial mindset? It’s a unique set of beliefs and values that makes you pursue opportunities that other people wouldn’t pursue. It allows you to look for answers to your most burning questions. As Mary nicely puts it, it’s a unique internal force that pushes you to do some crazy things. She explains,
“I don’t even know what it is, but it’s an internal force that just pushes you ‘cause it’s crazy, some things that entrepreneurs do. People think we have all the answers. No, we have none. We’re the ones making the answers, but we have to go out and find them ourselves. And you just have this desire to be like, ‘I don’t know what it is, but I’m going to jump in with two feet and figure it out when you get there.’”
Starting your own business is scary but it’s also rewarding. Starting a business is scary. Even the thought of starting something on your own can be daunting. But if you want to pursue your passions, you have to start somewhere. Even though it’s scary, becoming an entrepreneur is one of the most rewarding feelings in the world. Mary says,
“Once you have that conversation with yourself going, if I lose it all, it’s okay because what I’m not willing to do is watch someone else have this idea and bring it to life when I was the one that thought about it. And that became the fire and the passion where it’s like, no, no, no, we’re doing this, even if we lose it all, I am still willing to try because it’s either me now or someone else later, and I’m not letting it be someone else later. It’s me now.”
Just get started. Everyone has self-doubts from time to time. It’s a normal part of being a human. You just have to push through those fears and get started. According to Mary, most people never even start. They get caught up in that beginner’s crippling anxiety and they just can’t move past it. So, just start where you are with what you have and everything else will fall in its place. Mary says,
“If you’re doubting, stop that. Everyone’s going to doubt; you’re going to doubt for the rest of your life, but you can also just get started. It sounds silly, but starting is where 99% of the people fail. When you get started, you become obsessed with it and it could be starting as much as one hour a week. Maybe it’s two hours a month. Maybe you dedicate one evening over a glass of wine to pursue your idea, whether it be a vet business venture or a product, or however you want to do it, maybe an online course, but just starting is so powerful because you break down the barriers.”
“Over time I realized the more you apply yourself in entrepreneurship, whether it’s researching or Googling or YouTubing, or going through a course or books or conferences or classes. And I did all of those and so should you. You can understand, and you can really grow to master more than if I would have just worked for somebody and kind of stood at that ceiling.”
“I started this prototype in 2019 and when COVID happened in 2020, I woke up one day going, ‘God, I have been saying for months, if I ever get the time I would pursue this project,’ but I spend ‘till 11 o’clock on Friday nights, balancing payroll and cleaning my salon and ordering supplies on top of working full time and managing staff, I could never launch this product. It wasn’t even a thought. And it clicked. I was just given this time.”
“I call it cannonballing into the world of the unknown, switching industries overnight because I actually led to, I sold my salon last year, I am a hundred percent in just light production. This is all of us. We have committed to the company.”
“When you switch industries, it’s terrifying first off. But two, had I known how much it really took, I don’t know that I would’ve done it. So I’m thankful that I switched industries blind to it because just learning how to run a salon and learning how to manage a business, you gravitate to reading as many books as you can taking courses, doing research, watching YouTube videos, looking up definitions.”
“Entrepreneur allows you to apply yourself in the most creative way in your voice and I just love seeing what we can do. I love our team. I love the growth that we’ve created. I love the products. We have many more down in the works that we’re working on. And I think it’s just a beautiful way to allow that creativity to come into the world and allow you to have a positive effect on the world.”
“Failing is such a big part of growing. Everyone’s so scared to fail, but if you can understand that you don’t get past that without failing, and the faster you can fail, the faster you can succeed. And that’s why we say fail as fast as possible as soon as possible, as quick as possible on the smallest scale as possible. The ideal situation would just be to fail right out the gate.”