Mark Kinsley CEO Englander Mattress | On The Lime Podcast

Mark Kinsley CEO Englander Mattress Headshot for On the Lime Podcast interview
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Don't sleep on creativity.

SPEAKERS
Mark Kinsley, Will Kronenberger, Kayla Bitner

Will Kronenberger  

Hello, and welcome to On the Lime. I’m Will

Kayla Bitner  

and I’m Kayla. And this week we sat down with Mark Kinsley. Mark is the President and CEO of Englander, which, if you aren’t aware is a top 15 US mattress company. They’ve actually been in business since 1894. So well over 100 years, and he’s been named one of Furniture Today’s 20 people to watch, as well as releasing a book recently.

Will Kronenberger  

Yeah, the book is called Come Back to Bed and he co wrote it with his podcast co-host, Mark Quinn, the two of them work together on a lot of projects under the name Dos Marcos, obviously, because two Marks. This was a great first episode for 2021. Mark has so much information, and so many, like, interesting ways of thinking about branding yourself and kind of sticking out as a small business, which is just really great in competing in today’s market.

Kayla Bitner  

Yeah, something that we talked about was, even though, you know, Mark’s industry is mattresses and bedding, a lot of the concepts that are in the book that he co-wrote, really apply to any business, any marketing strategies, and I really, really enjoyed what he had to say about not being afraid to take risks, because that is where success happens.

Will Kronenberger  

Yeah, you’re definitely gonna want to listen to this one all the way through. There’s so many great nuggets of information in there. So without further ado, here he is Mark Kinsley, On the Lime. As always, this episode of On the Lime is powered by Sublime Media Group,

Kayla Bitner  

Go to sublimemediagroup.com to find out how we can help you with all of your video marketing, web, and social media needs.

Will Kronenberger  

But yeah, that’s generally what we’ll do, we’ll just start out and have people would kind of read one statement at a time, it can be anything. They’re just three statements that start with I. So like, for example, mine is I love a good conversation. I am unapologetically a fan of all things pop culture, and I once sold a bicycle to Judge Judy. So So I mean, like, you know, they’re there. They don’t have to be anything crazy business related, but they can be. We’ve had people who say I’m a father, I run a business and I do this … can be anything.

Mark Kinsley  

Did you really sell a bicycle to Judge Judy?

Will Kronenberger  

I did. I did sell a bicycle to Judge Judy. She- I’m from Naples, Florida. I don’t know if her she lives down there permanently. But that is where she has a house and her husband and her who at the time. I don’t know if she’s still married to him. He was the judge on the People’s Court. And they used to eat at a diner that was right next to my mom and dad’s bicycle shop. My mom and dad ran a bicycle shop for 30 years in Naples, Florida. And she came over one time looking for a cruiser with her husband and her I guess made her nanny or like assistant or something like that. And she was very casual. She, I told her I my mom had like a spiel that like I just had kind of learned how to sell bikes through listening to my mom, because she was like the person like my mom and dad ran the business themselves. So it was kind of like I would hear my mom say, you know, all aluminum frame aluminum rims, you know, and like she’d go through this whole spiel, so I just kind of selling bikes was mimicking what my mom did, essentially, you know? And so I was saying this to Judge Judy. And it was back when my brother was actually taking over the store. So my mom and dad weren’t there and he was in the back working on bikes. And she actually said that don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining to me. So I mean, like I got even got some of the classic lines from her but I did make the sale. It was a simple beach cruiser. She just wanted to have it at her house for if she had guests come over and stuff like that.

Mark Kinsley  

I wonder what Judy’s hair looks like she’s cruising along at her beach cruiser.

Kayla Bitner  

I bet it doesn’t move.

Will Kronenberger  

I think it’s just like a helmet.

Mark Kinsley  

I don’t know if it’s real. Maybe that is her bike helmet she’s wearing they know.

Will Kronenberger  

There you go. That could be that could be it.

Kayla Bitner  

The future of bike helmets Judge Judy’s hair. So Mark, tell us about you.

Mark Kinsley  

I am an avid mountain biker. And in fact, I live in Bentonville, Arkansas, which has the tagline mountain biking capital of the world, so that I can be close to the trails.

Kayla Bitner  

I I’ve not really spent a lot of time in Arkansas. Maybe I’m wrong and thinking this but I didn’t realize that Arkansas had a – or Bentonville specifically – had a big mountain biking scene. That’s impressive. What are the trails like?

Mark Kinsley  

The trails are insane. People come from all over the Midwest and all over the world to experience the trail system, purpose built trail flow track. Lots of features, lots of jumps, lots of technical stuff, but always a safe way around the majority of it. The Walton family is the richest family on the planet. And they all live here and they’re very invested in the community. And some of the grandsons fell in love with mountain biking. And I think when they were going to Arizona State or going to college in Arizona, and so they came back here and the the terrain here is just gorgeous-kind of hilly Ozark Mountains. And so great places to cut trail through the mountain side and, and if you have crews dedicated to building trail, you can just make some amazing features and it’s really fun trail and so there are hundreds of miles of single track mountain biking trail accessible from my house, like so I just leave my garage and I go down the trail, which I did today with a few buddies.

Will Kronenberger  

Nice. Did you do you prefer dual suspension? Or do you like a hard tail?

Mark Kinsley 

I ran a full suspension bike. Out here if you’re going to be doing any of the any of the jumps or some of the technical stuff. You definitely want to have that travel on your bike. And if you’re trying to cover some ground and cook I mean go to a hard tail in there. Better for climbing But yeah, I ride I ride they kind of get after it.

Will Kronenberger  

Nice. Nice. I used to have like a y-frame track back in the day that I used to ride around. It was probably a little much for the riding I did, but you know my parents owned a bicycle shop so why not have like a nicer bike that you could sport around town?  but yeah, that’s cool. That’s cool. Um, do you have any other I statements for us?

Mark Kinsley  

I host Well, I put like this. I co host the galaxy’s greatest mattress podcast. You might have heard in the background just then I dropped the mic. You know, we maybe were the only mattress industry podcast, but still. category one. We are the galaxy’s greatest, we always joke around. We had an astronaut on the show. And his name is Chris Cassidy. He is the 500th person in space. And his brother Jeff, who’s a wonderful guy works in the mattress industry with us. We’re friends. And so we got Chris Cassidy former navy seal. He just got back from the space station about two months ago. And he was the 500 person in space and former chief astronaut world renowned as the best spacewalker on off the planet. Yeah, so we joke around because we’re like, like, Chris, you’ve been out in the galaxy and other places – ever heard a better mattress podcast? Like No, never.

Will Kronenberger  

So now you can back that claim up. You are the galaxy’s greatest mattress podcast.

Mark Kinsley  

That’s right!

Will Kronenberger  

How long, how long, you’ve been doing that now?

Mark Kinsley  

We’ve been after it for five years. And so we’ve done 189 episodes. And, you know, we did 100 episodes before we ever took on our first sponsor. And so now we have three amazing sponsors. And it’s just been a fun ride. We, you know, I, I got a radio background, I did radio for four years. And I tell my, my co host, he’s my co host. Now former used to be my boss, I said, we should do a podcast because it’s like the medium of the modern age, you can do other stuff, and still grab all this great information and absorb it. And he’s like, a pack as well. What I’m like the mattress industry, just like nobody’s gonna listen to that.

Will Kronenberger  

And we have so many different people in different towns that own like small companies locally, or just different people that carry you know, all kinds of different mattresses. I’m sure there is a wide base of clientele they’re listening to and I’m sure, you know, kind of like your book where it uses, then I guess we haven’t even gotten to that. But your book Come Back to Bed. It kind of uses the the mattress industry. But it you can apply that to so many different industries. I mean, even if it is a mattress specific podcast, maybe people can glean some other insight from that as well.

Mark Kinsley  

That was our hope. I mean, we looked at this and and I’ve worked with lots of different businesses. You know, I went from journalism to like, the advertising agency world where I worked with lots of different businesses and clients. And so a lot of the principles that you’ll find in the book, I mean, they applied almost anybody. Yeah, we wrote the book to solve the number one problem that mattress retailers face, but it’s the same number one problem, lots of independent retailers face, which is how do I get foot traffic in my store? Yeah, how do I get people to come in, you know what we’ve figured out when writing it. A lot of people are kind of tentative or scared to drag foot traffic to the store or go out there and, you know, spread their message because they don’t know who they are. That’s why they’re a little scared. They’re like, I don’t know who I am and what I believe and what I stand for. Basically, they don’t know Have any type of brand identity? And so we very quickly got into, well, how do you think about developing a brand? How do you go through that process? What are some ways to bring creative ideas to life if you don’t think of yourself as a creative person? And then how do you push your message out so that you maximize it every single time? So look like you said, well, it’s not just mattress people, but it’s a fun raucous romp through the mattress industry, which is a vehicle for telling that story and hopefully bringing to light some some things that can impact people’s businesses.

Kayla Bitner  

Yeah, so you’ve said that you, you’ve done radio work, you’ve worked in the marketing industry and for an agency, but now you are president and CEO of Englander. It’s a top 15 mattress company. It was founded in 1894. So a while ago. How did you get to where you are today?

Mark Kinsley  

Yeah, it’s a great question. The guy that I co host, the podcast with his name’s Mark Quinn. My name is Mark Hensley. So together, of course, we are dos Marcos. So naturally, he was actually my client, when I was at an agency based out of Columbia and St. Louis, Columbia, Missouri, St. Louis, Missouri. And he was my client. And he worked at Leggett and Platt, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of springs, and other bedding components. So it’s about a four and a half billion dollar company. And so he was handling marketing for them. And we were his agency. And we did some really amazing work together. And he wanted to hire me full time. So I went on to take care of marketing for leggatt. And he eventually left, so I kind of took over his role. And so at legget, it being such a big company, and so visible in the mattress industry, I had lots of you know, chances to serve our industry and to do some great work. And there was a guy named Kevin toman, who’s who was a great mentor to me, he was at the time 72, and he was president and CEO of Englander, and that he was looking to retire. And they were looking for somebody that understood the digital space and understood marketing and brand building a product development, product design, and just how to, I guess, communicate and build some community. And so the board asked me to join the company. And I jumped at the chance. And it’s been a fun ride ever since Englanders amazing little boutique company, of course, we’re top 15, where we have 11 factories, and we do some real business, we hit 1000s of doors. Yeah, but they’re independent retailers. So I still get to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s happening with people and communities across the country. And it’s just absolute blast. I just love it.

Will Kronenberger 

I mean, a lot of competing in an industry, like, as you say, as like a small independent retailer is like forming, you know, a brand identity, when you have like these companies that you’re competing with the space for that, are these just huge, they have that brand recognition, like you say, the Walmarts and stuff like that, what are some key, you know, positions that you could have on competing and gaining some sort of real estate in people’s mind with when you’re competing with such bigger brands building a brand as a smaller business? Well, first

Mark Kinsley  

of all, I think the mentality that you just expressed is what people need to understand, you know, you need to own a piece of real estate in an audience’s minds. And if you’re the smaller guy, and you’re competing against bigger players in your category, I have a I have an approach that I’ve used and it’s differentiate and concentrate and look, in our world, you know, in the in the like, when you’re marketing something, how do you really differentiate, you know, because so much, you know, we’re all in the same industries, we hire the same consultants, we go to the same trade shows, we read the same publications, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So you end up in an echo chamber of your industry. So differentiation isn’t always easy, but there are ways to do it. And I tell this story, and we talked about in the book which is a reference to the 22 immutable laws of marketing. It’s a great classic text I highly recommend people read it, but in that book, I’ll recent jack trout. They talk about the Spirit of St. Louis Charles Lindbergh. Okay, so most people know the first person to fly across the Atlantic Ocean is Charles Lindbergh. So who was the second to do it? Right shrug your shoulders Who knows? Yeah, right. But the second guy to do it was was faster, use less fuel, and overall by all metrics was better. So in your businesses, are you trying to be faster and better? Are you trying to be first now? So what do you do? What do you do? I can’t be faster. I can’t be better. So I can’t be first either because Charles Lindbergh was First, I’m, I’m doomed. No, you’re not doomed. Who is the third person to fly across the Atlantic? There wasn’t one, there wasn’t a third person, there was only the first woman, Amelia Earhart, she created a new category where she could be first and where she could be number one. And that’s the fundamental issue in marketing, I think, is how do you position yourself in a way where you can be number one, our brand Englander, we are on our way, like we’re gonna celebrate this in a bigger way. We’re the number one latex mattress brand in the world. We’re in 25 countries amazing in the Pacific Rim, there is no larger mat latex mattress brand than than England are. So I really challenge people to say, do the deep work to figure out what category you can be first in and so if you’re the smaller player, you need to differentiate and needed to concentrate, I got to differentiate, usually, by taking a very surgical approach to where you can, you can be number one in the category that your your bigger competitor can’t. You know, so if you’re a, you know, if you’re a beer company, and you’re trying to differentiate your beer, what do you do? Well go back in time, it’s really easy to look at. If you go back in time, Heineken became the number one imported beer. Premium import. And so then Niccolo came along, and they’re like we’re the number one premium domestic beer. And they, they own that marketplace. So they kept, you know, specificity as a form of bravery. So they’re being very specific, and concentrating and going after their bigger competitor by differentiating and concentrating on that message, not taking their foot off the gas pedal. And then here’s the here’s the flip of that. If you’re the bigger competitor, you need to rip off everything your smaller companies are doing immediately. Yeah, so somebody comes along and they’ve got a premium domestic beer, you make your premium domestic beer, and you push it out in the marketplace to dilute what they are doing.

Kayla Bitner  

Well, I mean, speaking of beer, like that’s, you know, we’ve seen that with the whole kind of influx of like low carb beers the the what are like Bon and Viv-  the smaller companies that made those type and now seltzer, that’s the word. Yeah, thank you. Well,

Will Kronenberger  

White Claw!

Kayla Bitner  

Why? But now like, I mean, Corona, and Budweiser, like everybody has the seltzer. So not,

Will Kronenberger 

But they’re not able to compete though, like, that’s the thing, like the white claw mate. Like, I think that kind of rings true. I think, like white claw, like, got that. And like I’m seeing, you know, we’re friends with, you know, it’s a pandemic, I’m friends with the liquor store guy now pretty well. So like, so I mean, he tells me, he said, you know, Budweiser and Corona that like they can’t compete with, you know, the, the whole that white claw has on it. And, you know, they just created their own sub genre and provided a quality product,

Mark Kinsley  

then what what happens though, is if Budweiser, a big company like that doesn’t come out with their own seltzer product, then white claw has a beachhead, and they have a beachhead from which they can grow, that that presence and they will start getting into other types of beer, other types of seltzer or other types of alcoholic beverages that would then could, you know, erode market share for Budweiser. So what they’re pretty much doing is like, we’re not they’re probably not even trying to compete. They’re trying to box them in. They’re trying to, they’re trying to buy from them.

Kayla Bitner  

Well, so in the differentiation, and like finding your niche, as a brand, there’s a certain amount of creativity that, of course, comes with that. And so I work in social media and digital advertising, where of course, you’re able to get really granular with who you reach out to, who you reach with customer interests and behaviors. But even then, I feel like it’s possible and happens often that people miss the mark, creating, like actual connections with their customers. So I’m wondering like, how have you overcome that challenge? And how important is creativity when it comes to actually creating connection, like with the people that you’re trying to get to buy your product?

Mark Kinsley  

I think it’s incredibly important. We live in a very noisy, over communicated world. And so I always tell people, look, if you don’t stand out, if you don’t cut through the clutter, by doing something that grabs attention, then they’re never going to listen to anything meaningful, you have to say. So if you’re the person that’s like, well, I want I just want to talk about the important things for my business. I don’t want to fool people, or I don’t want to distract them with a bunch of this other creative junk. You’re missing the point. If you somebody else is going to grab their attention. You’re competing in social media feeds with their mom, and people they love. They don’t love you. Maybe they do. But this is who we’re competing with. So So from a creative standpoint, you have to stand out. And you have to- You do that by creating a reaction, the middle is death. I’ll give you an example. I put out an ad. And this is not even that bad of an ad. But I knew in our industry, it was it’s pretty easy to grab some attention. So the ad is for our Englander Mattress brand, like we want great retailers to carry Englander Mattresses. And so in the trade publications, I have an ad that says, Would you rather have great sex or great sleep? Either way, Englanders, the answer.

Kayla Bitner 

Nice, I like it.

Mark Kinsley 

So I get a phone call from New Hampshire, little mom and pop furniture retailer, they they get this trade magazine, they wanted to talk to me, so I call them back.up  This lady was not happy with me. We are family business. And that ad is absolutely offensive. And she just took me to task on it. And I said, I totally understand what you’re saying. I hear you. I go. I’m curious, though. How do you deal with the topic of sex whenever it comes up on your sales floor? Well, it doesn’t come on our sales floor. Well, sometimes, but we were a family company. And we just answer the questions move on. I was like Oh, so it does come up. Okay, well, thanks for the call. I really appreciate it. Goodbyes. It was very cordial and nice. Two days later. So that was on the East Coast, head over to San Francisco, I get a message from a great retailer out there named McCroskey’s and Robin Aceveda McCroskey owns it. And she, she sent me a message says, I love that ad is so great. So I get reactions from it. The worst thing that can happen, and it’s a love and a hate, the worst thing that can happen is I don’t get any reaction. So you as an advertiser, as a marketer, somebody who’s trying to position like you said, well grab some real estate in people’s minds, you have to create a reaction, the subtitle of our book is attract foot traffic and make people fall in love with your brand. I’m going to change that subtitle right here, live and in the moment, attract more foot traffic, and make people hate your store. And here’s why. If you if you make some people hate your store, others are gonna love it. And if you make some people love your store, others are gonna hate it. But if you don’t stand for anything that is differentiated enough, you’re gonna be milquetoast, the middle is death in this world.

Kayla Bitner  

Yeah, I absolutely see that. I mean, I think that a problem that a lot of brands run into is that they want to play it safe. They don’t want to, I mean, of course, you never just want to, like go out of your way to be offensive just to you know, be an edgelord, but just being so afraid to, you know, strike out and find a brand and like, no one’s gonna fall in love with you, if you’re just the lowest common denominator, you know, if you’re the least offensive option.

Mark Kinsley  

That’s absolutely true. I mean, safe is not the way to fill up the bank account. Yeah. I mean, it. It’s just, it’s just a tough world to cut through the clutter. And that I mean, that’s why guys like, like Trent bedding are so amazing and great examples of good actors in our industry, because they’re nimble, creative. He’s got the puppet, he’s got the commercials with Dr. Evil where he ends up on the world’s worst. Yeah, like he’s taking some chances. And that’s the thing. I mean, when you’re out there, taking some some swings, you’re gonna strike out a few times. But I say this all the time. Action reveals answers. So if you’re sitting there thinking, well, I wonder if this could happen. And if I launched this crazy campaign that could happen, and I got to go to church on Sunday, and this could happen, I don’t have to talk to the preacher. Well, look, you’re never gonna know, if you’re just sitting there in a corner thinking to yourself, you gotta get out there and act, and it’s gonna reveal things that you never would have known. And it’s going to tell you, it’s going to be a good guide for you in a lot of ways that you’ll never be able to just plan for.

Will Kronenberger  

Yeah. I mean, I feel like a lot of that marketing is very popular online with all different kinds of products that have moved to the online world, you know, things that you used to have to go to stores for. And I think like, mattress companies have been one of our mattress businesses in general are one of the newest businesses, like relatively newest. I mean, I know it’s been going on for a while that have had to compete with like an online option. It used to be you couldn’t do that online. You know, it was just that was never like, I wouldn’t have thought that you could buy a mattress online years ago. Like, who would have thunk it? How have you seen that? Change your industry? I mean, I mean, Englanders being around since 1894. Obviously, I know You haven’t been there since 1894. But like, how have you seen it just changed in that short period of time with with that being a new avenue for mattress sales?

Mark Kinsley  

It has been the most disruptive, single change in our mattress business in probably history.

Kayla Bitner 

Wow.

Mark Kinsley  

So what happened for those who don’t know, this compression technology came along these machines, they could basically compress down a mattress and roll it up like a burrito and put it in a box about the size of a mini fridge. And that allowed people in our industry to ship mattresses through the mail, and not have those large package surcharges from UPS and FedEx. And so now you’ve got a viable e commerce business where you can sell stuff direct online and ship it through the mail. Well, a lot of the a lot of the old guard in the industry. And that’s a crappy product, nobody’s gonna want to sleep on that everybody’s gonna want to touch and feel it. And they were wrong. And they were wrong. Because it wasn’t about the product. It was about the experience. And people hate shopping for a mattress. It’s a grudge purchase. They want to do it. It’s confusing. They don’t want to interact with salespeople a lot of

times. And so they don’t they put it off well. So now all of a sudden online, here comes these hip, young gunslingers that are spending a bunch of money and raising money from Ashton Kutcher and 50 cent, saying one mattress for everybody will mail to your house. You don’t like it and 100 nights, we’ll take it back. It’s pretty compelling. Yeah, yeah. So by virtue of them being able to put it in a box and ship it through the mail, it completely disrupted our industry. It wasn’t a piece of technology or innovation that came along and product. It was how we deliver that product. And I’d say I was at like a big company, we were thinking hard about what what’s going to replace springs didn’t matter, that that’s not what disrupted our industry. So it’s fundamentally changed the landscape of the mattress coastline forever alternative. And now, you know, we’re looking at the pandemic, which fast tracked a lot of trends, one of those trends was buying mattresses online. And you have a lot more people that are now willing to buy that type of product online. And here’s the here’s the crazy part at the beginning of 2020 give you a little stat at the beginning of 2020 43% of consumers said I’m I would be willing to buy a mattress online without trying it 43%. But that number had flatlined. It had been growing, growing, growing for several years. Yeah. But it stopped. So now we were at the beginning of this year, we were capped out and we’re like great. A lot of this business is going to move from online back to brick and mortar. Yeah. Which is, is good for me because that’s where we sell and those are the people we serve. And we think it’s important to get fitted for the right mattress. Exactly. So pandemic hits, pandemic hits, that number, the number of people that are willing to buy online without trying to first goes from 43% jumped up to 71%. Whoo. So then, then you got to think, Okay, well, Where’s it? Where’s it going to settle back in? It’s settled back in at 53. So what was flatlining at the beginning of the year still gain 10 points. Yeah. In because of this pandemic, so we’re seeing another seismic shift in our industry. And and no, no industry is really off limits. And that’s why we talked about this in the book. If you want to differentiate your business, and you want to continue to attract foot traffic or gain customers, I think it’s critical, critical to meaningfully connect with people. And we’re not talking about doing it one time so you can get them in the store and Celebes whatever you’re Hawking. Yeah, we’re talking about consistent engagement, to help them on their journey of personal transformation. For us, it’s sleep. You know, we, we don’t want to just say, here’s a mattress, good luck. We want you to change your life, because you’re sleeping better now. Because sleep impacts every moment of your day and night, it impacts every moment of your life. If you’re up and tossing and turning at night. That’s your sleep that’s impacting your life. If you’re tired during the day, it’s because of your sleep. So we know our what our mission and our purpose is. And through your mission and your purpose and the culture you create your companies. You can help people transform and be their guides. I truly believe it.

Kayla Bitner  

Well, you’re selling me on getting a new mattress like from an from an actual store because I’ll admit that I did fall for the gimmick of an online mattress, oh, maybe two years ago and it’s already worn out and terrible, and I will never ever do that again.

Mark Kinsley  

Well, it’s a lot of people. You’re not alone, Kayla, like this happens to lots of people. And it’s kind of sad to me because I’ve slept on crappy mattresses. And so at the beginning of this year, we completely relaunch the whole company. new national product line trends got it over there trend betting, you should go try them out. I designed these mattresses for me and for my mom, because I want my mom to be comfortable and I don’t want her to ever have a problem. I’m like, What else is there? Yeah. And I tell people, if you try our mattresses and you like how it feels great. That’s the one for you. It’s gonna feel the same way every day.

Will Kronenberger  

Yeah, I’m going through the same thing right now, like, so I’ve been meaning to go over to Trent’s here recently as well. So I’m gonna have to try that out. I’ve been tossing and turning quite a bit at night. And I too, gave in to the trend.

Kayla Bitner  

Yeah. Well, I think that, you know, you mentioned the the pandemic and just I bought a house this year, I think that 2020 has caused us all to reevaluate like, what our home life is like, and the things that we invest in at home to make our lives better. And it makes sense that, you know, people are more concerned with how comfortable they are at home, whether it’s in bed, or, you know, new furniture or whatever. But at the same time, like it’s been a really tough year for a lot of businesses. And I know that a lot of businesses have had to adapt, and that change can be so tough. So do you have any advice based on what you’ve written in the book or in your experience for people, when it comes to trying new things, taking risks, and like, you know, being bold enough to, to find your niche and, and to find your message that’s really going to connect with people?

Mark Kinsley  

You said something that reminded me of a quick story. Be bold. Look, if here’s your encouragement for the day, if you’re scared. I had a guy on the podcast. And first it was the founder of Mattress Firm, which is the first coast to coast sleep shop in the country. Harry Roberts founded the company, amazing guy. He’s been on our show a few times. And he got us connected with his cousin. His name is Wes Roberts. And Wes started the first Edward Jones office in Alaska. They call They call him one point. He said I want to I want to go do Edward Jones and Alaska. They said we can’t do it. Wes. Our satellites don’t reach up there yet. Couple years later, they call them and say we got some new satellites. You want to go to Alaska still. So Wes is this, just this amazing guy plays guitar he sings with his whole family and he plays hockey and and just loves his family and his kids and his Edward Jones customers. And, and sadly, Wes has ALS. Lou Gehrig’s disease. Yeah, remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? So Wes has that. And we know, you know, sadly, where that where that leads. Yeah. But on our show, our show that we did with him was almost just a chance to celebrate his life and have something meaningful for his family and friends. And I said, Wes, what, what’s your advice to people just in general. And this is a guy that’s facing some really tough stuff. And he said, Be bold. You know, that’s how he was able to open for America, the band America? Yeah.

Kayla Bitner 

Oh, wow.

Mark Kinsley  

He grew up in a hotel. And he was a bartender for a long time. And they’re in this hotel in this hotel on an Indian Reservation. And they’re prostitutes and bars all around and fights and and easiest said, Be bold. And I think if you’re a business owner, are you really being bold enough? Are you are you going to be able to look back and say, I took a risk. And here’s what it comes down to It’s simple, you just got to make a decision. You have to decide to do it differently. So remember, this acronym can choose action, novelty, you get to choose to take an action and do it in a new way. So you decide to do it differently. And look, if you don’t have the people around you that can help you be bold, or introduce these bold ideas. Go find them. Go find your craziest friend, get it, feed them full of bourbon and have a brainstorm. But then do something with it. Because look, if you got a great business and things are humming right along, that’s fantastic. But look, look what happened to us in the mattress industry. We didn’t know that a machine that could smash things would completely and fundamentally change our business. And if we weren’t in a spot where we were quick enough to change and react to that, and then continue to differentiate, we’d be dead. Yeah.

Will Kronenberger  

I mean, it kind of sounds like maybe that would be your piece of advice. But we generally like to wrap things up. It’s been it’s been great talking to you. And we generally like to wrap things up with you know, one piece of advice or maybe a quote or a book you’ve read that you carry with you throughout your personal and business life that we can You know, let you leave with our guests. Is there anything you have like that for us today?

Mark Kinsley 

I’m gonna grab it off my shelf right now. All right, and this is a book called The War of Art. Okay, the War of Art by Steven Pressfield, Steven Pressfield wrote Gates of Fire, and about the Battle of Thermopylae that the 300 right. Yeah. Oh, amazing book, highly recommend it. But he he wrote this book, The War of artists is break through the blocks and when your inner creative battles, and I love this book, and I really highly recommend you listen to the audiobook version, okay. The guy who narrates it is just an amazing narrator. And it really brings the content to life. But the War of Art is is all about, what why am I stuck? And why am I’m in my own way. And this is not just a book about creativity. This is a book about breaking through and anything that you want to do. I mean, if you’re trying to, you know, write a book, or paint a mural or start a business, anything that there’s a creative pursuit around, you’re gonna face this resistance that pressfield talks about in the book. And it’s just a great kick in the pants, to get yourself going. Get off that pause button and do something. And then that’s always my advice to people. I’m like action reveals the answers. So you got to take some action, and not just sit in a corner and think about it, not talk about it. I love doers. I love Movers. I love shakers. And I love when people are taking action, because you can see the effervescence that that brings to their life, even if they’re messing up.

Will Kronenberger 

Yeah.

Kayla Bitner  

So many people are afraid of failure. But the best way to learn I found is through failure.

Mark Kinsley  

Yeah, and it’s okay to it’s okay to think things through, you come up with a strategy and a goal and a plan. And we got a whole framework for that in the book, and I do it myself. But at some point, you guys say let’s go. Let’s let’s get this thing moving. I thought it through. I’m planning it out. I’m being a good steward of my budget, my funds. But let’s move. And then that’s when you start having a lot of fun, I think. And then like you say, Kayla, if you if you fail, you screw up, debrief, debrief and figure out what did we learn? What are we going to do differently? Next time I’m in the middle of I got a business, um, that I’ve run for six years. It’s an e commerce clothing business. You know, I, I invented these shorts that hold your smartphone before anybody was ever doing that. Yeah. And we launched it on Kickstarter, we raised 65,000 bucks. And we had about 1000 people that backed us and said, I have that problem, too. armbands are terrible. And my phone’s flopping around and fall now. Yeah, it’s called kipo kipo.com k PPO, and I’m shutting it down right now, because we can’t get any product made because our factory started making masks. And pp. Yeah, so I’m trying to find a home for right now. And it looks like we might have found a home for it. But it’s kind of a failure. You know, I’m having to shut this business down. But I learned a lot from it. And I’m going to debrief on and figure out what I learned and how I can apply it in other places. So it’s okay, you know, and I didn’t I didn’t go into massive debt or anything like that will end up having made a little bit of money, but I’m going to debrief on that. So that’s a good exercise to just employ and be consistent with. Yeah,

Kayla Bitner  

I love that. I love that so much. Well, thank you so much for talking to us today. We absolutely appreciate it. if folks want to follow you online, listen to the podcast. What’s the best way to find info on you and your co host?

Mark Kinsley 

Me and my co-host Mark Quinn, I would say go toDosMarcos.Co We could not afford the M.

Kayla Bitner  

That’s okay.

Mark Kinsley  

So yeah, if you go to DosMarcos.Co, we’ve got our book out there, Come Back to Bed. And we have links to our podcast

Will Kronenberger  

on the Amazon bestseller list. Right? It made that?

Mark Kinsley  

Yeah, we made Amazon bestseller which was so much fun and so crazy. But this our industry is amazingly supportive. And, you know, I’m sure mom bought a couple of copies. It’s been fun.

Will Kronenberger  

I didn’t mean to interrupt you. There is I’m sorry. I just wanted to mention that as well. But But you were saying where else can they follow you to?

 

Yeah, if you go to DosMarcos.co it has all the links, but then get to our book and then get get to our podcast and hey, you know, subscribe to the podcast, like growing up talked about earlier. It is about the mattress industry. But that’s just a vehicle for talking about business and best practices and strategy and marketing and all the fun stuff that we end up talking about.

Kayla Bitner  

Well, I’m gonna subscribe.

Will Kronenberger  

Yeah, if anything, this conversation today is proof that it can apply to so many more industries. So definitely. And that is the galaxy’s greatest mattress podcast. Is that the correct title?

Mark Kinsley  

That it just rolled right off the tongue.

Will Kronenberger  

There you go. There you go. Love it. Thanks again, Mark. It was great talking with you, and we appreciate it.

Kayla Bitner  

And that was our talk with Mark Kinsley, On the Line. Again, Mark is the President and CEO of Englander Mattress company and just co wrote that book, Come Back to Bed, which is an Amazon, best seller. So you can get it on Amazon right now.

Will Kronenberger 

Yeah. And the book, it definitely, you know, focuses on the mattress industry and uses it as a lens to tell these stories and concepts. But like this episode of our podcast, and the galaxy’s greatest mattress podcast, you can kind of apply so many of these practices and branding ideas to any business.

Kayla Bitner  

Yeah. And that’s one of the things that I really like about doing this podcast is that we get to talk to people from all different industries, about really cool and exciting things that they’re doing. But it’s industries that I never would have looked into, you know, as a marketer.

Will Kronenberger  

Yeah, inspiration can come from anywhere when you’re focusing on building a business, creating a brand, or just figuring out a way to grow a project you’re working on. So that has definitely been a fun part of this podcast. And if you want to continue getting those episodes in your feed, you definitely want to subscribe to On the Lime podcast wherever you get your podcast or you can go ahead and follow us on Twitter at OnTheLimePod or search us on Facebook, search On the Line Podcast.

Kayla Bitner 

And that’ll do it for this week. We’ll talk to you next week On the Line. Bye!

Will Kronenberger  

Bye!

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