Chris Ruder is the founder of Spikeball. Chris knew early on he did not want a desk job which led him to get a photojournalism degree. After graduating, Chris had the realization there weren’t a ton of ways to make a good living with it and one thing led to another, and he found himself in sales. Chris was a successful salesman I should add, but he wanted to do more than just hit his next quota.
Learn how a trip to Hawaii with old friends sparked the idea to revive an old childhood game, and how Chris started Spikeball at night after his sales job with a wife and three kids at home. We also dive deep into his experience on the hit show Shark Tank and so much more…
On today’s episode, Chris and I discuss
- His entrepreneurial influences growing up
- Having the mindset of avoiding a desk job leading Chris to a photojournalism degree
- Not having a lot of opportunities to make money with photography, Chris goes into sales
- Having the recognition that he wanted more in life than just hitting quotas
- A trip to Hawaii with a forgotten childhood game sparking the idea to bring it back to life
- Why it took Chris 3 years to start the company after the initial idea
- Chris’ advise for that critical first step of action
- Growing the brand in the early days
- Spikeball being more than a beach game, and the development of the Spikeball communities
- Creating surprise and delight for the customer
- Getting selected to be on Shark Tank
- Preparing to be on Shark Tank
- Chris’ time in the tank with the Sharks
- Waiting to see if his segment would make TV
- Getting an investment from Daymond John, but the deal ultimately falling through
- The positive effect of being on Shark Tank
- Overcoming Spikeball’s challenge transitioning into major big-box retailers
- What Chris has learned about himself from starting Spikeball
- Growing as a CEO
- What it means to Chris to create what he has now with Spikeball
- Future plans for the company
My 3 Big Takeaways
- A recurring theme pops up again, JUST DO SOMETHING to get things in motion
- Be humble enough to recognize what you don’t know
- Treating customers like actual human beings goes a long way
Spikeball Website: https://spikeball.com/
You can find Chris and Spikeball at:
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