Sitting at the Academy of Dental Management Consultants in Las Vegas a few years ago listening to the keynote speaker, I was struck by the simplicity of his words. Bill Rancic (Donald Trump’s first apprentice) defined the difference between successful and unsuccessful people in business. Many people have great ideas but never execute them. They find 100 ways to get to the starting line but never cross over. His words resonated with everyone in the audience: “Successful people DO IT!”
Case in point: imagine yourself eight months pregnant trying to restrain your 15-month-old toddler who is struggling with a sore throat while the doctor attempts in vain to place a wooden tongue depressor inside your child’s mouth and hold a bright light in the other hand. The child, now frantic and obviously in discomfort, is clinging close to mom. How does a traumatic experience at the doctor’s office give rise to an innovative idea that has gained global recognition? Meet Australian Jennifer Holland, a stay-at-home mom of four children and a former financial accountant. Her real-life experience in 2009 with her first child plunged her into action. It was an unpleasant experience, one that would affect all her children. “I thought surely there must be something else,” she says. But there wasn’t. The only option was a patented tongue depressor with a fibre optic cable running through the tongue blade, making it a very expensive and impractical alternative to the wooden tongue depressor.
One month later, she came up with the idea for Throat Scope®, the world’s first all-in-one illuminated tongue depressor with a disposable blade for oral cavity examination. This product marked the beginning of Holland’s journey into business. It was a long, arduous road. Holland’s family poured their life savings initially into the design, trademark, patent, and development of Throat Scope®. There was a lot at stake particularly with such a young family at home. Then in 2015, Jennifer found herself in the Shark Tank, winning the endorsement of Australian Shark Steve Baxter. His endorsement and exposure accelerated the business, facilitating its introduction into the consumer market. Fast forward to today, and this medical device is now available in over 146 countries. “Successful people DO IT!”
Written by Jo-Anne Jones
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