They say behind every successful man, there is a woman, and Greg Yeutter could not be the successful entrepreneur he is today were it not for his girlfriend. They have been together for over four years, and now that Greg's company is yet to start raking in millions in profits, she has been paying the rent for the last year. Still, Greg has had to keep his expenses to a minimum by being a full-time employee while working from his apartment in Philadelphia. His company, Bedtime Bulb, has seen him also employ ten contractors and a manufacturer based in China, which means his tariff costs have increased thanks to the trade wars with China. Nevertheless, he has made significant strides in his business and has even become a philanthropist, helping those that rely on kerosene lighting. Let's tell you more about this entrepreneur, who is determined to make a difference through healthy lighting.
1. He believes lack of quality sleep is an epidemic in the US
In the US, around 70 million people suffer from sleep disorders ranging from insomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome. For this reason, Greg opines that poor quality sleep has become an epidemic hence his decision to resolve the problem. The entrepreneur added that for any business person to be successful, his mental health must be perfect. While most entrepreneurs stuck to exercise, Greg advises that diet and sleep are much more important, especially where a lot of the business operations depend on the thought process.
2. His first word as a toddler was "light"
Most toddlers speak their first words depending on what they have heard often, so in most cases, they will say "mama" or "dada." Matter of fact is parents tend to push their children into saying a specific word as their first word and tape that special moment to show off to family and friends. Greg, on the other hand, broke out of the norm by saying "light" as his first word, which shows how much the entrepreneur has been obsessed with lighting.
3. How he keeps a healthy mind
Since he believes that success should not be gained at the expense of enough sleep, Greg had to come up with ways to practice healthy habits, besides getting adequate sleep. Therefore as he told Philly Startup Leaders, Greg starts his day with yoga and meditation. He also takes long walks to clear his head and wears a rubber band on his wrist. Snapping a rubber band on your wrist has been used for a long time as an alternative technique to avoid bad habits or thoughts, thus preventing self-harm.
4. He was a finalist for Small Business Spotlight Awards by Amazon
After selling his product on Amazon for a year, Greg was a subscriber to the newsletter. Therefore one day, when he saw that the platform was calling on its sellers to compete for the awards, he was among the 1,300 applicants. To prove how good Greg's product is, he ended up being chosen in three categories and was the only finalist from Philadelphia. Overall, he was among the 18 finalists, and he took the initiative of asking those with Amazon accounts to vote for Bedtime Bulb.
5. His product become so popular that he could barely keep up with the orders
Since Greg has always been fixated on finding solutions relating to light, he started designing a low-blue light bulb that would help promote healthy sleep. He had noticed that people fail to get quality sleep because the light they use usually causes headaches from the flashing while the blue light interrupts their sleep pattern. Therefore Bedtime Bulb was designed to be used in the last few hours of the day as one prepares to go to sleep. When it launched on Amazon in September 2018, it sold like a hot cake, and Greg has been unable to keep up with the demand since then.
6. He thinks non-compete clauses should be illegal
Greg realizes that as much as one wants to start a business, the resources can be very limited. Therefore he advises that aspiring entrepreneurs should first be "intrapreneurs," meaning they should start innovation in the company that hired them since then they will have enough resources at their disposal. However, Greg also acknowledges that some managers can be very selfish and trap future entrepreneurs into signing non-compete clauses. For this reason, he told Medium that such clauses should be illegalized since they damage the economy by minimizing innovation.
7. How he ensured his product would be successful
Before launching any service and product, any shrewd entrepreneur will seek to know the gap it will fill so that his innovation will have a ready market. Therefore unlike other companies that created their products and tried fitting them into the market, Greg did his research to know people's understanding of light. He and his team collected more than 8,500 data points and designed Bedtime Bulb to suit the consumers' needs.
8. He is a very sensitive person
Greg confided in Capturing Lightning that he gets depressed easily. Although he clarified that the depression is due to his professional work, he has found that being sensitive cuts both ways. It is a strength because Greg feels that he can always tell when something is going to be a problem in the long run, whereas as a weakness, he can be very reactive. The 27-year-old, therefore, has been trying to compartmentalize his emotions to avoid negative impacts in his professional and personal life.
9. The biggest sacrifice in his entrepreneurship journey
Greg quit his job to establish his own company, and so far, financial stability has been a challenge since he had to use his savings and a bit of debt to fund the startup. Although he is proud that his product has been in high demand, he revealed that he had to overcome two major setbacks, one lasting a month and the other went on for more than seven months. Therefore he advises entrepreneurs never to get too comfortable since things can change when they least expect it.
10. He first sold his product at a loss
When he first launched the Bedtime Bulb, Greg had to sell the product at $5, which was a loss. However, his interest was in gathering enough positive reviews to know if he was headed in the right direction. After 50 positive reviews, he asked his mentor for advice, and once Greg was told that it was time the bulbs were sold at the right price, he made a profit.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee