Unveiling Entrepreneurial Success with Randi Brill

Randi Brill, best-selling author and CCO of Just Call Randi Design Agency discusses unveiling entrepreneurial success on Alan Olsen‘s American Dreams Show.


Alan Olsen

Hi, this is Alan Olsen and welcome to American Dreams. My guest today is Randy brill. Ready welcome to today’s show.


Randi Brill

Thank you, Alan. I’m glad to be here.


Alan Olsen

I am really glad to have you here. Also, I met you in Nashville, at coach Cohn and had that most fascinating display. I just couldn’t resist stopping and see everything that she did with design and branding.

And, and we had a brief conversation, but in that, that time, I really felt I was speaking with a true entrepreneur. So ready? I gotta, I gotta get the story. How did you get to where you are? today?

What What inspired you to take this path that led you into this into this motive helping do branding and design?


Randi Brill

Well, Alan, I started coloring at three. And what I learned early on, is that, you know, when you’re a child, you wonder if you’re really good in art, or if you’re good in art, because your family hangs your pictures on the refrigerator.

And you feel rewarded for that. Turns out I was just good in art. And as a as a kid, the only pathway, frankly, for a girl was really grow up, get married, become an art teacher or volunteer. None of that worked for me.

And my mother used to tell the story that at 14, her aunt, my great aunt, at a birthday party for her made a beeline for me and my mother and my mother’s like, oh my gosh, what’s gonna happen?

And she said, young lady, what are you going to be when you grow up? And evidently, I don’t remember this. I just remember being irritated that I had to be there.

Evidently, I said, I’m going to be in charge of something like what a fool you are. Why would you even ask me?

And the woman looked at my mother, like, how could you raise such a child and she looks so normal entrepreneurs don’t become in my world entrepreneurs are some entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs who never act on that DNA.

Others are acting on it at three years of age, like I was, you know, my dad didn’t send his orders in, I picked up a crayon colored orders, put it in the prepaid envelope and wrote my first order.

You know, I mean, you’re always selling, you’re always telling. And in my world, we’re defining and designing I mean, that that’s who I am. And I think it’s true many entrepreneurs, you know, I really do.


Alan Olsen

The path you took in entrepreneurship combined with the yard and moved into design, packaging, I quit, let’s let’s let’s get into the design packaging.

What exactly is that? And why law trip owners need design packaging to help companies grow and flourish?


Randi Brill

Well, what’s really funny about design packaging is a lot of people will say, I don’t know what the term means. And my answer is, well, of course you don’t I made it up.

I mean, there was not a term, people understand what they think marketing is. Maybe it means funnels, maybe it means lead generation. Branding, oh, I have a logo, I don’t need branding.

There’s a I needed an encompassing way to define what entrepreneurs not necessarily be corporate settings, or not profits, etc. But entrepreneurs need now my profit process is very simple. We define design, tell and sell.

Those are the four things that my creative framework is all about. Any project, any client, any opportunity has to go through those four steps, even if what you’re selling is a fundraising request.

And actually, most importantly, it’s a fundraising request. So design packaging.

I needed a term that encompassed marketing than encompass branding that encompassed identity that encompassed having a golf outing.

A big event, every single solitary thing you do, that reflects your business is designed packaging, design packaging.

I finally came to terms with a term people understand which is design packaging is the visual narrator of what differentiates your business on how that works.

And, and I have to say, people started understanding that because you know what sets your business apart. You got to figure out how to articulate only what your clients need.

Mean awesome launch. learners just want to tuck tuck, tuck, tuck, tuck, and tell it all and cover it all and more is not better.

A lot of design packaging is traction, to distill it down to the essentials of what your clients truly, truly will value about what sets you apart. And that’s it in a design packaging nutshell.


Alan Olsen

Yeah, well, really, I’ll have to say you are very unique in your approach to business and design packaging. I remember your booth. Even though it’s been several weeks that the telephones, telephones, they are here just call Randy.

And they’re very unique, very, very unique. So let’s move into books. In your display you also had three books that you wrote, in three months?


Randi Brill

Well, Alan, if one is good, three is better. In reality, though, I knew I had to capture and explain design packaging. That’s what started at all.

But because I knew that was a pain point, I knew entrepreneurs that the entrepreneurs I work with at Just Call Randi, I knew they were struggling and stuck, and they didn’t quite know where to start.

And I thought I need to give them a compendium, not a lot of words, but a lot of visuals, a lot of exam. Oh, that’s designed. Oh, I thought that was just like golf tees, I had no idea that was part of my design, packaging, every single thing you do.

So I felt like that was book one. That was really what I had to do. But it ended up being Book Three.

Because I went through a very my own process defining, designing, telling and selling and saying, Okay, I have to define where entrepreneurs are struggling. And I found two other places. One was our teams.

Because entrepreneurs to grow and flourish as a business, I mean, look, if you want to be by yourself, and be the only voice in the room and have your meetings in the bathtub, go for it be a solopreneur.

But if you want to be an entrepreneur, you want to have a team, you want to help that team to understand you.

And if you bring people in, who have come from other settings and have never worked with an entrepreneur, you have a responsibility to help those teams understand the entrepreneurial why. So I wrote 56 word secrets.

For that make entrepreneurs team and help you know, for teams that stick I probably messed up my own title there. But the reality is six little words. If you master those 300 words, 50 secrets, six words each.

And you understand why those messages are important to the entrepreneur and what you as a team can do about it. As an entrepreneur, you’re helping your team discover without doing it the hard way.

You know, a lot of them are researchers, a lot of our team members fill in the gaps we as our own strengths don’t have. And much of that is I want to do my homework, or I want to do my homework for my boss.

This book helps those teams do that. And that solved the team’s pain point. The second pain point is every entrepreneur I think feels very isolated. And alone in our journey. Every entrepreneurial journey is a custom process.

I don’t care how many business schools you go to, I don’t care how many processes you read about. We each take our own path. We each go in our own direction in our own ways, and we hit our walls, we fall down and we get up.

And I think in some ways, we forget to look over our shoulder at what got us here. And that was Book Two, which is Let Me ENTREtain you. Many entrepreneurs come to me and say, Randi How do I write my story?

You’re a great storyteller Randy out away tell my story. Now that why can’t help them tell their story until I show the mind. How dare I not put myself out there. So every bad hairdo is in that book. I think I shared that book with you.

And I mean, you see those photos. It’s Randy pure and simple. And you know, the good the bad and the old the ugly hair.

But it also has a place in there for were a story about my mother banned us from business when I was nine years old because I was selling signatures on my cast. I broke my arm.

And I charged money I sold tickets I gave my brother Benny 20%. And you know, but I was doing the heavy cast lifting. But the reality Alan is, when you look at your stories, it should trigger an entrepreneur to say oh my gosh


It’s just like the paper route, I had it five in the morning, I never remembered that.

And in the back of each of the themes sections, there’s a place for the entrepreneurs to capture their story, there is a process for how to self publish your book.

Because sharing your themes as an entrepreneur is a set is another pain point. So we have teams, we have themes. And of course, for Book Three, the entrepreneurs guide to design packaging, we have dreams.

And remember, as entrepreneurs as a breed, frankly, we have very short attention spans. So I knew this could not be a book that was all over the map. And it wasn’t one book, it was three different pathways.

And I put them together for teams themes and dreams into a three book package. And because I’m Randi Brill, I could make a “brillogy” And that just entertained me complete it onto retained me very much.


Alan Olsen

Well, I’ll say one of the gifts you have is also play on words with as you emphasize important principles, their themes, teams dreams, it gives a good visual to, to how Oxford entrepreneurs should be operating.

And, you know, I’d like to I’d like to delve a little bit further into the the power of three, you talked about these three things that are in your books, the themes, the teams, the dreams.


Randi Brill

Three months and three books. Yeah.


Alan Olsen

What, what are the three things that you know, now that you wish you would have known when you started your business?


Randi Brill

Well, I think to begin, I would have, I would have loved to have known that it’s okay to be different. Frankly, I would have loved to have known that I was different.

It’s a very hard road as an entrepreneur to recognize that you do think differently, that you have a different path, a different energy and a different view of the world than many of the people surrounding you.

I would have loved to have known. That’s okay. I would have loved to have known that pacing challenges as part of being an entrepreneur.

You know, look, I started at 25 years of age, I had $57 I could have lost my entire capital going to the supermarket.


I mean, I had nothing, which was wonderful, because I had a scrap. But on the other hand, when you start out with $57.08 months later, you had invoiced 90,000 You feel like we know the road. And reality.

Yeah, hadn’t even started the struggle. You hadn’t started realizing that at all. And I would have loved to have known. It was okay to listen to my inner voice. I did. I mean, I totally did. I did do that.

But the reality was, I was crowded by the outer voices, the outer shouts, the outer screams, the outer oh my gosh, your 20. Bind do this to you get a real job.

I mean, it’s very underlining of your confidence, when you are not smart enough to listen to the doubters to learn from them. But then tune out the doubt, and trust your gut.

That’s something that I think many entrepreneurs learn the very, very hard way. So that that was another one. And I would have loved to have known that no matter how wonderful your team is, they are your team.

No one is expected to nor should they be as passionate, driven and protective of your company as you are because frankly, if they are that protective of yours, they should build theirs. You should help them build theirs.

But as a as an entrepreneur, many of us are very great at our skill sets. We’re not born leaders. We learn to lead the hard way. I don’t care how many degrees you have, until somebody is sitting across from you.

And you’re trying to figure out how to encourage them to build on their strengths and strategize their weaknesses. And, you know, look, I flunked skipping in kindergarten, almost. And my mother went to the principal.

And my mother said, I wonder, Mrs. McDonald, what would happen if we encouraged Randy to work on what she does well, instead of forcing her to become a very mediocre Skipper, and that’s true, but we don’t understand his honor.

Foreigners that we are supposed to care more for not just our business, not just what we’re passionate about. But the people who have tied their hopes and dreams to our star, there is a big responsibility with that.

You know, people think we can be real. In front of our families in front of our teams, those are the most the closest people to us. They deserve our best. That’s, that’s something most entrepreneurs learn the hard way.

So those would be my three.


Alan Olsen

Randy, who inspired me the most growing up


Randi Brill

my mother, oh, my God, she’s been gone. 10 years Allen, and she’s still inspiring me. I mean, I’ll do something and I’ll hear really, Randy, is that about y’all? All right, fine.

The this woman who was too afraid to ever be an entrepreneur happened to raise two of us, my brother and I are both entrepreneurial. And she fostered in us an innate belief that we could do anything we wanted to.

And you have to remember, I’m not a millennial, slightly not. But the key is when I was growing up, women couldn’t be anything you set your mind to. I didn’t know that. I never knew that.

My mother used to say to me, whatever you want to do, you can. And you know, she lived she was very wise. She knew when to speak when not to speak.

You know, I took a course at Carnegie Mellon as a high school student, and it was drawing and I hated it. And I was awful. But I went because I needed a portfolio piece.

And I needed to go and I wanted a scholarship to CMU and all these things, and it was parents visitors day. And my mother says to the professor, all these children are so so talented. And they’re all wonderful.

And he said no, Randy’s Very good. She said, Oh, Mr. Boyce, be serious. I’ve known my daughter all my life, that child is not nearly as good. He said, Oh, Mrs. Brill. She’s awful.

But she got to know, every child in this room is going to end up working for her. Because she knows how to help them do their work. And Randy Brill has the voice. I never knew that.

And my mother never told me till six years later, when I was struggling with something in my business. And she said to me, why are you having a hard time with this? And she said, then she told me the story.

And she said, not just go out there and hire good people and treat them well. She always inspired me. You know, I mean, it’s true to this day.


Alan Olsen

So we’re back to the number three, what three piece of advice would you give to anyone who might be ready to be an entrepreneur?


Randi Brill

Well, first of all, I have to say that those words ready to be an entrepreneur, I think you are one. You are one in your heart, in your soul, in your gut, in your mind, it doesn’t mean you’re acting on it.

You could be in an enormous 12,000 person corporate setting. It doesn’t make you not an entrepreneur, you’re just not an active one. And the idea of readiness.

The bottom line is if you’re ready to be an entrepreneur, I don’t need to give any advice because you’re already started.

You already did it. However, there are a lot of entrepreneur, wannabes, there are a lot of entrepreneurial dreamers, where entrepreneurship is a wish, where it’s a hope. And you know what?

For many people, they don’t need to take it any further than that. It comforts them in what they’ve chosen to do either their fears, lead them, their responsibilities prohibit it, they don’t feel they have a choice.

That’s okay. Your entrepreneurship will come out somewhere. You may have the most fantastic chili recipe and make homemade labels. That may be where it comes out.

You may volunteer in a nonprofit setting, and you run the entire rummage sale. That’s entrepreneurship. It happens in a lot of different ways.

There is no one way to be an entrepreneur, that’s a piece of advice that I would I would give to people.

I would also say entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart or the faint of mind or for people who need a lot of sleep, because it does keep you up at night.

But in the traditional sense, if you’re not sure that entrepreneurship is for you look a little closer. You don’t leave something you don’t like to become an entrepreneur.

You need to run to what you’re passionate about because you are not passionate about what you choose as an entrepreneur.

You will, you will struggle and feel pain all the way through because you won’t be authentically doing what you should be doing. So that’s the second piece. And the last piece, I would say Allen is know your why and know it well.

Because if you don’t know your why, and you can’t say why you do why you jump out of bed in the morning, to do what you do, how are you going to inspire other people to follow you along?

You know, I really, I really believe that if you know your why that becomes the most fabulous filter?

For what to say yes to and what to say no to because when you’re an entrepreneur in the beginning, you think you need to do it all because you have to do it all at the start. You’ve got to differentiate.

And you’ve got to understand that you, you, you need to recognize what you’re running toward what you’re loving, why you’re loving it and why you’re doing it.

Because if you can’t say why no one else is going to help you figure out the who’s in the house. That’s my philosophy on it anyway.


Alan Olsen

So Randy, what are the things that you’ve done creatively and creatively? Well, is creation of educational products for kids and teachers, as well as running one of the country’s top product development houses?

Why don’t you go down that path? I’m just curious


Randi Brill

here. Well, I ran I went down that path because like anyone else in publishing, I fell into it. I was a designer, I graduated from Pittsburgh, I was born and raised there. And I came to Chicago because it was in the middle of the country.

And I wouldn’t follow up. My my graduating class was going to New York. So I thought my portfolio would be different. The one play I interviewed ad agencies I interviewed at design studios. And then I, I was desperate to get a job.

I hit school loans, car payment. And I I went and I saw this woman and I said, she goes here to green. I didn’t know what Green was Alan, but I knew it was bad. And I said, I will leave if you give me a name someone in the city is hiring.

And she said, Well, it’s in the suburbs. I didn’t know anything. I took the phone number. And I realized when I had the interview, I said, Well, who does the creative design decision making on these books? And she said, you do.

And it was the lowest pay. It was the furthest thing. It was the most unglamorous. But I got to create products that helped kids learn and teachers teach.

And when you think about it, that’s one of the most powerful differentiators for us as a design packaging team at just call Randy. Because it we can create content, both visually and educationally.

That does that that deconstructs these complex things. Remember, we learned things based on what we already know, we apply our prior understanding our prior knowledge. But when you’re born, you don’t have a lot.

So you have to get down to that level. But the same thing is true of our entrepreneurial clients, they might not even know they need us.

Do you know an entrepreneur sells a service sells a value sells a product, and they want to reach people who may not even know they have a need for it. So the ability to take that complex messaging and distill it down.

That’s how I’ve applied the educational process. However, getting into it, I grew a very big business, Alan.

And instead of running that business, I was running after it. I had payroll, I had mortgage, I had everything and think about education. A publisher comes to you and says, I want you to do our early learning reading program.

So you step up for it, you get ready, you do your bids, you have everything. And then they come back and they say, Well, you know, Texas isn’t doing this, but I feel bad for you. Because I know I kind of promised it.

So I’m gonna give you a high school calculus, while the people who were there to write those early learning programs can’t possibly do calculus, it was very subject matter. demanded. I mean, it was it was required.

So as a result, you were forever chasing projects, taking projects. They were commoditizing it was a it was a mature industry trying to reinvent itself.

And it was I was Do you know, Atlas Shrugged. You know the book. Atlas Shrugged.


Alan Olsen

I have no read it now.


Randi Brill

Oh, my goodness. While I was the Dabney Taggart of educational development. I was there I was going to fix it all until I finally realized that I was the broken piece that took me 10 years to get back to what I loved.

So that’s that’s how as it impacts what we do, it’s a big differentiator for us, Allen.

But the key is it took me three decades of learning to distill that, to being able to translate, because that’s a lot of what entrepreneurs have to do is translate their strengths into the value they can provide. That’s what I do.


Alan Olsen

So Randy, last question here. A person wanting to sign up for your services work with you. First, can you define your ideal client? Who would you like to work with? And second, what’s the process to get started?


Randi Brill

That part is very easy. You just go to the just call Randy, or you just call Randy, you go to our website, and there’s a Contact page, and you just reach out to us. And we’ll take it from there.

And we do go through this process, we do go through this understanding of what do you want to make? Where are you stuck? You know, you remember at coach con, I gave out big red envelopes, that people could just put what they have.

People think they have to start at the beginning with design packaging, it doesn’t matter where you start, it just matters that you start, I have one client we’re starting with by doing lens cleaner, spray glasses.

That’s design, that’s where she can start. That’s where we will start. But I guarantee you it will grow. And the other key is, the ideal client is anyone who is really ready to add value. I mean, we have our design packaging process.

But we also have the crystallization process, because a lot of people don’t know what they need. So we learned that we have two ideal clients, those who are ready and those who want to be ready.

But I do require that I work with the entrepreneur in charge. I’m happy to work with their team. But this is your vision is not something you can delegate when you’re defining it.


Alan Olsen

Randi it’s been an absolute pleasure being with you. So and you have a website?


Randi Brill

I do I have to I mean, come on, Alan, if one is good, two is better. If you want to talk about design packaging, just go to just call randy.com go to the contact page.

And if you want to explore any of these books, go to RandiLandPress.com. And you’ll find the “Brillogy” and the books and you can check right out.


Alan Olsen

All right, Randy, thanks for being with us today.


Randi Brill

Oh, Alan, I will see you again soon. I can’t wait to see this and for any entrepreneur out there. Don’t be scared. Just get busy. You’ll figure it out. Thanks, Alan.


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Transcript generated by software and may contain errors.

    Randi Brill on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
    Randi Brill

    Randi Brill announced she was going to be in charge of something at age 14. Randi has been in charge of many creative “somethings” ever since. With a BFA in Graphic Design from Carnegie Mellon University, $57, and a fierce drive to succeed, Randi launched her first design business at 25—and she’s created and led many more.

    As Chief Creative Officer of JUST CALL RANDI, the DESIGN Packaging agency exclusively for entrepreneurs and their growing companies, Randi delivers DESIGN Packaging results to help visionaries and their companies soar. Randi knows business, design, & the powerful impact smart DESIGN Packaging adds to any collaborative equation. Randi delivers for entrepreneurs who deliver—adding exponential creative value to a range of business types through Design Packaging collaborations.

    Randi’s commitment to entrepreneurs inspired her to create and personally design The BRILLogy!™—three books focused on entrepreneurs in three powerful ways—secrets for our TEAMS, our own entrepreneurial THEMES, and Design Packaging’s impact on our big DREAMS.

    FIFTY 6-Word Secrets That Make Entrepreneurs Tick and Great Teams Stick helps our TEAMs understand WHY entrepreneurs are the ways we are and HOW to effectively support our vision.

    Let Me ENTREtain™ You—One Entrepreneur’s Comical, Poignant, & Very Short Tales to Inspire Yours reflects six entrepreneurial THEMEs to help entrepreneurs tell your stories. We all have stories just waiting to be well told.

    The Entrepreneur’s Guide to DESIGN Packaging: The Right Jumpstart to Set Your Business Apart helps entrepreneurs “unpack” the value of DESIGN Packaging and its potential impact on our businesses, growth strategies, and big, bold DREAMs.

    Randi began her indy-publishing adventures and launched her own imprint, Randiland PRESS, with her first book, 99 WOWs Words of Wisdom for Business. Randi is an avid and “ENTREtaining” speaker, eager to help new and seasoned entrepreneurs bring their visions and goals to life—through humor, candor, and honest reflection. She’s also planning her debut in her newest foray, entrepreneurial standup, with Funny Business—or Is It?™ coming soon to a digital device near you.

    Alan Olsen on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
    Alan Olsen

    Alan is managing partner at Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen & Co., LLP, (GROCO) and is a respected leader in his field. He is also the radio show host to American Dreams. Alan’s CPA firm resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and serves some of the most influential Venture Capitalist in the world. GROCO’s affluent CPA core competency is advising High Net Worth individual clients in tax and financial strategies. Alan is a current member of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (S.I.E.P.R.) SIEPR’s goal is to improve long-term economic policy. Alan has more than 25 years of experience in public accounting and develops innovative financial strategies for business enterprises. Alan also serves on President Kim Clark’s BYU-Idaho Advancement council. (President Clark lead the Harvard Business School programs for 30 years prior to joining BYU-idaho. As a specialist in income tax, Alan frequently lectures and writes articles about tax issues for professional organizations and community groups. He also teaches accounting as a member of the adjunct faculty at Ohlone College.

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