Resources for Buying and Selling Online Businesses

Quiet Light Client Kills It on Shark Tank!!


Ramon Van MeerRamon Van Meer is the Founder and CEO of Genius Litter, a health-monitoring, odor-fighting, environmentally friendly cat litter. Featured on Shark Tank, it’s a color-changing litter formula that catches signs of illness, keeping you and your pet happy and healthy. Ramon is also the CEO and Founder of Alpha Paw, a leading pet wellness brand that has grown into an eight-figure empire. Alpha Paw has also been featured on FOX, NBC, Allure, and many other popular sources.

As a serial entrepreneur, Ramon has started and built multiple successful companies, including Soap Hub, a multimillion-dollar content site, Toodledo, a set of organizational tools, and Growth Hacker TV, a video site for start-ups. His life goals are to become the Marcus Lemonis for tech companies and to finally beat his son at chess.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [02:27] Ramon Van Meer shares his professional background
  • [03:24] The experience of selling a business through Quiet Light
  • [08:18] Life after the business exit
  • [10:17] Ramon explains his motives for applying to be featured on Shark Tank
  • [17:29] Ramon talks about his experience pitching to the Shark Tank investors
  • [24:59] How Ramon used humor to get in the show in the audition
  • [27:53] Shark Tank negotiation strategies and deal-making
  • [37:03] What is Genius Litter and what does it do?

In this episode…

Are you an entrepreneur with a brilliant business idea but lacking the capital to bring it to life? If so, you’re not alone. Many business owners face this challenge, which can be a huge obstacle to success. However, there is a solution that could change everything: Shark Tank.

Shark Tank is a popular TV show that features a panel of successful entrepreneurs and investors who hear pitches from up-and-coming businesses. If you can make it onto the show and pitch your idea to the “sharks,” you have the opportunity to secure the funding you need to scale your business. The sharks will offer you a percentage of equity in exchange for their investment. However, serial entrepreneur Ramon Van Meer says that getting onto Shark Tank is no easy feat. The application process can be lengthy and complex, but by putting in the effort and making a robust case for your business, you could be one step closer to achieving your dreams. He shares how he killed it on Shark Tank.

In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Pat Yates sits down with Ramon Van Meer, Founder and CEO of Genius Litter, to discuss his journey and experience on Shark Tank. Ramon shares his professional background, why he wanted to get to Shark Tank, the application process, and his experience pitching to the Shark Tank investors, as well as negotiation strategies and deal-making.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode

This episode is brought to you by Quiet Light, a brokerage firm that wants to help you successfully sell your online business.

There is no wrong reason for selling your business. However, there is a right time and a right way. The team of leading entrepreneurs at Quiet Light wants to help you discover the right time and strategy for selling your business. They provide trustworthy advice, effective strategies, and honest valuations. So, your Quiet Light advisors aren’t your everyday brokers — they’re your partner and friend through every phase of the exit planning process.

If you’re new to the prospect of buying and selling, Quiet Light is here to support you. Their plethora of top-notch resources will provide everything you need to know about when and how to buy or sell an online business. Quiet Light offers high-quality videos, articles, podcasts, and guides to help you make the best decision for your online business.

Not sure what your business is really worth? No worries. Quiet Light offers a free valuation and marketplace-ready assessment on its website. That’s right — this quick, easy, and free valuation has no strings attached. Knowing the true value of your business has never been easier!

What are you waiting for? Quiet Light offers the best experience, strategies, and advice to make your exit successful. To learn more, go to, email [email protected], or call 800.746.5034 today.

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:07

Hey folks, it’s the Quiet Light Podcast where we share relentlessly honest insights, actionable tips and entrepreneurial stories that will help founders identify and reach their goals

Pat Yates  0:32

Hello, and welcome to the Quiet Light Podcast again, I’m Pat Yates. Man, I have a great conversation today. Ramon Van Meer with Genius Litter. He’s traveled an interestingly similar path to me through Shark Tank and we work together for like, talk six to nine months ago about process and things he needed to do to prepare and his episode just went on TV of man was it incredible He did such an amazing job. He added humor. He had a lot of positives he talked about he had people go in and out, back in and then ended up with three of the five sharks making an offer on his business really just amazing episode. This guy is such an amazing dude. He’s sold one of his businesses through Quiet Light has worked on other multiple ones with Quiet Light. He’s a friend of Quiet Light and will be going to the Shark Tank reunion with us this year, and probably helping Ethan and I talk to some people about the Quiet Light experience. This guy has taken every step you can imagine in business. He’s come to the United States from the Netherlands. He’s built a company they sold he built another company he put on Shark Tank that he’s hoping to scale and sell. He’s just an unbelievable entrepreneur smart guy. Amazing conversation. Oddly, he worked with Joe in the past, which is crazy, because I’m not sure why that is always have to put in some little shot to Joe. But hopefully, in the future, he’s going to continue to work with Quiet Light and do a lot of things. He’s one of our favorite guys. I’m excited to talk to Ramon Van Meer about his Shark Tank experience today. So let’s get right to it. Ramon, welcome to Quiet Light Podcast again man, it’s great to see you.

Ramon Van Meer  2:03

Yes, I’m very happy to be back.

Pat Yates  2:06

Man, I tell you what, we waited to do this episode until after your Shark Tank air because both of us now been on. So this is gonna be such a fun conversation. And I think a lot of the people out there will really find some really actionable stuff. And if they’re trying to apply for Shark Tank, they’re going to understand some stuff. But before we get going with that, tell the audience about yourself. Introduce yourself where you’re from and what you’ve done in the past.

Ramon Van Meer  2:27

Okay. 30-second pitch, where do you go from the Netherlands, I moved to the States 13 years ago. Since then, I’ve been buying and selling mainly very small websites and blogs, sold a bunch through Quite Lights. One the most famous one is a soap opera blog years ago that I sold through you guys. And now I’m selling cat litter and I was just on Shark Tank a couple of weeks ago.

Pat Yates  2:57

It’s really amazing. It’s so funny to sit there and watch that episode and you talk about a business you’ve sold and knowing that came through Quiet Light. It’s really incredible. I know you’re a big friend of the business. Joe knows you really well obviously, we were so excited quite like to put stuff out on social about you being a client being on Shark Tank. That’s awesome. So maybe tell, let’s do this. Let’s rewind a little bit. Tell us about that business and who you worked with and maybe how that whole transaction went? I’m curious on that.

Ramon Van Meer  3:24

Okay, yeah, I launched that website in 2015. It was a blog about daytime TV. And it started growing. I was pretty successful building online communities mainly on Facebook, daytime fans, and was able to drive that traffic to a website and then on their website or monetize through Google Ads. And I already knew about Quiet Light because I was working I had another business before that. And so I got introduced to Amanda was the first broker she worked with even before this one and I was ready to sell ready to move on after two and a half years three years. And I reached out to I think I reached out to Joe because I got to know him as well through some common friends and meeting him at conferences. And I found like oh, I’m not sure if my websites because at that time it was already doing couple million dollars in revenue and you know high profit margin. I thought maybe this is too big, at that time I thought oh Quiet Light is you know between 100,000 and million or 2 million. But Joe said like no, we can find you a buyer. Let’s just list it. See what happens. And yeah, it was a great, great experience because We lifted it. Within one week, I got not one, not two, but three offers. Same actually what happened in the Shark Tank. But yeah, it was a great, great experience.

Pat Yates  4:11

I tell you what working with Joe had to be amazing. I know that Joe’s been on sabbatical, he hasn’t really done a lot other than working in the corporate side for a long time. But such an amazing broker we look at his numbers and the people he was getting businesses sold for is absolutely amazing. I’m sure he did a great job with that. That’s awesome. So tell us a little bit about where you’re headed now. I know that we wanted to talk about the Shark Tank process. But since that point up to when you got on Shark Tank, what are the things have you done? Is this it?

Ramon Van Meer  5:44

No. And by the way, very quick about Joe. I really, in that transaction, I really saw that he really cared for me as a person, because what happened between the day we listed and the day we got offers a couple of months passed by and mainly because it took some time for me to pull some stuff. And the revenue started exploding on my end. So my multiple was suddenly extremely low. So I called Joe, and I was so scared of calling him I was like, man, I don’t know, I think we should pull the listing and relist it in a couple of months. And I was so afraid that Joe would be afraid, like mad at me, like, no, we’ve already done all this work, you have to pull through. But he said, like, no, you’re totally right. You have to do what’s best for you. And I’m on your side. Let’s just do this. We’re gonna take it back. And, you know, what happened was that we got much more out of it a couple months later. So since then, I’m a big fan for Joe. And I will be forever grateful.

Pat Yates  7:07

Actually, not to interject. But that’s kind of an interesting point. We talk a lot about entrepreneurs, we don’t talk as much about Quiet Light on this oddly, because we don’t really talk about our process or anything like that. But I think it’s amazing that you say that, because Mark and Joe both believe as the guys at the top of the organization for the longest time that we should be judged by the quality of our conversations. And Joe was my mentor starting out. And he was really clear about one thing. This is not about me, it’s not about Quiet Light, it’s about the entrepreneurs. So as someone comes in, we’re not fishing for commissions. If we look at the business and say, for instance, the first three months of the trailing 12 are bad and the last nine are really good. We’re not going to list it because of that, we’re going to wait 90 to 120 days to make sure the maximum value can be there, even if that’s a year, which he’s applying exactly what we believe as advisors, we aren’t in a hurry to get you to market. Most people that want to list right away usually aren’t ready, the people that wait and then make sure that they have a calculated plan are the ones that are successful. And clearly Joe applied that on that, that’s absolutely amazing. So go ahead into what you’ve been doing since that sale.

Ramon Van Meer  8:18

Yeah, so after the exit, I made a mistake not taking a sabbatical, I should have listened to Joe. He also advised me to take a breather and just enjoy but I bought a couple businesses online businesses. I bought a SaaS one, I bought a YouTube channel and an ecommerce business. And a big mistake hindsight because it’s like there are so totally different businesses to run that you need different type of people and talents and processes. But I still sold the SaaS business. I flipped that one, the YouTube channel I still have but it’s basically on autopilot and then the ecommerce business that I bought started doing really well. And then I basically bought other smaller pet brands, it’s an ecommerce business into pet space. I bought other smaller brands and roll them up into one and then two and a half years ago I came up with the idea actually, I didn’t come up with idea I saw another brands launching and helping cat litter, started doing some research and then we decided to also go into that market and that little brand has been doing really, really well in the last couple years.

Pat Yates  9:48

It really has. I mean I was amazed watching the episode so I didn’t really know as much about the business till I got into that which is incredible. So the one reason that we’re talking today is because Joe not only did he help you sell a business, he helped link you with me which not that I had anything really to do with it. But what was it nine months or a year ago, we started talking about this with you getting on Shark Tank and talking about my experience and what things you need to do. How did that come about? How did you end up starting the Shark Tank process for Genius Litter?

Ramon Van Meer  10:17

Yeah. So I came to the States 13 years ago, and I think Shark Tank started the year before or two years before that. But I remember coming here to this country, I was obsessed by Shark Tank for some reason, because for me, Shark Tank really stood for the American dream, right. And I moved here because we wanted to achieve the American dream. So I was really obsessed by the show, I even made my friends listen to me pitching fake product ideas that I had, like, oh, this could be a great structuring product, they had to suffer through these horrible pitches of mine. But anyways, but I never really at that time, I only had like, very like online businesses, not no products or physical things that could be a shock thing product up to a couple years ago, when I bought my first ecommerce business, so I started applying the first time I applied was four years ago. So I applied four times until last year I finally got on. And every year I got a little further, but never made it to the last step. Until last year, I actually knew the casting because a cold director or casting person that helped me to three other times. She actually emailed me, like, “Hey, I see you’re doing Genius Litter, you should apply again.” And it’s okay. Yeah, let’s do it. So actually I have to give her a lot of credits, because she actually reached out to me. And I applied and as you know, that was the start of the million rounds and steps you have to do to finally get on the show. So at last April, so it’s like, nine months’ worth of work not constantly, but it’s like sprints, right, like you have to do some stuff for them and then you wait, and then you have to, it’s really a hurry and wait, again.

Pat Yates  12:36

That’s incredible. See, I think a lot of people don’t realize how difficult the process really is, and especially to get on. See what’s interesting about the two of us is we actually have a decade between our earrings, which is an unbelievable testament to the show. I was on season five, Episode 23. You were on 15. What is it, 10? What is yours? 15 and what?

Ramon Van Meer  12:58

15 and 12?

Pat Yates  13:00

Okay, so I was season five 23, you’re 15, 10. This shows just a monster when it gets to it. But people don’t really realize how difficult it is to actually get on and what the steps you have to go there. So I remember back to mine, like you I applied in season two, which was really early, and I got completely turned down. It wasn’t even close. So I just sort of dropped it. And then season five, the show was blowing up so much. They actually called me after they were going back through old application. So I had the opportunity to get back. But I was like I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to do it because the application process is so detailed. So tell me about your applicant. I know the application is just unbelievable. And the due diligence you have to do to get in it may have changed since I was in there. So tell us about that process.

Ramon Van Meer  13:44

No, I don’t think it has changed. If anything probably even got worse. I know that the application. So first you do the casting call, right? Like a casting producer, like will talk to you about your business and you explain and then basically, that’s step one. But then the application, we have to fill out these, like hundreds pages of questions of like from all the way like why are you an entrepreneur to your business to why you’re doing what you’re doing, your most successful things, your biggest fear, like it’s a very detailed application. That is still the case. And it takes like a lot of out because you want to do your best give them the best answers possible. So it’s a very detailed application process and then that’s where I fell out. The other times was the audition video. So you have to record a 10-minute video with your pitch and talk a little bit about yourself. And the three other times that’s where I basically fell off because my understanding is that they get over 20 or 25,000 applications a year. And then all the way to the end, I don’t know, like 100-ish, I end up going to LA to pitch the sharks. So it’s a very long process.

Pat Yates  15:20

There’s no question when I remember back to my mind was actually I think the taping was September of 2013, and actually aired in April of 2014. But I was down to the very last they called me and said, look, we’re full, we need two or three more spots. Here’s what we’ll do, we’ll fly you out, we’ll let you pitch in front of the producers and on the soundstage. And if we’d like you, we’ll keep you if not, we’ll fly you home. So it’s kind of a free roll to pitch in front of them to have to get on TV. Long story short, I killed the pitch I stayed on, and I taped the next day and mine ended up great. But were you in the same position? Or did you have a spot and you just came out and taped? Or did you have to go out and show what you were going to do before?

Ramon Van Meer  15:56

My case, I had a spot. So I had a date where I needed to get out there basically, I did a pre, they do like a pre-tape or I forgot how it’s called. But what you basically do your pitch in front of all the whole team, all the producers, but they do that over zoom nowadays. Before I think my understanding was people do it there in LA in person. Now, at least in my case, they did it over Zoom, but it was still intimidating because she can see 20, 30 I don’t know even — have like small Zoom videos of people watching you while you do the pitch. But yeah.

Pat Yates  16:43

That’s incredible. You know what’s funny is this changed during COVID I actually have a good friend of mine that I’ve traveled around speaking with named Chris Carrera, who also does a lot of mentoring of entrepreneurs. He was on during COVID, when they were taping at the Wynn. And based on COVID, he had to sit in his room for 10 days, if he walked out of the door, they sent him home. He said the fourth or fifth day he almost left he couldn’t take it. So it’s like some people go through way worse process than what we were able to do. But it’s still sort of worth its weight in gold. So let’s move on to when you actually taped. I mean, obviously I remember that day I was sitting there as nervous that you stand in front of the doors and saw that anxiety. Tell us about that feeling well, how did it feel when you’re getting ready to go?

Ramon Van Meer  17:29

I’ve been not as nervous as that in my life? Because before, so I was in the afternoon slots. So all the sharks are having lunch, and then you with a couple other intrapreneurs that will also take an afternoon, we’ll walk through the sets, right? Like a producer will just tell like, okay, this is where you’re going to stand. These are the doors that can be closed, he goes really in detail. And in my mind, I was just like, I should not forget, please don’t forget to pitch. Please don’t forget to pitch because sometimes you have a blackout Right? And they tell you like hey, there’s no redo. If you screw up, you just have to put yourself through it, we’re not going to reshoot if you screw up your pitch. And they tell you like walk up. So there’s a bunch of things you have to think about like, okay, you have to stand up, you have to stop at the indicator on the carpet. And on top of that you’re still also like, my pitch, and yeah, I was very nervous. And then also, like, you told me that actually like, when you walk on the carpet, it’s nothing to ride away, start you have to wait. And that’s felt like hours, because you’re just standing there in my case, I’m standing there with a stuffed animal and dressed up like Einstein, and just waiting for the producer to give the cue and then out of nowhere, you have to then go from being silent to give energy, 100% energy, right like, “hey, sharks, my name is Ramon Van Meer.” But luckily, I practiced the pitch so many times that I was able to, even if I was nervous, I was able to push through.

Pat Yates  19:34

You know what, I think the people out there really can’t get a perspective of what that’s really like, like, it’s such an interesting thing. You go up to your taping and you think you know everything is gonna go on. And really it’s kind of interesting because I could walk you through what’s going to happen. I never spoke to anyone that was season five, I was sort of like I had no idea what to expect. And for the listeners out there and we’re not giving anything away from Shark Tank. It’s a great show. We know some of the producers I still talk to some of them. But when you walk through those doors and walk up, you don’t just start talking, you stand on an X, and they take cameras in front behind beside in front of the sharks for 45 seconds. And it seems like three hours. Because you’re trying to keep a straight face, you’re trying to remember your pitch. And all of a sudden, there’s this pause that if you’re ready to roll, you’re definitely a stop. So, did you feel good through that process? And then started outright? I would assume because they edit it? I’m not sure.

Ramon Van Meer  20:26

Yeah, because I was able, I knew what to expect. That helped me a lot. If I didn’t know that. And then on the day, they’re like, hey, you have to stand there for a minute and just awkwardly look to the sharks. I will be even. But yeah, in my mind, I was like, you have to sort of smile. And I think they do it to take B roll so they can edit that in other parts of your episode. But I was just like, trying to, okay, the first sentence of my pitch, the first thing that went through my mind, but yeah, to your point, because you put so much effort in getting to the point getting there. It’s months’ worth of work and emotional rollercoaster, like, do I get to the next round? No, yes, amazing. Shifts, so much work. And then when you’re there, you just, it was very nerve-wracking. And on top of that, it’s like you have to sharks that are celebrities, and they have the cameras and the lights. And even though I didn’t see the people, but I know there were tons of people in the backstage looking, and it was intimidating.

Pat Yates  21:45

Yeah, for the listeners out there, they don’t really understand this process, myself was in there about an hour and 15 minutes. I don’t know how long you were in there. But there are no drink breaks, no bathroom breaks, you’re on the carpet, and you’re talking the whole time and it’s you against them with like 50 to 100 producers and hundreds of cameras sitting around you. It’s not the least intimidating spot. So how did you feel that your pitch went? Did you roll through pretty good? Or did you eliminate some things and miss it? Or did you hit it all?

Ramon Van Meer  22:12

Well, so the pitch was great, like the 90-second, two-minute pitch that everyone does in the beginning, that wasn’t great. And then you go to the question parts, and you don’t know what questions they’re gonna ask, you also don’t know where they’re going to hammer on or which not like, for example, when I told the story that I had an accent before, I didn’t know how they would respond, would they actually get mad because sometimes they’ve done where the entrepreneur and an accent before and then they the sharks were like, well, what are you doing? Are you already have money? Why are you asking money for your blah, blah, blah, but so you don’t know anything? They actually also don’t know anything about you besides your name, or the company name, because they see the setup, but they don’t know your background, they don’t know anything. So it’s very hard to really prepare what to expect. And to your point, I think I was there over an hour. I don’t know because it was like, sort of once I walked out was like, so. But after that I did think like, oh, man, I should have said, yeah, good more days. So a little bit more that but it’s very hectic, because the sharks also talk over each other, or you’re answering one question and then another shark right away ask you another so sometimes you’re like, wait, who do I need to answer?

Pat Yates  23:52

I think one of the things that I found out after taping that was most disappointing to me and most nerve-wracking is that I wasn’t able to see my episode until it aired. I don’t know if that’s still the same. But I was really nervous because mine went awful for about 50 minutes to that hour. Or went out quickly. Robert went out quickly. I had a BS royalty offer from the same people you did. We’ll talk about that a minute and then luckily got Mark to really make some amazing comments that brought people back in but it’s one of those things that is you get going in that your questions can either dictate your attitude and sometimes it can. I think you did an amazing thing by introducing humor early because it lighten the situation and I think it became more welcoming. So tell me about that process because I thought your pitch was amazing coming out in the Einstein outfit with Kevin O. Perry and stuff like that. If people haven’t seen it, you’ve got to watch it. It’s really awesome in the ending is even better. So tell us about the idea of coming in and in the outfit was it calculated to make it a little lighter?

Ramon Van Meer  24:59

Yeah, so the first three times that I didn’t get on, I did not do anything funny. But then I started thinking of, okay, the producers or the casting people, they’re getting thousands of audition videos, right? So I assume they don’t even watch the full 10 minutes. It’s like, I think it’s similar, like an employer going through resumes. They just like the first 30 seconds, that dictates so I thought, okay. All these videos, audition videos didn’t work before. Maybe I should do something that at least make a producer or a casting person stopped, like, Hey, what is this? What’s going on? Right? So that’s why I said, like, okay, let me try to do something funny, like an Einstein outfit with a real cat. And really try to sprinkle humor, humor is very tricky, because it could be, you can very easily overdo it. And, yeah, it worked. The casting people loved it, the producers that were assigned to me, also loved it. Because at the end of the day, it’s not a board meeting. It’s a TV show, right? So the producers, their job is to make sure this is the best TV and not a boring product presentation. So to prepare, I definitely prepared some of like, pawns that I could use, or like, funny thing and all the time, like, but it’s also like my product is also easy to use funny puns, right? Like Mark scooped up the deal, and I had this prop, right to Kevin O’Leary. And so Kevin made a royalty deal. And then I look to my co-founder, he’s like, no, my co-founder is not happy with that deal, right? Like, the product. And the setup was also a little bit easy to keep the mood lights, and funny.

Pat Yates  27:17

That’s incredible. I mean, the funny thing is, I walked through my barber went out quick, Robert actually went out quick. I had a royalty deal from Laurie and Kevin. And then Mark gave a speech. And then Robert came back in who I did a deal with. So walk us through what was happening with relation to the sharks because it changes your focus, if people go out, you really have to adjust your plan. It’s like anything else. Everyone says you have a plan to get hit in the mouth, and then you change exactly how your approach is going to be. So tell me going in maybe who you targeted how it happened, and maybe how you pivoted during that time?

Ramon Van Meer  27:53

Yeah. And that’s a good point, because you don’t know who’s going out. And they tell you like, Hey, make sure you have a bottom line? Like how much are you willing to give up before. And I came in asking $250,000 for 4% of equity. And because we are already established brands, we already retail and do have some decent size revenue, and so was willing to negotiate like, you have to go in there like you negotiate, that’s part of the deal, right? But you don’t know how much they’re gonna ask, like, Kevin is known for a role to the US but also being want to have a big chunk of equity. So you don’t know how it’s gonna go. In my case, my guest shark was Emma. I cannot pronounce her last name properly, probably agree. Ready. The Skins founder, she was very, like, I loved her. But it was not a product for her. So she went out first. And then Mark Cuban went out pretty quickly after. I did not try to really hard to convince the person instead of I just focus back on the three people that were still in and try to, because if you try to persuade a person, like, this rarely happens, and apparently a shark is out. Say I’m out. It’s not like you can say that the shark goes, oh, okay. Well, I’m back in right. So instead of doing it just focusing on who is still interested, Make your pitch there, but the other sharks are still listening. Right? So that’s what happened with me that I was talking with the three other sharks and we’re still a and then suddenly, I said something that piqued Mark’s interest again, and then he went back in. But it was a very tough negotiation. And the toughest part is, it’s not like, in real life, if you get an offer from a Quiet Light, potential buyer, you can sit for minutes, you can think for five minutes, you can call a co-worker or ask advice and let it process, but there’s no time to process you’re literally there. The sharks are looking at you. And it’s like, Roberts, they had an offer for $250,000 for 15%. And it’s like, yeah, I want to make a deal with this. I was trying to calculate what will be the valuation of this offer. And so I’m like trying to calculate, still responding to questions. Still rebuttal like, no, that’s too much like, because we have this and this going. So it’s very, you don’t have time to think basically.

Pat Yates  31:05

That’s a great point. Because people don’t realize this is a reality show, but it is your business, it’s on the line here. So you have to make the right decision. And it’s such an amped up, you obviously get in there and you get adrenaline running, and you may do things you don’t want to do, which is kind of interesting. So I want you to go into tell me a little bit. So I’m gonna go through it. I know that you said she was quickly out, then Mark was out. And then it sort of moved around. And it seemed like you did a really good job doing that. So I was astounded how great the end was. So maybe tell the listeners about exactly how all that worked out?

Ramon Van Meer  31:38

Yeah. If you haven’t seen it, you still see it. But these are a couple spoilers, but not like to your point is like the producers did the really pressed to use like, hey, do not accept a deal that you don’t want to do. That’s the worst thing, right? Like, just really make sure. But it’s hard because you’re there in the moment. But for me, I want it. I love all the sharks, but I fought especially for this product. I love Laurie a lot. I think she’s amazing. Also, her experience in retail and QVC and all that stuff, I think this product would be perfect for her portfolio. So regardless of who I definitely wanted Laurie in it as well. Second, I thought, okay, more sharks better. So it wasn’t like I want to target one shark, I wanted to actually have a deal with multiple sharks. So when Mark came back in, I did tell to Laura, like, “hey, Laurie, get in that same deal.” And try to persuade her to just go with Mark. And leave Kevin behind, basically.

Pat Yates  33:02

Yeah, that’s interesting, because you and I both had offers from Laurie and Kevin at the same time that included equity and royalty. It’s amazing how many times they end up sticking up. But at the end of the day, you go through this and you got Mark back in you got Laurie and you got Robert to all make an offer you got 60% of the sharks to come in on one deal, which is amazing. I mean, how did that feel when you were doing it? Right, then it had to be like a rush.

Ramon Van Meer  33:27

Yes. And they edit it amazing and they have to edit to make it a little bit more, but the reality was as soon as Mark set to 250,000 for 8% but you have to say yes. Between that and me saying we have a deal was very short. It was very like because as soon as he said that Lloyd jumped up and said like, we’ll match it and then Kevin was not feeling it, okay Laurie then go with Mark let’s all do it together. And then she said short and then she negotiated for the advisory shares, right? So it’s 8% equity 2% advisory shares. And then it’s like, yes, let’s have a deal. And then we jumped up and that was yeah, it felt great. When a while back, the producers and people backstage were like, you almost lost the deal was so it was very I think it was very close up losing the whole deal.

Pat Yates  34:34

Yeah, those things change in a minute look at Kevin. Kevin looked exhausted it’s like he must have been tired or something he laid back in his chair his head was up and he was just sort I think he knew when Mark came back he knew it was gonna kind of happen. Well that’s amazing and I know you guys are working through this, your show just aired so I’m sure you’re gonna be talking to Mark, Laurie, and Robert quite a bit. So post show now you had all this anticipation how’d you feel afterward? Regardless of whether the deal how the deal happens, or what happens, how did you feel about the whole process?

Ramon Van Meer  35:06

Amazing, I felt like everyone backstage super nice, the whole process the experience. And again, for me, it was also a bucket list item to have this experience where I really was there, not just for my business, not just to get an investment I was there for really for experiences, like I watched a show 10 years ago, and now I am on it. And it was well worth all the hard work the blood, sweat and tears. And everybody was really nice. But then even in the back of your mind, okay, we taped, but there’s no guarantee that it’s gonna get aired, right? Like, you never know, if you actually don’t get aired until they let you know later, months later, basically. So that was another emotional roller case there for like, how can we know? Should we buy inventory? Should we change the web? Like, you go through that roller coaster?

Pat Yates  36:15

And many times you don’t know, to really short notice. So buying products stocking things, you almost have to anticipate that it’s going to happen, but I have known people that stocked inventory and then didn’t air, like it’s really tough. I have another client that I work with it I travel around and do some speaking with. It has an unbelievable subscription box business. And they never got on it was amazing. And their business is astoundingly good. So it’s really tough to get on that show. It’s such an amazing thing. I mean, you just killed it. I mean, I don’t want to give all of it up. People go watch this episode. It’s really kind of the most recent one or a couple of weeks ago, right? So people can go watch that. So tell us a little bit about this. I know we haven’t talked and that’s kind of enough on the Shark Tank thing. I think it’s awesome, obviously was a great process. But tell us about Genius Litter and what’s going on in 24. I mean, I want people to know about your product and your business.

Ramon Van Meer  37:03

Yeah, let’s do some pitching. Hey, sharks, my name No. So Genius Litter. It’s a health-indicating litter, it changes color if your cat is sick. So cats are known to hide their illnesses, it’s very difficult to see if their behavior changes if they’re sick. It’s not like dogs, dogs, you can see a little bit better if they’re not feeling well. And a test out for UTIs bladder issues cancer issue like specific types of cancer. And if it changes color, and wants you to go to events who have it, double check. Exciting things is that we launched two new products. One is a health indicating topper, this little bag that you can sprinkle on top of your existing litter if you or your cat really likes our clay litter and we don’t want to change, you can still use our like topper. And that will change color if your cat is sick, similar as our litter itself. And then we have a doggy health indicating doggy pee pad, same concept your dog pees on the pads hopefully not on the carpet, but it’s on the pad. And it changes color if your dog has potential health issues. So we are really pivoting Genius Litter and more of a health monitoring product company versus just a litter brand? And yes, going well we are in targets pet smarts. We’re talking to a couple other retailers available online. And yes, it’s grown really well. And it’s also amazing, because we get tons of emails of people of like, thank you so much. I didn’t know like I saw the litter, you know, change color and then went to the bat and our cat turned out to have a UTI and then didn’t know. So it’s also like very good to see and hear the stories of our customers.

Pat Yates  39:17

I think it’s really amazing. And truthfully, I knew a little bit about the product. But until I watched it in practice on the show, I never really realized the scope of it. And what’s interesting is my wife and I, we had two cats, both of which are now gone. And one we just found out four or five months ago we put asleep had a tumor that we didn’t detect and had we had that. I don’t know whether it would obviously wouldn’t have fixed it, it might have been able to intervene. But worst case, we sort of felt terrible that we might have let the cat suffer for a while before we really found out what was going on, which we sort of regretted so once I saw this I’m like wow, if I’d have known that it might have saved the cat or it might have saved us a little bit of shame in our minds. I’m sure you get a lot of people to come in and tell you that correct?

Ramon Van Meer  39:59

Yeah, and it’s to your point, with the letter. It’s really like detecting issues earlier, it doesn’t really prevent the issue, but it detects earlier so that the cat is not walking around with kidney stone or a painful UTI for weeks until it gets so bad that you really start seeing behavior change. And it’s really just almost like a stoplight, like, hey, there’s a potential issue. Go to the vet, and especially all our cats, any cat above 10 years old, sooner or later is going to have kidney issues. So this litter will help you detect it early on, so you can go to the vet sooner.

Pat Yates  40:49

It’s absolutely incredible. I mean, I think the product is so amazing. I mean, it’s like, so let’s rewind it, you sold a business through Quiet Light, you were able to build another business that’s absolutely scaling and is helping people which is incredible. It’s not only a great business, it’s helping people in their pets who people are fanatical about. You got on Shark Tank, you have this great stuff going what’s next for Ramon, I mean, what else you’re going to be doing in 24, anything.

Ramon Van Meer  41:14

I’m focusing on Genius, first I’m going to enjoy my 15 minutes of fame, it’s almost done, I have a couple of minutes left of this 50 minutes, and focusing on building Genius Litter. And then my goal is to sell the business to strategic ideally, I think it’s a great acquisition for strategic. I don’t know when, but in the meantime, I’m gonna keep building. And but like with any business, I want to sell like, I consider myself a serial entrepreneur, I love to work on different projects, and you know, move on to the next thing. So the goal is to sell Genius Litter.

Pat Yates  42:06

I’ll send you over the engagement letter now, because I did that deal since Joe interactive, and I’m just messing with you. I think, Ramon, it’s really amazing. I think that the great thing is like everyone it Quiet Light this is just how big a community and I’ll brag on Quiet Light a little bit because we have so many great advisors, great people involved in this company. Everyone was engaged. When we had someone that was successful to quiet like they got on Shark Tank, man, you killed it, I’ll be honest with you, it’s one of the best episodes I’ve watched in a long time. So regardless of anything that turns out, you’re gonna find the growth, I know you’re getting involved in our Shark Tank Group now with Jake Xander. And I go to that show every year and speak, we’re excited to get out there and work with those entrepreneurs, I think what you’re gonna find is that you’ll become educational, and you’ll add so much value to other entrepreneurs via this TV show. It’s something that’s happened to me and I’m super excited about working with all these people. Have you had people reach out and ask you questions or wanting to work with you and otherwise?

Ramon Van Meer  43:03

Yeah, across the whole board, I got two people that want to apply to Shark Tank and wanted to ask them questions. And yeah, it’s very great to help other entrepreneurs that are starting that journey, all the way to retailers. And yeah, we have reached out. But I’m very happy that the sharks, but also the editing, I think they’ve did a good job of making it a really good episode basically, there was also a little bit of my fear is like, you have no control, how they, what the questions they’re gonna ask you, you also have no control how they’re going to edit it. Right? Like, are they gonna make me look like an idiot or like, are they gonna make you have no control over it?

Pat Yates  43:57

Well, the thing that I know is they don’t put I mean, looking at your business the way you pitched it, the reactions to questions. You’ve done an amazing job building this company. Some of that doesn’t come through on the show. I think also entrepreneurs up there look like at times like hey, I need — really need help. I haven’t done a great job. You did an amazing job building this business before you even got in there. I thought you position the price great, because it gave nothing but upside. It wasn’t an egregious amount of money. They could get involved and be engaged. I think you did an amazing job. But again, remote it’s always amazing to have you on the Quiet Light Podcast. You pumped Joe up early, which I hate doing. I don’t want to inflate his ego any other than that. I think everything we talked about so awesome. Well, man, I appreciate you coming on the Quiet Light Podcast today again, man. It’s always great to have you in place. Maybe we’ll follow up and see how it was six or nine months from now and all the change. I’d love to have you back. We’ll get a chance. Appreciate you today.

Ramon Van Meer  44:50

All right, thank you.

Outro  44:53

Today’s podcast was produced by Rise25 and the Quiet Light content team. If you have a suggestion for a future podcast subject or guest, email us at [email protected]. Be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.

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