Jason Cardiff started his career in sales management at Mercedes Benz USA. After leaving the automotive business, he founded First Choice Media, a private consulting company that provided marketing services for national non-profit organizations, while simultaneously finding success with his own national, infomercial businesses and products. As the founder of Redwood Scientific Technologies, Inc., Jason provides the leadership and vision for the success of the company. He is not only responsible for product development, but also for negotiating with business partners, from merchant banks to retail business executives and prospective investors. More importantly, Jason is responsible for constituting and executing the strategies for Redwood to compete effectively in the marketplace and ensure long-term profitability and sustainability of its brand. With his background in sales and marketing, Jason oversees all advertising efforts of the company, from planning to directing infomercials. Jason has successfully launched several products nationwide. Under his leadership, Redwood has experienced 650% compounded growth during its first four years in business. Jason has three small children – ages three, eleven and thirteen – and enjoys spending his free time engaged in outdoor activities with his wife and children.
Tell me about your early career.
My early career started with my first company being on the servicing side of products for sale in the “As Seen on TV” space. I built the company into a worldwide presence with offices and staff spanning four countries. I quickly realized that if I am going to do all the work, then I should start launching and making my own products.
How did the concept for Redwood Scientific Technologies come about?
The idea was, “How do we make a better version of the pill?” I like experience-based products that can do something people have always done, but in a better way. It seemed like the timing was right to create a new and better delivery method for over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.
How was the first year in business?
Our first year in business was a very exciting time. We went from concept to market with our first OTC, thin film product and, like all things, we waited to see what the market reaction would be to the idea of a thin film mouth strip as a delivery mechanism. We then started to prove our model and numbers.
What was your marketing strategy?
My go-to-market strategy is very simple. First, we look for a product that can be used by more than 25% of the adult population. Then, we bring that product to market with national television and a very compelling story that we develop through solution marketing. And with a little luck, we have a go-to-market and national roll-out.
How fast did the company grow during the first few years?
As a company, our growth was very explosive over the first few years. However, growth is not always good, unless it’s healthy growth.
How do you define success?
Success is defined when you have a vision for what you want to achieve, and you execute your vision into reality. At Redwood, we back up our vision with our core values, and when that is achieved, then we’re successful.
What is the key to success?
Have a plan. Stick to the plan, and always, always, always finish what you start.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
The greatest lesson I’ve ever learned, that most entrepreneurs never learn, is that things only happen if people want them to happen. For example, if someone is not calling you back, or if a buyer is not buying what you are selling, it is simply because they don’t want to. They would if they want to.
What are some of your favorite books?
For business, I love Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins for running a company. I also love Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman, and for fun, I love to read Stuart Woods.
Tell me about one of the toughest days you’ve had as an entrepreneur.
The toughest day I have had as an entrepreneur would be the day that I learned it was just me, standing alone, either making it or not.
When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
When times get tough, and we all have those days, I stay focused on the vision of what we are working towards, and press on.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Keep looking forward! The past is over. Yesterday is gone. Stay focused on the goal.
This interview was conducted for research purposes by author Jason Navallo for his upcoming book, Underdog.
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