TBL Episode 18: From Family Business to Surviving the Entrepreneurial Journey

In this episode of Today’s Business Leaders, Gabe chats with Glenn Meder to learn about surviving family businesses and striking out as an entrepreneur.

Learning How to Sell

Glenn started out working for his father’s business. For about 20 years, Glenn worked mostly in sales and helped develop the business. Glenn learned many important lessons, primarily that he hates working in sales, but also the importance of being able to sell. By putting his own uncomfortable feelings aside, Glenn mastered the art of delivering a sales pitch. Having this skill has allowed Glenn to continue to be successful as he undertakes new endeavors.

Leaving the Family Business

For various reasons, Glenn decided to leave the family business. The decision was difficult to reach and it placed strain on some relationships for a time, but in hindsight, Glenn believes it was the right call. When working with family, it can be easy to fall into the trap of expecting too much. Unrealistic expectations and professional and personal lines are easy to be crossed. Family businesses can work, but everyone needs to be mindful of the experience.

Starting His Own Business

The inaugural product on Glenn’s entrepreneurial journey was a product he invented: the Survival Still. This product is an emergency water purification system that transforms just about any type of water into clean and safe drinking water.

Redefining the Sales Pitch

The Survival Still sold well at the start and continues to sell well to this day. Eventually, Glenn landed on the idea of selling his product through webinars. Early success followed by disappointments lead Glenn to decide to host his own webinars. The webinar format has proved effective because Glenn can put his sales skills to use and explain directly to consumers the problems that his invention solves.

Working with JV Partners

When he began producing his own webinars, Glenn also started working with Joint Venture, or JV partners. These partners supply leads, or viewers, for Glenn’s webinars. JV webinars are a challenge for a physical product because the sales can be highly variable and unpredictable. This is still an effective way to market a product, but the JV environment is changing. It’s getting harder to reach valid leads and close the sale. Now Glenn’s goal is to adapt and tweak the proven JV process so that he and his team can generate consistent and predictable sales from Facebook ads.

Looking Ahead

Glenn has a new product which should launch in the spring of this year. Get in touch with Glenn to learn more about Survival Still. Pick up more actionable advice and productivity tips from earlier episodes of Today’s Business Leaders, and find the full offering of solutions and free courses available from Business Marketing Engine.


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