He Went From Flea Market Pitchman To The Face Of OxiClean

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He Went From Flea Market Pitchman To The Face Of OxiClean


Pitchman Anthony “Sully” Sullivan made a reputation for himself on TV commercials because the OxiClean Man and starred in a Discovery Channel actuality sequence PitchMen.

Right this moment he runs Sullivan Productions, a 12-person advertising and marketing agency with 50-60 subcontractors, based mostly in St. Petersburg, Fla. It produces commercials for model akin to OxiClean, Arm & Hammer, Nutrisystem and a number of smaller, direct response entrepreneurs.

About three years in the past, he began MONTKUSH Wellness, a CBD enterprise based mostly on a farm in Plainfield, Vermont. It sells CBD oil, tinctures, gummies and different merchandise.

Sullivan grew to become taken with CBD when he realized his daughter, now 11, had a uncommon genetic dysfunction that causes seizures, and that the anti-seizure drugs brought on horrible unwanted side effects. Her mom beneficial attempting CBD. “We experimented with it and had good outcomes,” he says. After visiting a buddy’s hemp farm in Vermont, he determined to take an opportunity on an trade that was new for him.

“There’s quite a lot of causes to not do one thing,” he says. “You possibly can hearken to all of the individuals who say no or say, ‘I’m going to attempt it.’”

I lately spoke with him about how he constructed his profession because the one-man face of a model. Right here is an edited excerpt of our dialog.

Elaine Pofeldt: How did you get began as an entrepreneur?

Anthony Sullivan: My entrepreneurial roots return. My father was a slot machine engineer. He would at all times take me to work with him. At a really younger age he informed me he not labored for his firm and acquired slot machines. He made my mother apply for a gaming license.

My storage was crammed with these slot machines. We’d polish them up and paint them. The complete time he was telling me “Son, if you wish to get forward, it’s a must to work for your self.”

He was a fantastic salesman and would persuade pubs to place these machines in. We’d meet the landlords of those pubs and return just a few weeks later and empty the machines. I couldn’t raise the money field. I might take this massive field of money and pour it on the desk. My dad and I might depend the cash. We divided it with the pubs. The on line casino at all times wins.

I feel I at all times had this concept I might work for myself. I used to be very stressed in class. The whole lot we did, I requested myself, “How can I monetize this? How can we flip this right into a enterprise? My mother wished me to be a journalist. I attempted to use myself to my teachers however I used to be a stressed child with ADHD. I had jobs as a bartender, and cleaned bathrooms, did quite a lot of handbook labor. I felt like “I can’t slot in as an worker. I’m unemployable.” I had grandiose concepts: I’m going to start out an organization.

Elaine Pofeldt: How did you begin pitching?

Anthony Sullivan: I couldn’t get a correct job. I ended up serving to a buddy at a flea market. That was the primary time I felt at dwelling in a enterprise world. I noticed this gentleman who was doing pitching. He was demonstrating this automotive wash known as the “superb Washmatic.”

I assumed I want to attempt demonstrating. I used to be at all times a really talkative individual. I obtained maintain of this automotive washing system. I realized how one can promote it. I realized the pitch, phrase for phrase. I found I may maintain a crowd and I may entertain. I might promote. I used to be not afraid of “No.” I used to be not afraid of failure. I used to be out of my consolation zone, and I realized how one can promote to automotive washes. I used to be good at it. I ended up getting recruited on this flea market. I ended up nearly dwelling the lifetime of a carny. I might go from flea market to flea market within the UK. All this was a basis for the entrepreneurial life. I’d work at flea markets and boat reveals. I might immerse myself in no matter product I used to be promoting.

Then I discovered this mop. It was an extended story how I discovered this mop, however I obtained a job cleansing a youth hostel in Hawaii. I obtained very obsessed with ensuring I did a fantastic job. I ended up promoting that throughout England.

Elaine Pofeldt: How did you get into infomercials?

Anthony Sullivan: I turned on my TV at some point and noticed my first infomercial. That was once I had an “aha” second. I’d spent 2 or 3 years promoting completely different gadgets to individuals one on one. I picked up all of my worldly belongings on the ripe previous age of 23 and moved from the U.Okay. to the U.S. with the dream of getting on TV. I informed my mother I’m going to go to America and promote mops on tv. My household thought I used to be completely insane, much like when my dad purchased the 40 slot machines.

Inside 18 months of touchdown in America, I used to be on HSN. I spotted if you wish to play ball, it’s a must to go to the ballpark. And HSN was the ballpark. I moved to Florida and stayed right here as a result of HSN was right here.

I bought $100,000 price of mops in 22 minutes. That was the primary merchandise. I went from being a scrappy avenue marketer to being on TV. That was once I felt legitimized. My mother didn’t like what I did: Sully is a mop salesman.

Elaine Pofeldt: How did you get onto mainstream TV?

Anthony Sullivan: I wished to transcend HSN and met my previous accomplice Billy Mays [who appears on PitchMen]. We went from HSN, a purchasing channel, and ended up on mainstream media. That was a milestone. We helped OxiClean. Then we ended up moving into retail. We may stroll into Walmart and see OxiClean.

It was this loopy journey that began at a flea market. We ended up with a world volume-producing merchandise at Walmart. You coudn’t go to a Walmart on the earth with out seeing OxiClean within the early 2000s. it was an unimaginable journey, and it nonetheless continues to evolve. It’s extra digital now. We’ve at all times picked issues that resolve a typical drawback and used TV to get them on the air.

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