Apron-clad and sleeves rolled up, Barrett and his invention, the GrillGrate, are given two full pages of coverage and two glossy photos on pages 49 and 50 of Money, the financial publication of Time Warner’s CNN. Another photo promotes the article in the magazine’s table of contents.
“The original angle for the story was a column that they write called ‘Second Act.’ And it’s about people who start a company sort of mid-life, maybe over 50, who start a business or change their career,” Barrett said. “It was two solid days. I felt like a movie star, but it was also very stressful because that’s not something you normally deal with.
“But it is nice. It is nice to have someone tell your story and tell it well. They were very professional. I was impressed by the investment in time and people that they made all to tell a two-page article.”
In addition to the article, Barrett was featured in an online video for CNNmoney.com. Where the video focuses on entrepreneurial basics and an overview of Barrett’s product, a grill-top panel system to improve grilling, the Money Magazine article delves into specifics of Barrett’s financial situation, including initial investment, how much Barrett was making before he founded GrillGrate and how long he went without taking a salary. Barrett was open and honest with the interviewers, and although the process was at times “painful,” the end result is something he hopes can inform others taking on the same challenge.
“[The article] was really more about, ‘How long did you go without any money?’ ‘How much did it cost you?’ And telling that tale was a little more painful — you remember what you went through to get where you are. And by no means have we arrived either. In reality we’re just getting started,” Barrett said. “He asked me some very difficult questions, like ‘How much money did you put in?’ ‘How long did it take you before you took a salary?’ ‘What was your salary before you left your old job?’ And that’s a lot of information, but we looked at other Second Act articles and they all kind of had the same format. ... So I answered his questions; it would have been
nice if he showed our sales curve, but that’s not what the article was about. Second Act is basically about crazy people over 50 who take that big risk again
“When you’re over 50, the risks are much greater to start a company and that’s what people don’t realize. You don’t have a recovery time. When I had done it before, I was in the prime of my career, but at 55 if you fail no one is lining up to hire you and then you also deplete your retirement funds.”
The September issue of Money Magazine is available in stores now. The video and article, without photos, can be found at www.tiny.cc/grillgrate.
GrillGrates can be found in Cartersville at Ace Hardware and Arco Ideas and Designs or online at www.grillgrate.com.