Homeless Man, Joe Pippins, Wins Steve Harvey’s Funderdome
The National Alliance to End Homelessness reports that there are over 564,000 homeless people living on the streets of America. The last place that most people would assume they would end up is competing on a national television show as one of two entrepreneurs trying to sell their invention to the audience in order to win seed money. Yet that’s exactly what happened when Joe Pippins, founder of The Fishing Caddy, squared off against another entrepreneur on the Steve Harvey’s FUNDERDOME, and walked away with the grand prize of $20,000.
“I’ve been homeless, so I know what it’s like to hit rock bottom,” explains Joseph Pippins, creator and founder of The Fishing Caddy. “But I also know the kind of attitude that it takes to go from being homeless to creating something that you can sell to the public. I know what it takes to become an entrepreneur, especially when you don’t have all the tools handed to you on a silver platter.”
Pippins, who has a love of fishing and spending quality family time outdoors, saw a problem in today’s modern high-tech world. Too many families were not spending time together, engaging in things like camping and fishing, and he had an idea that led to his creation. He wanted to make it easy for families to head out fishing again, so he created an all-in-one fishing caddy. The Fishing Caddy makes it easy for people to grab it and be ready to go fishing, without having to lug lots of gear down to the water. It features two built-in fishing rod holders, a padded seat or tackle box, a live well for keeping the fish that are caught, a cup holder, and more.
After having the product idea, he took it to Kickstarter, where he was able to raise over $15,000 to turn his idea into a reality. No stranger to the entrepreneurial spirit, Pippins grew up in the inner city, where many around him turned to selling drugs in order to make some cash. He took a different route, making his first sale when he sold toys out his window so that he could raise money. He also bartered, and by middle school he began selling candy to other students when the school lunch program was taken away, leaving him to eat scraps and leftovers from other kids. He also built a team around him, to help with the candy sales, and even took to selling Mortal Combat codes to his peers to earn money.
So what does it take to go from growing up poor and at one time being homeless to creating a product people will flock to? Here are the top six principles that helped Pippins get there:
- Hard work. Nothing can take the place of good old-fashioned hard work. When you are willing to work hard, good things are going to happen. Roll up your sleeves, realize there is no easy way, and dig in to start working hard toward your goals.
- Passion.Having an idea can only take you so far. You have to be passionate about it, and be determined. That determination will keep you pushing past the barriers so that you can move closer and closer to your goals.
- Fill a gap. Take a look around and see what’s missing in your community or country. What is needed or what can you improve upon? If you can find a way to fill a gap, you will have a built-in audience that will be interested in your product or service.
- Self-sufficiency. Learn from the start that the world owes you nothing. If you want to get ahead or be successful in life, you will have to be the one to make it happen. Don’t wait for others to do it for you, because it won’t happen. Pave your own path toward success.
- Push past fear. Millions of people have good business ideas, but they are stifled by fear. Don’t let fear hold you back from trying out your idea. You can never become successful from your idea if you are not willing to push past fear to give it a try.
- Forget excuses. It’s easy to come up with excuses for why you shouldn’t or can’t get things done. But if it matters to you and you want to succeed at it, you will find a way, rather than an excuse. Excuses are nothing more than us holding ourselves back before the public has even seen what we have to offer.
“I’m happy to have made it this far with The Fishing Caddy and I can’t wait to introduce it to more people,” added Pippins. “With the right mindset and a drive to succeed, you can overcome and get noticed. Winning on the Steve Harvey’s FUNDERDOME was amazing and is going to take my dreams to the next step.”
Competing on Steve Harvey’s FUNDERDOME, Pippins went toe-to-toe against another entrepreneur with the audience in the judges seat. The show, hosted by Steve Harvey, has two entrepreneurs square off in front of a live audience. They try to convince the audience, who are the final judges of who wins the money, that their invention is the one that should be picked. Pippins competed on the July 16, 2017 show and was voted the winner, where he was awarded the grand prize of $20,000 seed money to help further launch his product.
The Fishing Caddy is all made in America, comes with a 60-day money back guarantee, and a two-year warranty. The all-in-one caddy makes it easy for anglers to go fishing. The caddy comes in camo or blue ice designs with the option to have a padded seat top or a tackle box lid. Prices range from $69.95 to $129, depending on the desired features. Billed as the world’s first all-in-one fishing system, it has been designed to help make fishing more enjoyable and give people more time to fish, rather than track down and organize their tackle and supplies. The Fishing Caddy is available online at Amazon, Etsy, and at the company website: https://