It's been more than 20 years since Pure Romance CEO Chris Cicchinelli came back to Cincinnati to help his mother with her fledgling intimacy products business.
After two decades of growing the Downtown-based business to a $350 million enterprise with 40,000 representatives worldwide, Cicchinelli, 45, of Indian Hill, has written a book recalling the company's growth and sharing his approach for becoming a successful business owner.
'The Secret is You' is now available for $25 at Secretisyou.com. The Enquirer spoke with Cicchinelli about his company, working with his mother and the book, here are some highlights:
You talk a lot about joining your mother's business. You had clashing approaches but together grew the business. What was that like?
A: I showed up on Day 1 of working with my mom and I have my notebook ready to go and asked my mom 'What's our five-year growth strategy?'
She looks at me and said 'What do you mean? The growth strategy was to send you to college – you need to figure this out. I'd like you to come back in a week and tell me how we're going to grow this thing.'
This is how my mom works: throw your butt in the fire and figure it out. She makes you face your fears and she challenged me every day to become a better version of myself.
Why did you write this book now?
A: I've been talking about this for years... I felt with people coming out of COVID, looking to do side hustles, maybe starting something new for the future... that's why I decided now was the right timeframe to do this book.
Pure Romance is a multilevel marketing company. You sell products to self-employed consultants, who turn around and sell them to customers. Most don't live off the income: The median consultant earned $111 last year.
A: That's right... It's more of a hobby, a side hustle for most. You work when you want to work.
Anybody with a good attitude and – if they have drive – can do this. That's the biggest thing: how much drive do you have to have your own business?
If you want to get in for discounted products, stay a customer... We see this as a business opportunity for women who want to make a couple hundred dollars a month or a couple thousand.
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