About Elyse Dickerson
My name is Elyse Stoltz Dickerson, and I am CEO and cofounder of Eosera, Inc., a biotech company in Fort Worth, TX. I started Eosera in 2015 after leaving my job in big pharma and sought to make something of my own. My business partner, Joe Griffin, and I have been working together for nearly 20 years—he has experience in the R&D side of the business, and I have experience in the commercialization and marketing of the products sold. Together we make a great team and have grown our company into a multi-million-dollar business with a fabulous team and the ability to manufacture products in-house. In my spare time, I love cycling, anything competitive, and reading.
Why Did You Become an Entrepreneur, Speaker, Author, Etc. in the First Place?
My story to entrepreneurship is an interesting one, and one I didn’t see coming. I lost my job in early 2015 at a large pharmaceutical firm and figured I had two choices: find another big corporate job or start my own business. I decided to bet on myself and roll the dice. That same year, I started Eosera with Joe and we haven’t looked back since. There’s been a lot of learning and growing, and it’s been an incredible journey that I wouldn’t have traded for anything. We’ve been able to provide jobs, learned how to manufacture products in-house, grow and bolster our business, and learn what it takes to survive as a company—especially when (not if) things go wrong.
How Do You Deal With Fear?
Fear is inevitable. Know that you’re not alone; I believe everyone is fearful of something, and the trick to dealing with fear is first recognizing that it’s there and you’re feeling it. Next, it’s stepping through it. The scariest part of most things is the anticipation—those few minutes before a speech, just before take-off, walking into a job interview. Once they’re actually happening, you’re most likely too focused on performing to be solely focused on the fact that you’re nervous. By stepping through the fear, you get to the other side and next time can lean on experience for comfort. If you let fear dictate your decisions, I believe you won’t reach your full potential. Being fearful is normal, and when I’m overwhelmed with fear, I know that facing my fears while giving myself grace and not expecting perfection is helpful.
How Do You Deal With Rejection?
Rejection is frequent and inescapable. They will tell you no far more than they will tell you yes. It’s important to remember that you will never get a yes if you don’t try, and every no gets you one step closer to your yes. Rejections are steppingstones to success, and every seeming roadblock shapes your outcome and successes, most of the time, it seems, for the better. Losing my job was a major rejection I had to get past; but, if I hadn’t lost my job, I wouldn’t have started my own company and embarked on my entrepreneurial journey. I wouldn’t have the team I have; I wouldn’t have supplied these jobs, I wouldn’t have potentially helped the millions of people that go to doctors each year for ear-related issues, and I wouldn’t have cocreated an incredible line of products. Turn your rejections into steppingstones and walk over them with ease onto the next big thing.
What’s the Name of Your Company? What Exactly Does Your Company Do, How Do You Help People?
Eosera, Inc. is a biotech company committed to serving unmet medical needs. We address gaps in the market with over-the-counter solutions. We specialize in ear care, and soon, nasal care. We are the only company with a comprehensive line of ear care products that address a myriad of ear-related issues, including earwax blockage or impaction, ear itch, ear hygiene, ear irrigation, and even earbud cleaning. We help people by providing one of the only clinically proven earwax removal product that dissolves earwax in as quick as 15 minutes (compared to the leading brand that only softens wax over 4 or more days). Our products are found in over 13K retail stores and online.
Name One of the Biggest Challenges You Have Faced and How Did You Overcome It?
In late summer of 2020, out of an abundance of caution, we voluntarily recalled 4 products. It was, of course, devastating to us and an unideal situation. We learned a lot about how to pull together as a company and how to go through the proper channels of a recall. We faced the challenge with a humble, can-do attitude and a transparent stance on the matter. We believe that it’s not the failures or mistakes that make up a company or a person, it’s how you handle those failures and mistakes—and we think we handled our recall with grace and humility by being willing to learn from our past and looking forward to our future. Our recalled products will be back on the market in early 2022.
What Piece of Advice Do You Wish Someone Had Given You at the Start of Your Career?
I wish someone had told me that you won’t know everything, but you can learn anything. Running a business, something goes wrong every single day—it’s inevitable. Having a learning mindset aids tremendously in productivity and problem-solving. If you can spend time working out a problem and collaborating with your team instead of worrying about how to start, you not only save time, you get better and better at solving problems and getting results.
Who Are Your Biggest Influences and People You Admire and Why?
I admire many people in business, and there are many impressive people that I’ve rubbed shoulders with and had the pleasure to work with, but I think the biggest influence and the person I admire most is my mom. Her meritorious skills in business and life that she exemplifies are unparalleled. She is the epitome of an inspirational female entrepreneur, having started her business in her 40s after raising two kids. I admire her tenacity, passion, and bravery as a businesswoman and as a person.
Name a Person Who Helped You Along the Way?
My business partner, Joe Griffin, has been a tremendous help to me for the past 20 years. Working with him side by side has taught me so much about what it means to be a business partner, how to work through complications in business, and the fact that you can’t do it alone. His expertise and capability aside, he is a good-hearted, kind person that wants others to succeed along with him. His creativity is unmatched, along with his talent and sense of humor (and his amazing playlists). Eosera wouldn’t be what it is today without Joe.
What Do You See as Your Greatest Success in Life, So Far?
My biggest success is my family. Many people tell women that they can’t have it all, but I am living proof that if you set priorities and boundaries, you can have a wonderful family and a career. My husband and I are true partners when it comes to raising our kids. I often asked for help from family and babysitters when my kids were young, but I have always dedicated the nights and weekends to my family. Nurturing those bonds has contributed to them being my greatest accomplishment.
What Book Would You Recommend and Why?
I would recommend everyone, especially business leaders, read ‘Humor, Seriously: Why Humor is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life (And How Anyone Can Harness It. Even You.)’ by Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas. It brings to light the value of using humor in the workplace to create a warm environment and connection with others.
What’s a Personal Self-Talk, Mantra, Affirmation or Self-Belief That Contributes to Your Success?
A mantra that often goes around the office is: this too shall pass. It is a piece of advice that a former boss gave me, and to this day, stands true as a bittersweet reminder that the bad times and the good times go by in a flash. It reminds me to savor every moment and learn what I can because nothing lasts forever.