March 08, 2023
Dr. Amy Beckley - Finding Fertile Ground For Your Ideas

Proov company founder, Amy Beckley, PhD, invented the first and only FDA-cleared at-home test to confirm ovulation after discovering her own infertility issues were caused by a progesterone deficiency. In this episode you wil...

Proov company founder, Amy Beckley, PhD, invented the first and only FDA-cleared at-home test to confirm ovulation after discovering her own infertility issues were caused by a progesterone deficiency.

In this episode you will hear how Amy’s business was born when she invented the original PdG test in her basement so she could help other women, like herself, who were dealing with infertility issues.

Amy walks us through the steps she took to start her business beginning with her initial  research, creating a minimum viable product, raising capital using crowdfunding, and selling on Amazon.

Amy reveals the surprising early adopters of her product, the marketing challenges she had to overcome to reach her intended audience, how she uses customer feedback to iterate and expand on her offerings, and how she stays motivated through the challenges of building her business.

Finally, we hear Amy’s advice for growing a team, how she has evolved her product to include technology, and her take on what’s real in business contrasted with what we hear.

I think you’ll find Amy’s story very inspiring on both the business and personal fronts, so join our conversation.

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Welcome to the Real People Real Business Show. My name is Stephanie Hayes, and I'm a business strategist that helps mature entrepreneurs design their wealthy exits. Whether that means building an asset-based business model for an eventual sale, or simply taking yourself out of your business while enjoying its continued growth. I love to speak with like-minded entrepreneurs to share their real stories and the gritty details on how they've navigated their own way through. On this show, you won't hear about the glamorized entrepreneurship journeys that you can see online, and you won't be told how to make six figures in six weeks instead. Expect to hear real vulnerable and inspiring stories that you can relate to that have helped create the foundation for each of our guests businesses. Today I am so excited to welcome Dr. Amy Beckley. Amy is the founder of Prove and the inventor of the first and only FDA cleared test to confirm ovulation at home. When Amy and her husband tried to get pregnant, they suffered through several years of infertility, including seven miscarriages and two rounds of I. The second of which resulted in her son. When Amy decided she wanted another child without another round of I V F, she used her background in hormone signaling to uncover a problem with ovulation, which caused a progesterone deficiency, also called the luteal phase defect. With the help of an inexpensive progesterone supplement, Amy and her husband were blessed with their daughter, and Amy invented the original P D G test in her basement to help women identify problems with ovulation at home and started selling them in plastic bags on Amazon with a $50 logo from Upwork. Welcome to the show, Amy, and thanks so much for taking the time to share your story today. It's such a pleasure to be here. Excited. Yeah. I wanna hear this whole story. We were talking just before the interview started and, you know, some similar things that I had gone through when I was trying to get pregnant and I, I, I always wondered when that was happening, like, how many women, um, are having the same problem and just don't really even know what's going on or what they can do to, to solve this themselves. So jump in and tell me your story so you really. Built your first prototype inside of your basement. So go from there. How did that, how did that progress? Yeah, I mean, I, um, you know, I dealt with infertility and just going through it, I saw healthcare was broken. We, you know, didn't give resources to couples, um, until they were just so far broken that they wanted to take all their money and invest it in these really expensive procedures. Um, and when I found this simpler solution, I really just wanted to give back. I wanted to create something that help other, other couples. Um, I, you know, I've had, I've had seven losses and, you know, everyone's like, oh my God, I'm, I'm so sorry. Like, that must be so bad for you and this company. And what, what I've done is, is why they were there. And that this, you know, gives them purpose. . And so, you know, once I figured out what was wrong, you know, when you're going through infertility, most women, they don't feel like women. They feel like if I can't even be a mom, like what am I worth? And you can just, it's like. . It's horrible. It's like the worst experience, like when you wanna be a mom and you can't be a mom. Um, and it's just so emotionally draining that you just don't wanna talk to anybody. You don't wanna admit that. Like, you can't even conceive like just crazy. Um, and so I didn't tell anybody that I was going through this. And then when I kind of, you know, came outta the closet, so to speak, and everyone was like, you know, private messaging me. What did you do? It was so common that, that there was these issues. And so, you know, I just one day was like, we gotta like just try. Um, and so, you know, I had the conversation with uh, um, one of my friends from college that we would work together. She was an I IP attorney and worked with like clinical trial stuff and I was a scientist and did a lot of like the bench science. And we just had a call one day and we're like, all right, what do we have to do to get this off the ground? And so we literally opened our computers and went to and we're reading the regulations on how to create a medical device. We're like, okay, well we need to do this. Okay. We need to form a company. Okay. We need to have, you know, a logo. Okay, we need money, right? And so we just kind of started thinking of like, what are, like, what can get us to MVP? What can we do to like see if this is, is a possible thing? Um, and you know, here we're two scientists that have no money. We spent it all on I V F and we're just here to try to create a difference. We're like, well, no investor's gonna give us money. Um, pretty sure no bank is gonna give us a loan. And so, you know, really the only option we had to fund this venture was do crowdfunding. And so the whole idea was, I'm going to create this p. We spent $2,000 on reagents and like created the, like, got made sure the science worked right. made sure the science worked, created this prototype. And then we launched on, Indiegogo, which is, it's like, um, a crowdfunding platform with the idea of, all right, if, if people wanna buy it, we will make it for 'em. And that was it. Like, it was just, here's our idea. If, if there is a need for this product in the market, they will buy it. And we will make it and then give it to 'em. , like that's all we were trying to do was like, make a difference, make an impact, create something new. You know, educate, because you know, couples, women, we don't get that fertility education. We have no idea. And then going through healthcare and you haven't had enough miscarriages. I was like, well, that's kind of kind of a little bullshit. Like . I don't wanna wait that long. I don't wanna have that many miscarriages. Um, . And so yeah, that's what we did. We just, a crowdfunding campaign. We got $45,000, um, which was enough to create our first kind of prototypes and we sold them and then had enough money to create, you know, some more. And we just kind of did that for the first year, um, just to kind of see if it was a viable product and it was. Yeah, . I mean, we've changed a lot of lives. We've helped a lot of women identify issues, have better conversations with doctors, get pregnant without the need of I V F. They take our test, everything looks good. They get pregnant the next cycle. So it's, it's, it's all about the education and having access to that information and advocating for yourself and just having that, that space to do so. Well, and when you, when you talked about the, like, the shame that goes along with, um, feeling like you're infertile, um, you know, I remember I lost my fir I miscarriage with my first Yeah. And I remember just being devastated, not because I was so. Committed to the idea of motherhood, but because I felt like I was letting my, my husband at the time down and that I was, you know, you spiral into like, well, what if I can never have babies? And what if this is like, what, there's something wrong with me and I can't even do this. Right? And like , you know, and it, and the, you know, at the time you don't realize how common and how prevalent it is. And, and so I think there's a lot of isolation and there's, um, you know, when. We're having trouble, you know, conceiving with our second same kind of thing. I was like, well, what's wrong? And there's just so much possibility out there in terms of, you know, what could be wrong and your brain goes to the N degree and I'm gonna have to have all this surgery and all this other stuff, and blah, blah, blah. When you know, for me it was a very simple fix. Kind of the same problem you had. And I just took some, some vitamins and it, and it changed everything for me. And then I got pregnant. So I, you know, I remember sitting there thinking, Man, that was an easy solution for me. After all of this research. I wonder how many other women are struggling because infertility is infertility in in, and it can be, you know, from a wide range of different reasons. And some of them are very hard to solve and some of them obviously are not. And what if there were a whole bunch of women out there that could do the same thing? And I think that's where you came from too, and be able to solve their infertility problem. . Yeah, I mean it is very common, like the number one cause of infertility is problems with ovulation. We didn't have a tool to assess if we were ovulating properly in order to conceive. Um, we just didn't monitor hormones in the capacity that it needed to be monitored. And so we just came in with a better test that would prolonged monitoring to make sure the hormones were where they needed to be but just because something is common doesn't mean it's normal. Um, you know, I got that a lot where it was like, you know, after my first loss was like, oh, well, well good, at least there's a silver lining is I can go talk to my doctor and get the help I needed. And I called them and they said, this is, this is just your first loss. This is totally normal. Common happens in 25% of pregnancies. You know, go try again. And I was like, serious. Like, I just lost a life. I later find found out that about 30% of miscarriages are actually preventable. So if you have, you know, some kind of active infection and S T D, um, You know, some kind of like microbe. Um, if you have structure in your uterus, if you have hormone issues, those are all able to be corrected so you don't have to have miscarriages after miscarriage. And so, you know, I, I don't like the, oh, just try again. You know, I like, I like the data. because I remember, um, after, I think it was my third loss, um, this happened on my birthday and we had had an annual girls trip with all the girls. We all go to Vegas and we go see the Britney Spears concert. This is, 10, 15 years ago at this point. And I remember getting that positive pregnancy test the day I left, um, for Vegas and being like, okay, you know, but I, I drank the tonic, right? Not the gin and tonic, but just the tonic. And then, you know, maybe a week later I lost the pregnancy and then I madly Googling and the tonic water is linked to mis. And I'm like, oh, great, I did it again. Like I caused a miscarriage. Right? And it's like women are constantly thinking it's their fault or what could I have done? What can I do? Um, and you know, a lot of times there's nothing you can do is genetic sperm anang just don't meet. But that's not a hundred percent of the time. And so anytime we can help women understand their bodies and understand what they're going through, give them that data. Is so empowering to kind of be back in control and at least have some answers to things that we don't understand. Um, you know, we call it the pit of despair, right? So women, every negative pregnancy test, it just goes further and further deep in this like hole. Um, and so if we can provide as much screening and data on the, on the front end, You know, it helps them be educated to, to make the right decisions. Um, cuz the worst thing is, you know, not knowing and, and not having any information, cuz then it just feels like you're spiraling out of control and you don't know where the ending date is. Yeah, I mean, I, I know that there are statistics out there, and I know that if they're meant to try and like, help people feel like it's normal to have a miscarriage, but when you, when you boil it down, Every single person's experience is traumatic. Right. Even if I, if it's a common thing or like there are a lot of people who have them, it's still your experience and I think that it's still worth trying to figure out how we can possibly, you know, eliminate. Even a handful of them so people don't have to go through that because it is, it's a, it's a trauma, right? It's a, there's so much that goes on when it happens. No, no woman has a miscarriage and she's like, oh, yeah, there we go. I'm one of 25%. Right. No problem. We'll just try again. . I know. I always tease, we always tease it then our company that if, if a miscarriage happened to a man, it would've been solved, you know, a whole long time ago. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. It's a complex, complex thing. So, back up a bit. What was your background before you, um, before you started at Proov? Um, I was a scientist. Um, I worked on, um, vaccine development. I did breast cancer research. Um, I just really, really loved how things worked and what happens when they don't work. Um, I thought I wanted to be a doctor early in my career. Um, but I volunteered in an ER and I about passed out when I had to hold the guy's hand while they, you know, doctors giving stitches. So I kind of turned my focus towards, okay, how can I have that impact? But instead do something on the, you know, medical device or a therapeutic drug. Kind of, kind of, um, a aspect of it. Um, You know, being in universities, there's so much amazing things going on at universities and they're publishing all these really cool papers, but there's very few people that are taking that really cool knowledge and translating it into products. Um, so it wasn't like nobody had ever thought of it. It was like, oh, this new thing with this new hormone. It was all this beautiful research, uh, talking about how the hormone can, can ob, you know, can, uh, confirm ovulation and sustained, elevated or, you know, levels are needed for pregnancy and here's the values that you need. There's all these beautiful research, but there was never a product. It was never translated into something that people could actually use. and that's where I wanted to step in and, and do that and actually create something, um, you know, out of just scientific literature because, you know, people aren't doing that as, as often as they should. Um, I mean, our product name is Proov, but the, uh, company name is MFB Fertility, this whole premise of, if you guys aren't gonna do it, I will just go do it myself. Like, I don't need, you know, I don't need you to tell me I can, I cannot do it. I'm just gonna do it. I'm gonna open up the FDA website, I'm going to get some money. I'm going to, you know, register my business. Like there's nobody there to stop me and say you can't do this. Um, and so, you know, you gotta have grit. You gotta say, You know, no is not an answer. It's, you know, let me find a different way in a different door. Um, but yeah, . So why, what, I mean, what's the reason? Like there's so much research going on in the universities and how much of it just doesn't see the light of day? Jesus, I think like 99% of it, um, it's, it is different skillset, right? Scientists are scientific, right? They like to solve questions, like scientific questions and get answers, and they, you know, oh, this is the mechanism. This is what causes cancer, you know? But then like there's a whole other mindset where it's like, how do I take this science into a product? Right. That's a totally different frame of mind. And usually a scientist is not a business person. Like, it's like different halfs of the brain or something. And so when I, after I dealt with infertility, I had my daughter, um, I started thinking like, okay, How can I, you know, create a product or something? And I was a faculty at Kansas State University, and as part of being faculty, I would get tuition credits. And so I worked towards my master's at lunch and at night. I just took each class with the premise of like, okay, how do I translate this class into a fertility business? And, um, like it just, it seems so logical to me, right? Like, oh, the finances and the, the supply chain and like, you know, the marketing, like, you need to know your market. You need to know how much they're gonna spend. You need to know how to price things. And so being able to take my scientific brain and like sit in an MBA, a class and learn the business. Um, really helped me create, you know, the, the, the whole idea and, and the pricing and what it was gonna do, how it was gonna work, um, which, you know, a lot of scientists do. They just don't have that skillset. And so a lot of that really cool technology just gets stuck. In, uh, university Oblivion, ? Yeah, I, I did an m mba, a management of the program was to take really technical people who you knows live in that really technical world and help them have, get the business skills to be able to. Innovate and to be able to turn all of this sort of knowledge into, and when I worked at the university as an entrepreneur mentor, it was the same kind of thing. Like there was so many people coming out of the academic community that had ideas or that had, you know, something that they wanted to bring to fruition and they needed that sort of catalyst to bring them through to, you know, they would get some education around business. And then they, you know, had this group of mentors. Take their idea through to fruition. So I think you're right, like there's this hotbed and, um, you know, a lot of the universities could really benefit from having programs that move their, their academic community into entrepreneurship. And so that was your, that was your route. And how long has the business been up and running now? Uh, we started the business in 2016. Um, so we're running on, geez, eight years . Seems like just yesterday, but apparently it's eight years . And so tell me about growth. So what has growth kind of meant to you? Um, growth is, you know, bigger impact. Um, it's, you know, helping more people. It's. Um, making sure that people know about the technology, making sure we offer the right products. Um, and we started off as simply testing one hormone. And, you know, when we had that in the market, we, which is constantly screening what people were saying about it and what, you know, what they were using it for. And, you know, all this stuff, which is also an interesting thing is. Why we developed the product is not what our initial users were using it for. And so, you know, , that kind of insight was like, huh, interesting. We innovate, you know, okay, we have more hormones than that. We measure four hormones than just one. And then it was like, well, people don't know, you know what this, what these mean, or like how to, how to get the help. Okay, let's build a supplement suite to help balance, you know, hormones and have, you know, healthy hormone patterns. , and then it's like, well, some people need prescriptions. It's like, okay, let's build out a telehealth pathway so we can kind of help, you know, women get the help, help we need. And so we've turned into just a, a test to a full circle kind of solution. because we constantly listen to our consumer. We, um, try to understand, you know, who she is, what are her roadblocks to really help her. I mean, people are very solution based and the biggest product, or the biggest need that they're trying to solve is how do I get pregnant and not have to, you know, drain my bank account doing so and so, um, we. Providing the testing, but we weren't providing the solution. And so now we're moving towards, all right, let's provide the solution. Let's get them full circle, let's get them pregnant. Yeah. And I think that the education component plus the, the like community component is also a really important piece of that as well. And what were you noticing that people were using it for, that you didn't intend for them to use it? Yeah. So, um, the Catholic community uses something called N F P, which is Natural Family Planning. Um, it's also called like fertility awareness. And basically, you know, within the, the Catholic teachings, and I'm not Catholic, so I apologize if I get any of this wrong. Um, is that. It's it's God's will. Right? And, and you cannot actively have any type of, of barriers or birth control. Like you just have to, you know, when God wants you to have children, you have children, right? And so you can't use any type of birth control or contraception. Like you can't use condoms, you can't use pills, IUDs like, it's not part of the religion. Um, and so these women were experts at tracking their cycle because they would know when they were fertile and when they weren't fertile, and then they would choose to not have intercourse in that fertile window. And so they knew all about their hormones and everything. They had all these tracking tools, all these methods to make sure that. They weren't having intercourse in their fertile window when they were trying to avoid pregnancy. Right? Maybe they were trying to space out their, their pregnancies. Maybe they weren't in a good financial position, maybe they had a health issue. Um, and so they knew that progesterone would rise after ovulation and there'd never been an at-home progesterone test. And so when we came out, they're like, this is amazing. I can actually confirm that I ovulated, I'm outside of my fertile window, and then I can, you know, resume relations with my husband and I'm. That is not why I invented it, but okay. . And so they were the early adopters because they knew so much about their hormones and their cycles, that as soon as they saw the product, they're like, boom, got it. I, I understand it. Right. I'll take five. Right? Like, it was very easy, um, for them to understand, whereas women that are trying to conceive, they don't have that education and they don't know what it is. And so there's more things we have to tell 'em about, right? There's, there's more things that we have to teach them about, you know, their fertility for them to say, oh, this is the product that I need. The other issue that we ran across is we were doing crowdfunding to develop the product, and so any of these women that were trying to conceive at that particular moment in time, they were like, when am I gonna get this? I'm like, I don't know, 10, 12 months. They're like, yeah, I'm gonna be pregnant by then. I'm not gonna buy it. . And so you learn things that you're like, oh no, this is, this is great, like this product will do so well. But then you realize there's this constraint with a timing thing and so, you know, being able to be kind of nimble and like grow and you discover challenges as you go and you have to be able to, to pivot and to adapt on the fly to be successful because, I don't know a single person who is, who's like started a business and it's gone exactly as planned. like not a single one. But I do know successful businesses where you got a plan, you know you got a North star, but sometimes you gotta pivot around and find a new one. Yeah, a hundred percent. I mean, like , that is entrepreneurship 1 0 1. And, um, we, we, everything that we think that is gonna happen probably is not. And you're gonna find something else. And, and that's, you know, the whole story of the resilience is an entrepreneur and blah, blah, blah. So you've been in business for eight years now. I'm assuming six. I can't do math right now, apparently. Oh yeah. Well, no, apparently I can't either. So nevermind. Eight, six. Some amount of years you've been in business, and uh, I'm assuming everything didn't go as plant. No, no, no, no. it's, it's like ups and downs. It's like these mountains, like the roller coaster, right? Like you have this extreme highs, you're like floating on air, and then you have these extreme lows. You're like, oh God, everything is falling apart. I don't know what to do. Um, but you know, what's carried me through is the passion, right? Like, you know, a good entrepreneur that. Doing something is doing something because they actually truly have the passion. And if you don't have that passion, it's really hard to get through those lows and be like, you know what, I'm out like I am out. So, you know, like. You know, we've had, you know, a call to the f d A that I've, you know, left crying. Um, there's been situations where, you know, people have stolen our i p and we're spending a bunch of money on like legal bills, right? But then there's also these, these situations where women are, are, uh, Thank God this is here. Like you finally, like after, you know, eight losses, I was able to find the issue and now I'm here pregnant, look at my baby. You know, like those are like the highs and it, it's really rewarding. So, I mean, no it's not, it's not a straight line , but by no means. I think there's an element, and I, I, I go through this with my clients as well, but there's an element of being passionate about the mission you're on, but also being passionate about the, like, the piece of the business that you are most responsible for. And for some people that's being the leader. And for some people that's being, you know, um, The doer or whatever it might be. And I think, you know, as your business has grown and I'm assuming it's grown, you know, significantly, how did you align yourself with the work that needed to be done and, and, you know, how did you grow the team? Yeah, it was an excellent question. So, you know, when we started out, it was just myself. We now have, um, 15 employees. So we definitely have grown, um, and. I do the work that only I can do, and I try to give all the other tasks to other people. So, you know, I'm the scientist. I'm, um, you know, the, the, the public face of the company, right. So I do a lot of the, the Instagram stuff, and I do a lot of the education and write blogs and, um, you know, help, help with the, the product development. Of course. Um, and I try to, you know, paying bills and. I try, you know, pass those things off, which is really actually difficult to do because when you're in control of everything and you have to, to give that control to other people, it's hard because this is your baby, this is your, your product, your company, and you're entrusting somebody else and you really, really hope that they're gonna do a good job. Um, and so you have to get good employees and you have to value them. You have to, um, Recognize them, you have to celebrate wins. Um, and it, it is like, it's relationships with, you know, 15 other people and, you know, finding jobs, finding people who take jobs that are equally as passionate about me running the company. They're equally as passionate about marketing a company or, you know, creating design assets. Or, you know, regulatory or supply chain. Like there's people that are really passionate about what, what it is they do, and so you have to find those employees that just love. Working for you works, loves the company mission, loves what they do. We've had several employees where we've kind of shifted their role within the company to really fit what they did the best. Um, you know, we have employees in the inbox, which is our customer support. Um, and we pride ourselves on every person that emails us. We'll get a custom response from a real human being. Because we know these couples are really going through this and they really need , you know, one-on-one, you know, actual human being, and she didn't necessarily like being in there. Um, But what she really loved doing was educating and writing blogs. And so now she's head of partnerships and she educates all these people around the world about how cool Proov is and like tells these story to, to all these people. Um, and she, she loves it. She thrives. Right? And so, you know, if you have, you know, those employees that, you know, maybe we're kind of chugging along, you know, I was, what can I do? How can I support you? You know, you wanna support them on a professional level within the environment they're in now, but you also wanna support their career development. And so we have, you know, programs where it's like, you know, you give me two, gimme two. One is what is your improve goal? And then second one, one is your life goal and how can we help you? So if it's, you know what, I wanna be a, a develop. , you know, okay, great. We're gonna help you. We're gonna take, you know, gonna go to class, you're gonna do a bootcamp. So you can be a developer. We're gonna teach you that skill. And so, you know, making sure that they're growing in their careers while they're helping grow the company is really important. So I wanna have everybody be successful, whether or not our company is successful, I want their time at the company to be a. So how has the product developed or grown or evolved, I guess is the better word, um, over the last six years? Yeah, so we started off with a simple urine strip. Um, you, um, you know, buy the, you used to buy it in the plastic bags off Amazon. Now we have a fancy box. Um, but you, you know, you buy the strips on Amazon, the. and then you collect first morning urine and you take a test and it was a visual read, so one line was positive, you had enough hormone, two lines was negative, you didn't have enough hormone, and it was very, you know, easy. What we've done is we've evolved to creating an Scan it, you, it tells you when to test based off of your unique profile, and then it tells you how to take a test and they use a phone camera. You scan the results in, it reads it, stores the values, and then it builds the entire pro uh, protocol. And so you have a hormone report at the end, which. Will flag you for potential issues that then you can, you know, go and talk to your doctor. You can go through telehealth, you know, whatever ticket it fixed, but it's basically automating the process that was very manual like. Okay. Was that one or one line or two lines? Okay. Did I test on the right day? I don't know. To, you know, just being very easy to do. Everything's logged in your phone. Um, you know, you got a nice report at the end. You get suggestions on kind of what to do next. Um, we don't measure just one hormone. Now we measure five different hormones. Um, and then we offer support as well. Like you had a simple vitamin that really helped you conceive your second child. That is very common. Women are, we're, you know, stressed out. We're not thinking about our diet, we're lacking certain nutrients, and so just teaching them about, okay, well you don't have enough of this hormone. It could be you need some B6 or you need some zinc, and you just keep, your body just doesn't have the nutrients that can needed to make that hormone. And so we have what to eat, how to exercise, you know, what kind of like, you know, mindfulness things can you do to support healthy hormones. We have a ton of women that just get pregnant that way. We have herbal supplements that naturally support your hormone levels. And so we offer, you know, supplements on our website as well. So we're really trying to, you know, understand all the hormones and then provide the solutions to help support, uh, healthy hormone. Yeah, so important. And like, it's just such a, you don't, you never realize this when you're young and you don't get the education and, you know, we're such like absolutely fragile ecosystems inside our bodies. And like, one thing being off, one place that we wouldn't even like stress, stress is, you know, we all kind of know it, but we don't really know it until you've seen your body completely break down due to, you know, prolonged stress and it'll literally kill you. So no wonder. You know, it's the second child is so hard to conceive because you've got your first and you're , you know, already pretty tired, pretty stressed out, pro probably not taking care of yourself and, and all of that. So I'm really like pleased to hear that the ecosystem and all of the additional support and, and all of that is, is sort of common and evolved. Um, I have a question for you that I ask all of my guests. We talk about, you know, real business here. What do you think is the biggest difference between what we see out there in the business world and here, out there in the business world, and what's real about being an entrepreneur? It's so frustrating to see celebrities and, you know, people that are connected that have a lot of wealth. Yeah, I just raised 5,000, $5 million and I'm gonna do this or that, or whatever. I'm like, You put a new label on a prenatal vitamin, that's all you did. There was no innovation. You just put it in a different box. , it's a branding play and it's so frustrating to see these people in power that have the money not do anything innovative. They wanna do something easy. They wanna show that, you know, or like these celebrities with these brands, like, look at my new. And how many millions of dollars, billions of dollars. You know? Cause I have a, you know, the Beyonce brand or whatever it is with it , you know, so it's like, that's really frustrating is, is to see just how much money is wasted. And the true innovation comes from the entrepreneurs. The people who need the money don't have the money. Um, and that's really hard. But on, you know, truth. And you know what I'd say to other people in this position that are like trying to get their businesses off the ground, that don't have the money, they don't have the funds, so they have a really, really good idea. Um, you know, get in network, you know, build, go to like, um, you know, local entrepreneur networks. Um, there's usually like small business associations um, you know, angel Networks put on events so they can meet founders, um, you know, and, and build your own kind of network to, to do that. And then if you just do your thing, people will take notice and they'll start coming to you. Um, you know, we. Just did our thing and we just, you know, we just wanted to help women and we wanted to create, we created these products and we just did what we needed to do. We got f d a clearance, we got, you know, patents. We were just kind of, you know, doing what we needed to do. and people came to us and said, you know, we wanna invest in you, we wanna give you money. And it wasn't because of who I was, but what our product was and what we were doing. So, um, it's really frustrating. So I totally understand. Um, but yeah, the biggest advice is funding is really, really hard. Um, it doesn. Appear and people don't just, you know, reign money on you. Um, you gotta work at it. And that is relationship building and it takes a while. Yeah. So the sooner you can get out there and build those relationships, the better. Yeah. And you gotta hear a lot of nos and you've gotta like really keep at it. Yeah. And it's not just hearing a no, but it's in taking the no. Why is it a no and either changing it or saying, I'm talking to the wrong person, let's talk to somebody else. Or you know what, they actually did have a really good point. I need to fix that. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, absolutely. I think there's, it's all good information, right? And if you listen to an epi, our episode, I think like three, maybe three episodes ago, we had an interview with, um, a lady who is the CEO of Lighter Capital. And so this whole accessible capital and revenue-based financing is a whole new. , um, you know, there's al, there's al there's more and more options becoming available that are more accessible than than before. So you gotta keep at it and you gotta explore all your options. I love that. Um, we're coming up on time. Can you let our listeners know how they can find you? Yes. Uh, we are at, so P R O O V T E S Uh, we are also on Amazon. Um, we are available in US Canada, Australia. Uk, eu, hopefully worldwide working on it. Um, but yeah, those are the two. We're on, uh, social media. It's at proov test. Uh, we have a really amazing Facebook community. So if you know you are a woman, um, struggling and you need some support, some education, uh, it's Proov user and support group on Facebook, um, is a great community of about 10,000 women. Um, Have a great inbox, um, wonderful women who you have any questions. They'll one-on-one answer your question and get you the information that you need. So happy to. Awesome. I would've been so grateful for that when I was, uh, trying to get pregnant and now I've got a six foot tall 12 year old, so. Apparently he, he grew. Okay. . Alright, well, I've loved this conversation today, we're gonna wrap it up. I'm so happy that we had the opportunity to chat with Amy today to hear more about how her business came to be, her experiences along the way, and what the future of her business entails. Thank you for tuning into this episode of The Real People Real Business Show, where we get the real entrepreneurial stories and journeys that you can relate to the show notes, resources, and links from this episode are available on my website and social media platforms. If you have enjoyed today's content, I'd love for you to give us a review on whatever platform you're on to help us share these genuine stories with an even bigger audience. Until next time, keep building. Keep dreaming and keep being real.

Dr. Amy BeckleyProfile Photo

Dr. Amy Beckley


Amy Beckley, PhD, is the founder of Proov and the inventor of the first and only FDA-cleared test to confirm ovulation at home.

When Amy and her husband tried to get pregnant, they suffered through several years of infertility, including seven miscarriages and two rounds of IVF – the second of which resulted in her son.

When Amy decided she wanted another child (without another round of IVF), she used her background in hormone signaling to uncover a problem with ovulation which caused a progesterone deficiency (also called a luteal phase defect).

With the help of an inexpensive progesterone supplement, Amy and her husband were blessed with their daughter. Amy invented the original PdG test in her basement to help women identify problems with ovulation at home, and started selling them in plastic bags on Amazon with a $50 logo off Upwork.