661
9 min 42 sec

Physical Therapist Sells 57,000 “Neck Hammocks”

In trying to remedy his own workout injuries, this physical therapist invents a portable device to relieve pain. He then patents the device and sells 57,000 of them.
Fitness Health & Wellness Manufacturing Product

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What It's About

A neck hammock that takes the pain out of a "pain in the neck."

Business Model
Manufacturing
Skills Required
Design & Research
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

Steve says that the power of people and connections is one of the most undervalued assets that you can have. He even goes further by saying that the more people you put yourself in contact with and develop positive relationships with, the better because later on down the road it can pay huge dividends for you.

Fun Fact

Much like the story we featured of a guy who creates a tool to keep hair out of the drain (Ep. 657), Steve’s biggest challenge has been imitators and counterfeiters. He describes it as a systemic problem with leeches looking to profit off of someone else’s idea. As part of his education process, he’s learned about intellectual property and patents—but that only goes so far. Mostly, he tries to stay positive and keep selling his original product.

Notes from Chris

Episode 661

Steve Sudell works as a physical therapist at a clinic in Venice, California. He provides personalized and sport-focused exercises to athletes before their competition to help reduce and possibly prevent injuries associated with intense, physical activity.

His side hustle is The Neck Hammock, a portable device that attaches to any door or railing and promises to provide medical grade cervical traction.

It came about first from his own needs. As someone who grew up playing sports, Steve had dealt with neck pain over the years and there wasn’t much he could do on his own besides going to see a chiropractor or a physical therapist. Once he became a PT, he learned about cervical traction—this was a treatment that worked for him every time. He also saw it work over and over with his patients.

Still, to get this treatment you had to go to the clinic and use a $2,000 machine.

One day, he was working out and tweaked his neck again. He decided he wanted to recreate the concept of cervical traction at home—so he took a long resistance band and wrapped it around a pole. He laid down on it for ten minutes, and his neck pain was gone.

Steve knew he was on to something, but making it wasn’t simple. Steve spent the next two and a half years going from concept to product. It had to fit snugly and securely around the back of your head, yet also be comfortable. It also had to be portable. Last but not least, it had to be affordable. He wanted something that you could put in your sock drawer at home or take with you on the road.

So he made it, learning along the way. In fact, he says that’s been the greatest and most unexpected benefit of the process. He’s learned about digital marketing, design, accounting, social media, how retail sales work, and so on.

But the education isn’t the only benefit. Since launching The Neck Hammock, Steve has sold over 57,000 units at an average price of $50.

It started with a pain in the neck, it became a pain relief profit center.

 
  MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • The Neck Hammock: What are you hangin' around here for? Head on over to Steve's website to learn more about this inventive little device!


SEE ALSO:


Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"If you have a great idea, don’t sit on it. Everyone has a good idea at one point or another, but it’s the people that take action that are the ones who see any sort of success. There will always be people who will doubt you and tell you that it’s a bad idea, but you really have to listen to your gut."
—Steve Sudell #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau