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Want to launch a wellness business? 7 top entrepreneurs share their best tips


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Photo: Instagram/@dainatrout

There’s no way around it: Taking the leap of faith required to launch your own business is always scary and risky. It’s one thing to hash out your plan over wine with your friends, it’s a whole other one to convince your partner it’s worth quitting your job and putting your savings on the line for.

But if your big idea is related to wellness, now could be the ideal time to see it through. In 2016, the health and wellness industry was valued at $686 billion worldwide, and it’s expected to grow to reach $815 billion by 2021, according to Euromonitor International. This growth in the wellness market is part of what brought over 100 budding entrepreneurs to FounderMade’s Consumer Discover Show in New York City earlier this week.

Throughout the day, panel discussions were held featuring the founders and CEOs of notable brands including Health-Ade kombucha, C.O. Bigelow, CAP Beauty, Y7, Man Repeller, Equinox, FreshDirect, CVS Health, and Barry’s Bootcamp. Want the Cliffnotes version of the best advice of the convention? Rounded up here are the seven most useful tips that were revealed during the day.

Keep reading for 7 career tips to keep in mind  before launching your own wellness business.

Was a good day out here ✌🏼 #weflowhard

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1. Stick to your mission

Sarah Levey, CEO and co-founder of the uber-popular yoga studio Y7, reminds founders to keep their eyes on the prize. “There are a lot of trends in the fitness space, but I stay focused by staying true to what I believe in,” she says. Your business is one that will (hopefully!) withstand the test of time, so it needs to be something you’ll be excited about well into the future—not just riding the tide of whatever the unicorn toast of the moment is.

2. Go for it—because you’ll regret it if you don’t

“Don’t be afraid of failure,” says Craig Dubitsky, founder of Hello Products. “If you’re passionate about something, you’re going to feel worse if you don’t do it.” Hopefully your business idea will be a huge success—but if not, at least you won’t have that nagging “what if” feeling.

3. Keep it real

Joey Gonzalez, CEO of Barry’s Bootcamp (and a member of the Well+Good Council) says relationships are key to building your business. “We exist today in a place where you can often buy loyalty with influencers, but we’ve never done that [at Barry’s]. Everything we’ve done has been authentic,” he says. Gonzalez points out that people have a pretty good BS meter, and if they get the inkling a promotion or even just an Instagram post isn’t authentic, it’s going to really turn them off.

4. Put your money where your mouth is (literally)

Having launched his eponymous global haircare brand and now the French beauty brand Bastide, Frederic Fekkai knows a thing or two about running a business. And he has two major pieces of advice to anyone hoping to reach his level of success. The first is to make sure you have the capital—ideally more than you think you need. “You don’t have to have all the money you’ll ever need right away, but you do need to think about the level you want to launch with and make sure you have the capital to fund that,” he says.

Second: Make sure your brand has a meaningful story. “Brands that only have flashy packaging may be all over Instagram for a moment, but they’ll end up being a flash in the pan,” he says. “It’s important to have a meaningful brand story for people to connect to.”

5. Choose the company you keep wisely

Drew Harrington founded his healthy Greek yogurt dessert line Yasso with his best friend from kindergarten, so he speaks from (very) personal experience when he advises you hold out for the right business partner. “It was trust that got us through,” he says. Also important: Joining forces with someone who you’ll have fun experiencing the ups and downs with. “Going into business with someone who was my best friend made the journey that much more rewarding,” Harrington says.

6. Find a partner who’s going to give as much to the business as you are

Daina Trout has two business partners in her cult-favorite kombucha brand Health-Ade—one being her husband—and she says that while finding someone you enjoy spending time with and communicate well with is non-negotiable, the difference between between success and failure may rely on a clean and clear division of the workload. “A lot of people go into business with a friend they trust and communicate well with, but six months down the line, they find out that their friend isn’t willing to work as hard as they are, and that’s when many businesses fall apart,” Trout says. And many times, that means a not-so great outcome for the friendship as well as the business.

7. Never stop learning and growing

Even if you launch a business and it’s a huge success, Mitch Hara, CEO of Beekman 1802, says the work still isn’t done. “Innovation never stops,” he says. “We’re constantly innovating through the new products we release, the messaging we send to consumers, and the partnerships we form.” His advice is to continue to look for white space within the market and see how you can meet that need. Ultimately, it’s something that will benefit you and potential customers.

If you’re not ready to quit your day job just yet, here’s how to make a career pivot. And this is the secret to thriving in all areas of life.

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