The Neglected 97%: Entrepreneurs Boot Camp Interview #8 - The Power of New Perspective
Nina Venturella, Founder of Majestic Wellness Academy, was bit by the bug.
Actually two of them.
You see, Nina was a born entrepreneur. Bitten by that bug at an early age, she became a success in several business ventures. Several years ago, in the midst of her latest success, Nina was bitten by another bug: Candida Albicans.
Most people have endured a bit of the unpleasantness brought on by having an abundance of candida in the digestive tract. But in Nina's case candida crept into her entire body, resulting in a cascade of weakness, brain fog, pain, nausea, headaches, muscle and joint problems, even organ problems. Candida left Nina flat on her back and kept her there for years, making everything in life a constant struggle.
And worse, she didn't even know what was wrong at the time. Nina spent years seeking a cure through standard Western medical channels, but with no success. She had been a nutritionist and a certified personal trainer. She'd taken great care of her body. What could possibly have gone so wrong?
Nina had been bedridden for two years. She needed a miracle.
Finally, Nina spoke to a friend who suggested she visit a naturopathic physician. There, it was finally discovered that candida was the culprit and her entire system was on toxic overload. Nina tried the conventional candida treatment but with marginal results. Finally, after intensive research, she discovered an herbal remedy that made her feel better. Better, but not cured of many of her myriad symptoms. But she was well enough to travel to Italy, where the next breakthrough happened.
Touring a small apothecary with others, Nina became aware of an old woman in a dark corner. The woman motioned Nina to come closer and in broken English said "I'm going to tell you something that will change your life. Your problem is in the lymphatic system where all the toxins are stored."
Armed with that miraculously-gained information, Nina returned to the U.S. and began to research the lymphatic system. She learned that there were people trained in various methods used to clear the lymphatic system and help the body release toxins. Nina visited several and received different treatments, but didn't experience any dramatic health improvement immediately.
A short time later, Nina had a dream in which she saw the vision for large-scale wellness centers where people could come to release toxins, clear their lymphatic systems, heal from disease. The next morning she woke up completely healed, totally free of all symptoms of candidiasis.
Her miracle was complete.
Nina immediately started a business to bring her vision into being, grounded in the proprietary system she developed for clearing the lymphatic system. The business exploded and she grew it successfully for several years. Nina later sold her interest in the company to pursue the larger vision of healing centers.
I met Nina through LinkedIn, learned what she was doing and about her journey from sickness to health and invited her to consider the Entrepreneur$ Boot Camp. She is now about halfway through the Boot Camp, working with George Kenney and I to develop her new business concept. I had a chance to get some insights into Nina's experience recently. . .
What made you decide to do the Bootcamp?
I realized talking with you that while I'd started and grew several businesses successfully, I'd always been so wrapped up inside them that I'd never really looked at any of them from another perspective, except for the customer perspective. When I met with you and George I saw immediately that there was this entirely different way to look at a business, through the eyes of investors. Once I got a glimpse of that I knew it was something I wanted to understand more.
What have you seen so far when glimpsing at the business through that different perspective?
It's been a true eye-opener. I've seen that my business is viable -- really all of them have been -- but that I could have been doing things so much better if I'd had this new perspective from the beginning. For example, we've been exploring the marketplace and gaining a beachhead in that space. I've always looked at that process - or at least tried to from a customer-centric viewpoint. That's an important viewpoint, but I'm seeing that its' not enough. There are other important views and one of those is how investors will look at my product/service offering and predicted market.
Perspective and vision kind of go hand-in-hand in terms of the business you're creating as well, yes?
Exactly. Creating a line of products and contemplating getting them out to the world, while also looking at building healing centers all over the world is a big, two-headed vision. The more perspectives I can take, the more ways of seeing the business through different sets of eyes, the more likely the vision can actually function as a business that generates profit while it helps people. If I can make a profit, I can't help as many people and after what I've been through on my journey from sickness to health, that is very important to me.
Investors will assess your hypotheses differently?
Yes. For example, whether a business will generate income as opposed to making a profit. So, we're looking at my vision, tactics and strategy from that broader perspective. The overall business model and how we employ various tactics and strategies to gain a beachhead, all of those need to lead to profitable income, not just sales. I've done the "Deal Scrub" process twice now and my scores are improving because I'm able to see from additional perspectives, then go back and work on the business more.
Has the Boot Camp challenged you?
Definitely. I had a plan and a model and a market I was going after. The Boot Camp has challenged most of my assumptions. But I've always been a person who is comfortable being uncomfortable. I think you need to bring that kind of resiliency to an experience like the Entrepreneur$ Boot Camp to get the best out of it. Embrace the challenges and let them help you grow.
What else would you say to an entrepreneur considering the Boot Camp in terms of your experience?
Perspective is everything. It is priceless to be able to see your business from a perspective that you've never had before. So, unless you already have your funding lined up or you're lucky enough to have a friend or mentor who has invested millions of dollars into hundreds of companies, don't pass up the chance to get the investor's perspective of your business.
Key Takeaways: Perspective is inherently valuable in business and in life. How we see things, how we interpret what we see. Many entrepreneurs lack multiple perspectives about their businesses because they spend so much time on the details of it. The time to get new perspectives, new views of your vision, tactics, and strategies, is before you've opened the doors. One of the best perspectives you can get, if you can find it, is an investor's perspective. An investor will look at your business differently than you do and help you create it and pitch it in ways other investors are likely to respond to positively.