While there are some universal tenets of success, entrepreneurs wouldn’t be entrepreneurs if they didn’t march to the beat of their own inner drummer. Many successful small business owners have their own “secrets”—things they do or believe that help them achieve success.
Here some of today’s smartest, most innovative, highly successful business owners share their insights and success secrets with you.
Meet: Dr. Sonia Joshi, the cofounder of Instavit, where she oversees all operations and marketing for the company. Sonia is an accomplished and honored London-based periodontics specialist.
In 2012, Sonia and her husband, Dr. Jatin Joshi, began developing Instavit, which makes energy, sleep and health supplements.
Following Jatin's nearly fatal health crisis with Crohn’s disease, they sought a smarter and more reliable alternative to the traditional pill supplements he was taking. Leveraging the fast delivery, purity and portability possible with oral spray technology, they formulated Instavit. “In its effective delivery of micronutrients, Instavit puts an end to the bulky, bad tasting, and hard-to-swallow supplements of yesterday,” according to the company.
Instavit’s diverse product line is made in the U.S., using only the highest quality vitamins and minerals.
Sonia splits her time between her practice in London, Instavit and her family. You can find her on Twitter @instavit.
Rieva Lesonsky: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Dr. Sonia Joshi: I loved painting and always wanted to be an artist.
Lesonsky: Why did you start your own business?
Dr. Joshi: It happened by total accident! My husband, Jatin, was extremely ill and I wanted to help him find a solution to aid his recovery. We developed Instavit as a way for him to easily and efficiently take the vitamins his body needed. After seeing how much the formulations helped him, our kids and our friends, we decided we wanted it to help others, too. Founding Instavit allowed us to reach a wider audience and help educate others about the benefits of healthy living.
Lesonsky: Did you experience a pivotal moment on your way to success?
Dr. Joshi: Several, but the first was securing our first round of angel investment. As with most startups, we had used our own savings and bootstrapped to develop the products. We knew we needed external investors to take Instavit to the next level. Approximately 90 percent of startups fail to get any investment at all, and with no entrepreneurial background or business experience, the odds seemed to be against us. We were fortunate we had a group of highly experienced investors who believed in us—that really kick-started everything.
Lesonsky: What’s the best small business advice you ever gave and/or received?
Dr. Joshi: The best small business advice I received: Don’t break the chain. The early days of a business can be overwhelming and daunting. Set a small, meaningful, achievable goal every day and mark it off on a calendar. It will help you to stay focused, determined and consistent, as you won’t want to “break the chain.” Eventually you’ll get to a tipping point when you will start to get the results.
The best advice I can give: Get your product to market ASAP! If your business idea is something you truly believe in, just go for it and get it to market. If you let the fear of failure control you, you’ll never be able to get your company off the drawing board.
Lesonsky: What’s one “best practice” more entrepreneurs should be embracing?
Dr. Joshi: Surround yourself with the right people. You can’t do it alone, and if you try you’ll most likely burn out. Instead, work with others who share your vision and passion. You’ll be surprised how many new opportunities unfold when you work as part of a successful team.
Lesonsky: Do you have a prediction for small business?
Dr. Joshi: The definition of “small business” will change. Being part of the “Uber generation” means that there is much more opportunity to be your own boss. The Freelancers Union states that approximately one-third of the workforce is now compromised of contractors, freelancers and self-employed individuals. This has a huge impact for small businesses. By combining this with advances in connectivity, small businesses now have the capacity to scale on a truly global level.
Lesonsky: What’s your favorite book?
Dr. Joshi: 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Lesonsky: Is there a quote you find particularly inspiring?
Dr. Joshi: “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” —Helen Keller