Speaking from experience, VÖOST co-Founder and Orange & Green Director Jason Scher affirmed that there are many difficulties that business owners encounter along the entrepreneurial journey. “Every single day, you're going to be challenged with something that will make you think, ‘I'm not good enough. It is not working.’ Then, you start to have those thoughts of quitting,” he said. It takes a lot of effort, time, resources and inspiration to start a business and see it through.
“Anyone that hasn't started a business or managed a business entirely has a different perception. It's like the swan analogy where it all looks graceful above the surface, but under the water, the legs are paddling furiously. Some of my friends see our products in different supermarkets and outlets, and they think it must mean everything's going well. But there's a lot of hard work, a lot of long hours, and a lot of stressful moments that people don't see,” described Jason.
To stay consistently on track, he has shared several insights which can be vitamins or energy boosters for entrepreneurs that can help them last longer on the journey.
Inspiring stories and positive feedback
To begin with, Jason got the idea for his business when he was standing in a pharmacy in Germany. “I noticed that the Germans had a full range and dedicated category of effervescent tablets, tablets that dissolve when you put into water, as opposed to the traditional tablets in Australia where you have to swallow them. And I don't like swallowing tablets. I realised that in Australia, there's a huge gap in the market for this type of format for all your vitamin and mineral needs,” Jason narrated. That incident and realisation gave birth to VÖOST.
Starting with five products sold in only 200 shops, it has grown to more than 40 product lines in around 2,500 stores in Australia’s leading pharmacies and supermarkets and now internationally. “Today, we're in South Africa, Hong Kong, China and the UK. The business has been growing steadily over the last five years,” according to Jason. As the business has expanded, he has encountered random instances wherein people, including total strangers, recommend the VÖOST products to him, not knowing that VÖOST is his business.
“It's nice when you see consumers enjoy the VÖOST range. It’s the same when people take time to write to us to tell us how good they find VÖOST and thank us for that. For them to take time out of their busy day and share that appreciation, it is inspiring. It makes me want to do more,” Jason confessed.
Persistence, passion, and other qualities
These qualities of an entrepreneur are like multi-vitamins that provide a healthy dose of energy to business owners and people around them. When thoughts of giving up are on the horizon, Jason’s recommendation is this, “You need to persevere. You must persist and go past those thoughts because it's worth it.”
It’s filled with various ingredients, such as honesty, creativity, discipline, which make the journey not only enjoyable but also fulfilling. “We take our business seriously. We're very professional, and we care. But you need to have a passion. You must love what you do. If you don't love what you do and not passionate about it, you'll never be able to have the success that you might dream of. For me, it's about having fun. It's about enjoying the journey,” he remarked.
People to bounce ideas off
“The challenge is that you sometimes feel a little bit isolated when it comes to not having other people to bounce ideas off. I think that's where EO Melbourne has become an amazing forum because it allows you to have that confidential platform to have those discussions that are relevant to you,” Jason said.
“EO Melbourne reminded me that there are many others that have had financial pressures, staffing pressures, customer and supplier issues, etc. Discussing ways to handle those pressures and situations become incredibly valuable. That feeling of isolation can quickly diminish purely from this forum platform, and it’s a bonus when you can learn from your peers’ experiences regarding the pressures they face,” he added.
Exercise and meditation
To release the tension and stress of running a business, Jason keeps his body and mind healthy and fit. “I feel that the more I exercise, the more energy I have. The times when I feel a little bit anxious and stressed or worried, I would always try and put half an hour aside and go for a run. Exercise, I feel like it's quite therapeutic. Mindfulness is also very important. I started meditating two-and-a-half years ago. It helped me not only recharge mentally but also feel a more centred, a little bit more focused. So, between physical exercise and meditation, it keeps me switched on and ready for what the day brings,” he professed.
A sense of purpose
The main thing that gives Jason energy is the knowledge that he has made a difference to countless of lives that have benefitted from VÖOST. “It's not about money. It's not about turnover. It's not about profit. It's not about the number of employees or the building. If you're inspired only by such superficial measures, then you're not going to have a strong foundation. There needs to be a little bit more substance to it. It's the knowledge that you've helped somebody or could help somebody new. That's quite powerful,” he imparted.
As he continues with his entrepreneurial journey, he hopes to grow his business and keep helping people by allowing them to feel better every day. He also wants to establish his businesses more firmly where he can have more time with his wife and kids. For Jason, “I want to explore the world with them. In five or six years’ time, I want to still be inspired, to have that drive to keep VÖOST on pleasing its consumer base.”