I’ve talked with women that simply can’t find their passion. They lead busy lives, and question how its possible to know what else they could possibly do outside of the 9 to 5 job, taking care of the kids, keeping up with the daily activities, and so on. “Where do women find it” they want to know, “because it sure hasn’t dropped into my lap.”
Sometimes it isn’t a light bulb moment that falls from the sky and hits you over the head. Sometimes it visits you in your daily life, over and over again. You see it in your 9 to 5 job, you know it’s a problem, and you quickly realize you have what it takes to do it in a different way.
When I was introduced to Arielle Levitan and her concept of Vous Vitamin, I knew she fit this concept perfectly. She had a life she loved, a job that kept her busy, and yet through it all realized there was a better way for her to offer help to those she cared for in her daily practice.
I loved Arielle’s story, and I think you will too.
My partner and I are both physicians and moms who have launched an online business. I am a practicing Internist and Romy Block is an Endocrinologist. Together, we co-founded Vous Vitamin, a purveyor of Personalized Multivitamins and online health information platform.
We realized we spent a lot of our time with patients talking to them about vitamins. Everyone was confused about what they should be taking and what was safe and useful. We saw people who had symptoms such as fatigue, thinning hair and lack of energy that were often due to vitamin deficiencies. However, each person was unique in their vitamin needs.
We created a system by which people can go online and take a diagnostic survey about their diet, lifestyle and health history and get a Personalized Multivitamin. Our customers enjoy premium multivitamins that get sent directly to them as a subscription. We have created the perfect products that we always wanted for our patients.
Starting a business as two physicians has been an immense challenge but a gratifying one. Not only is it a time crunch (we both still practice part time) but we have learned to use a completely different skill set. We now know all about web development, SEO, accounting, digital marketing, fulfillment, manufacturing and more! We launched about 6 months ago after over a year of development. It’s been great at times, frustrating at times, but all in all a lot of fun.
Arielle’s a-Ha Moment:
Perhaps our biggest a-ha moment was when we decided to actually move forward and do this thing. We had been tossing the idea around for months and looking for someone with business know how to do it for us. For us, one of the most inspirational things was hearing from some other female entrepreneurs that they thought we really could go ahead and make our idea a reality. We were hesitant to do it on our own and literally were looking for someone (likely a man) with an MBA to “do the business for us.” We had a chat with some friends of mine who are both successful female entrepreneurs and they actually told us to fire the guy we had started working with to help us and that we would do a better job on our own. She said,
“You don’t need someone with an MBA to do this for you. You are both smart and driven. You can totally do this yourselves.”
At that minute we were like, “of course. We are smart. We didn’t get to this point in life by not being able to figure things out. She’s right. Let’s make it happen.”
That being said it has been a challenge. Finding the time to get everything done while we continue to practice medicine and raise our families sometimes seems superhuman. There literally don’t seem to be enough hours in the day. But we both have learned to really prioritize how we spend our time. We don’t volunteer as much at school or spend time having lunch with the girls (or when we do it’s with a business purpose typically).
But frankly I think my kids are more independent because of it and my life is richer because of it. I also think we have set great role models for our kids. They have seen us literally create a business before there eyes. We were recently at someone’s house and my 8 year old dragged me by the hand into their kitchen to show me the woman’s bottle of Vous Vitamins sitting on her counter. He was so excited and I really felt so proud.
No doubt our lives are a precarious balancing act right now, but we have shown ourselves that you really can get much more done than you might think and so far it really has been worth it. I always tell myself that even if I can’t retire on Vous Vitamin’s success I have learned so much in this process that it was worth every minute.
Here were are, many months later with a real live company. We are growing every month and have a huge local following. We are now looking to take it to a more national level. And after all we’ve been through, we know we can do it!
Takeaways For You To Follow:
- You don’t need someone with more skills, more experience, or an MBA to help lead the way. You can do it yourself – you’re the one with the vision!
- You’ll have great times, frustrating times, but overall a whole lot of fun with every new thing you do.
- Don’t worry so much about the impact it will have on your kids. If you’re happy, focused and have a richer life, your kids will pick up on that too. It’s a great way to be a role model for your kids.