How a Personal Mess Became a Passionate Message for This Entrepreneur The founder and CEO of IDLife is re-inventing the vitamin industry.
In this ongoing series, we are sharing advice, tips and insights from real entrepreneurs who are out there doing business battle on a daily basis. (Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Who are you and what's your business?
My name is Logan Stout, and I am the founder and CEO of IDLife. IDLife stands for "individually designed life," because we believe that the uniqueness of each individual should be honored and that their individual nutritional needs are as unique as they are. We have an entire line of high-quality lifestyle products that provide real solutions for weight loss, sleep, children's nutrition, fitness, skincare and more.
What inspired you to create this product? What was your "aha moment"?
Have you ever sat in a doctor's office with your spouse and been told you can never have children? My wife and I have…several times. The feeling of helplessness and hopelessness is something I pray no one ever has to experience. Lucky for us, we found a specialist who educated us on why we were struggling. In short, we learned that humans are not designed to consume endless amounts of processed food, fast food, chemical food enhancers, artificial coloring or any of the other fake ingredients found so predominantly in our grocery stores and restaurants. We were shocked because my wife and I considered ourselves healthy. Having nothing to lose, we took the advice and eliminated all the junk from our diet. What happened? We now have two perfectly healthy twin boys. From the most soul retching struggle of my life, a passion was fired to build a company dedicated to providing real products, with real ingredients, that helped people get real results. Our mess became a passionate message to help people do life better.
What separates your business from others in the same space?
A 130-pound female should not be taking the same thing as a 225-pound man. Simply put, one size fits no one. That's really what makes IDLife different. We will all look back and laugh that we ever took multivitamins that were not customized to our needs. Put another way, we're today's version of streaming on-demand. We are Netflix and the rest of the vitamin world is like Blockbuster.
What has been the biggest lesson you've learned in producing and marketing this product?
A confused customer does not buy. Keep it simple. A simple message and simple processes will lead to simple answers. We keep the message simple, but what we do is extremely complex. Bridging thousands of independent third-party peer-reviewed clinical studies, prescription and over-the-counter drug science, symptomology and disease pathway data, along with self-reported medical history information all into a technology that instantaneously runs thousands of algorithms is not a simple thing, either to say or explain. That was the biggest hurdle we had to overcome.
What does the word "entrepreneur" mean to you?
Someone that finds a way to make things happen in a world where most people just look back and ask, "What happened?" An individual that sees how things can be done when most people say it can't be done. An entrepreneur is not simply a dreamer, they do the work! Remember you do not get what you want in life, you get what you earn in life! That is an entrepreneur.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs about fundraising?
When you're out there raising money, just realize you don't know what you don't know. You're probably going to fall short of your projections and therefore you'll probably need more money than you really thought you needed. The key is to not raise desperate or "bad" money. You want good partners who are not desperate to invest in your business. You want partners that can weather the storm. You want partners that believe in the vision. That understand that there will be highs and lows, and will still have your back. You want strategic smart money where ideally the investors can add value to what you're trying to get accomplished. Sometimes you just want a silent investor who backs your business. It depends on the enterprise and what you're trying to get accomplished.
What trait do you depend on most when making decisions?
I believe that "Individuals play the game, but teams win championships." I'm very big on collaboration, everyone has a voice, there's no such thing as a bad idea because it could spark the imagination of a good idea. Ultimately, when the collaborative process has come to an end, and it's time to make a final decision, I always ask myself one simple question, "What's best for the people?" I believe in purpose and people over everything else. I believe if you have the right purpose and you care about the people, the profits will take care of themselves.