Spending time with people who are, and have been, affected by cancer makes the fight truly worthwhile, he says. Just feeling felt feeling understood it goes a long way. And getting them to come on and tell their story obviously you really understand the power of podcasting and building a community and putting something out there and that just makes a lot of sense to us as well. Like how did that work? Well once we got Quest Nutrition up and running we realized that not only was it an incredibly viable business but it was rapidly growing and really spoke to what we wanted to be doing with our lives. It really can be disastrous to a small brand if you get yourself in a weak negotiating position. The experience taught Bilyeu and his fellow co-founders a stack of valuable lessons, starting with the importance of having a fiscally shrewd founder on your team.
But for Bilyeu, it was all part of a deeply personal mission to become a force for good in health and nutrition. You just were playing around, just keep testing things in the kitchen or? As Bilyeu explains, without this kind of negotiating power, retailers can make a ton of demands on an immature brand, including conditions on exclusivity and profit margins. So we actually said no the largest retailers in our space for over a year. I love the fact that you guys are giving back so hard. We went one-on-one with Tom Bilyeu to learn how their journey got started, and to talk tactics for surviving hypergrowth. It was absolutely incredible. It is the most free time to be an entrepreneur you just need to get out and do it. Just give away as much product as possible and be as supportive as possible no matter what people are trying to accomplish. What did you do to get them very earlier on? So our thing was we wanna evangelize customers and create a supportive community that they ca feel good about man. So that became our mode man. As Bilyeu explains, they wanted to evangelize to customers about their brand ethos by offering them the tools they needed to live healthier lives, including diet plans, recipes, science on metabolic disease, and mountains of free product samples. Bilyeu says this was all about showing an understanding of what others were trying to achieve, and that Quest was interested in helping them connect with their audience. They compromised on the product just to produce. So for three very different reasons we decided to found Quest Nutrition which at the time that we founded it was you know literally a crazy idea people thought we were out of our minds. So the first question that I ask everyone that comes on is how did you get your job? I know who you are. You have to know every aspect of it. You need somebody who can dream, you need somebody who can paint visions no question. I would be nowhere without my two partners. We had a company before this one which was a technology company we had also built that. If you want to start a business, just do it. Tony says that a lot and I just go to the Neuro chemistry of it right? And doing that evangelizing the people at the business level, I think that was a big part of our success. So when I met them they were just building this technology company and they said you know we need somebody to help us build this. But it required a big picture mindset that considered the lifetime value of a customer, he says, and not the short-term idea that giving away excess product was sacrificing profit for growth.
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