Nick Viall is best known for his various turns on ABC's "Bachelor" reality show franchise. Since appearing on those iterations of the show, however, Viall has embarked on a series of business endeavors to create a brand beyond "The Bachelor." One among them is his essential oil company, Natural Habits.
Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts, which some people find can boost their mood or help them relax, according to the health care and education facility Johns Hopkins Medicine. Viall himself suffered from anxiety, he told Grow, and found the oils helped.
After his career in entertainment took off, Viall knew he also wanted to have an entrepreneurial project of his own. He founded the company with his sister, holistic nutritionist Maria Viall, in 2018, with $25,000 he'd made from TV and commercial work. In its first year, Natural Habits made nearly $250,000 in sales and significantly expanded its product line from one to 11 products.
"It was important to me to build something for myself," he says, "something that I believed in and that I use and that made sense to my audience. I have an audience that's mindful about their health and wellness."
Here are three pieces of advice Viall would give to people with a side hustle and those considering an entrepreneurial journey.
"When it comes to Natural Habits, I don't take a salary," says Viall. "Everything we make is reinvested into the business." Viall makes most of his income through his podcast, "The Viall Files," and supplements with work as an actor on TV and web series, and by appearing in commercials.
He recognizes he's in a pretty privileged position and that many entrepreneurs need to pull at least a minimal salary to start. Even so, he recommends reinvesting as much of your earnings as you can back into your business. Viall suggests using that money for things like marketing and expanding your product line.
If you're not reinvesting, he says, "how are you ensuring you're gonna get your next sale?"
"Playing the long game is making sure that you're selling something your customers believe in and they'll come back for," says Viall. "If you cut corners, people will call you out really fast." By contrast, Viall knew, creating high-quality products could convince customers to come back for more.
"It was important to us when we started the company to have high-quality packaging," he says, so the company elected to invest in that. "It was important to us to be USDA organic certified."
Customers can suss out when a company doesn't offer well-made products and that can lead to a lot of problems down the line. "Cheap can get really expensive," he says.
Viall's "biggest piece of advice for anyone," he says, is to "be humble enough to admit when you don't know something, then find someone who does." That can mean reaching out to people in your network, or even just outside of it, to get the answer to your questions.
When reaching out to someone on LinkedIn who you don't know, for instance, give them some background on who you are, what you're doing, what specific questions you have about your business, and why you think they'd be a great person to answer it.
"People like helping people that want to help themselves," says Viall.
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