Kallistia McManus: “Be ready to sacrifice some of your social life”

2 steps forward, 1 step back:When starting a business, a lot of people have the do-it-all-on-my-own mentality, and as your business grows there will be a point where you will need to bring on someone else and train them. The only problem is when you train someone it may slow you down for a few […]

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2 steps forward, 1 step back:When starting a business, a lot of people have the do-it-all-on-my-own mentality, and as your business grows there will be a point where you will need to bring on someone else and train them. The only problem is when you train someone it may slow you down for a few weeks. So that’s something you are going to have to be prepared for

As a part of our series about entrepreneurs who transformed something they did for fun into a full-time career, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kallistia McManus the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kallistia Skin Care.

A nutritionist with a passion for skincare, Kallistia McManus created the Acne Cleanse capsules from all-natural ingredients to give people the most effective way to clear their skin.

Kallistia Skin Care is a female-owned and founded Australian brand. Their product, the Acne Cleanse capsules, is designed to provide relief for skin concerns such as pimples, acne, blemishes, uneven skin tone and counter the effects of harmful toxins and everyday pollution. It is an all-natural product that has been expertly formulated using a blend of vitamins and traditional herbal ingredients.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a bit about your “childhood backstory”?

I grew up in a coastal town three hours south of Sydney, Australia. My parents always had a small business of some sort in addition to their normal 9–5 jobs. I grew up riding horses competitively and dancing. Upon graduating high school, I moved 450 kms inland to work at a horse stud. I was 17 at the time. From there I started to develop an interest in nutrition and health and moved into the city to study and further develop my nutrition and health career.

What was the catalyst from transforming your hobby or something you love into a business? Can you share the story of your “ah ha” moment with us?

I have always had a passion for nutrition throughout my life, and as I struggled with hormonal acne over the years, I started incorporating different herbs and foods into my diet that had backed research in effectively helping with skin. As humans we like variety in our diet and having these specific herbs and foods all the time wasn’t sustainable. So, I had the moment where I realized “what if I could turn this into a product that could fit in a busy lifestyle and sustain the results?” which is when I came up with my product.

There is no shortage of good ideas out there, but people seem to struggle in taking a good idea and translating it into an actual business. How did you overcome this challenge?

I always say to everyone, “The best ideas are in the grave”. Some people have the most amazing ideas, but just don’t ever get it going. You have to train yourself into being pro-active at executing your ideas. Try to just action everything the moment it comes to you. I feel like it is better to do something and maybe make some mistakes that you have to fix, than it is to wait until everything is perfect, or you feel that you have got everything right.

What advice would you give someone who has a hobby or pastime that they absolutely love but is reluctant to do it for a living?

For me, I feel that the smartest way to transition your hobby into a business, is to keep your 9–5 job and start small with your business. Find times that you can work on your business and work as hard as you can in those times. That way you have some security and there is also money coming in to fund your business. It is best to try to do everything in a somewhat “safe” way. When you feel stressed financially, it can often cloud your judgement and decision making with the new business.

It’s said that the quickest way to take the fun out of doing something is to do it for a living. How do you keep from changing something you love into something you dread? How do you keep it fresh and enjoyable?

I think each stage of your business has different goals. When you start your business, you may initially have the goal of having ownership of your life without working for someone else. Then as your business progresses, your next goal is to build a great team and have a great office culture. I think building your team and surrounding yourself with people that you not only enjoy being around, but that are helping you reach your goals is how you keep things fresh and interesting.

What is it that you enjoy most about running your own business? What are the downsides of running your own business? Can you share what you did to overcome these drawbacks?

The best part about running your own business is being your own boss and the worst part about running your own business is being your own boss. Ha! When you are your own boss you have a lot more freedom and control over your life, but at the same time you have a lot more responsibility and a lot more things are dependent on you for the business to succeed. I think the most important thing to remember is no matter what ups and downs happen in your business, things will always get better, so keep pushing forward.

Can you share what was the most striking difference between your actual job and how you thought the job would be?

I think it’s exactly how I pictured it to be, but the only difference I could not account for was the people that would be a part of my team. They are an amazing group of people that help drive the business forward. I think that having the do-it-all-on-your-own mentality is not the right one for long-term sustainable success.

Has there ever been a moment when you thought to yourself “I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to get a “real” job?” If so, how did you overcome it?

Every business has its ups and downs, just like life. But one problem doesn’t mean it’s the end of everything. When a problem arises, the first step is to not get emotional about it. Just accept it’s a part of doing business and once you have come to terms with that, the next step is to think of a solution — How can I solve this? What can I do to overcome this? Running away from the problem, quitting or going to get a “real “ job is never the solution to overcome the challenges of running a business.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

We are all human! Mistakes can happen. The most important thing is communication. Sometimes you could be in a rush and not communicate something correctly, and people might mistake what you say and the results end up being not quite what you expected. Fortunately, we haven’t had anything major happen. But don’t beat yourself up if it does, you will laugh about it later.

Who has inspired or continues to inspire you to be a great leader? Why?

I think being genuine and authentic are parts of what makes a great leader. I am very inspired by people like Gary Vaynerchuk who is always authentic, genuine and unfiltered with all the business advice and content he puts out. A lot of value can be learned from it.

How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

I think the results people are getting from my products, and making people feel confident in the skin they’re in, will have a great impact on people’s self-esteem and confidence. And when you feel like your best self, you’re going to act like your best self, and that’s a positive for everyone.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. 2 steps forward, 1 step back:When starting a business, a lot of people have the do-it-all-on-my-own mentality, and as your business grows there will be a point where you will need to bring on someone else and train them. The only problem is when you train someone it may slow you down for a few weeks. So that’s something you are going to have to be prepared for
  2. Always save for a rainy day: There are going to be highs and lows in business. Sometimes when you spend a lot of time in the highs, you forget the lows exist, so always put money aside to cover your business expenses for when your sales aren’t doing so well.
  3. Things always get better:No matter how hard things are going, life happens. Your sales aren’t doing well, your product stock is delayed, you have software issues or life gets in the way — Always remember things will get better and it’s just a small speed bump in the journey of growing your business.
  4. You can’t do everything on your own: I love the saying “Work smarter, not harder”. If you want to stop something you love turning into something you hate, you have to bring on new people to help out when times get busy. Life is always better spent with other people.
  5. Be ready to sacrifice some of your social life: You like going out every weekend — That’s fine, but in the early stages of business you may have to sacrifice some weekends or late nights to get your business off the ground, especially if you are already working or have other commitments. The more time you put into your business, the more likely it is to succeed.

What person wouldn’t want to work doing something they absolutely love. You are an incredible inspiration to a great many people. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Treat people the way you want to be treated, be kind to each other, love each other, be genuine and authentic and you will find good things will happen!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

There’s no shortcut to success” — Things aren’t going to happen overnight, sometimes it may even take a couple years for your business to get off the ground. But the most important thing is keep pushing forward. You’re better off knowing that you tried rather than spending the rest of your life wondering “what if?”

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

I would love to be able to have a chat with Gary Vaynerchuk! I would love to pick his brain about business.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

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