Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health supplements but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nate Dotson, Co-founder and CEO of Hibernate Systems Inc., located in Richmond, VA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Hibernate exists to help people get the sleep they deserve, so they wake up ready to attack each day. Our nightly sleep formula uses meticulously optimized doses of the nutrients the human body naturally craves at bedtime - not drugs or shady plant extracts that leave people feeling groggy. Combine that with time-tested strategies from top athletes and ancestral and medical health professionals.

We're dedicated to providing a supplement that our health-conscious customers can turn to for real, natural sleep to help them recover from tough workouts and to push them toward their peak. We believe good sleep is a basic human right. It makes everything in life better. We’ve experienced this ourselves, and we want our customers to experience it too!

Tell us about yourself

We started this company because the product changed our own lives. My brother was a brutal lifelong insomniac. I started having a serious sleep trouble myself in my early 30s. It was awful, but being seriously health-conscious guys who love to train, we went looking for solutions.

We consulted health industry specialists and ancestral sleep experts. We dove into piles and piles of research. We ruthlessly tested combinations of vitamins, minerals, and natural neurotransmitter agonists on ourselves. It took two years, but we finally found a simple, common sense, drug-free formula that worked: we actually “beat” insomnia.

When the formula started working for our friends, too, we knew we could make a bigger impact. That’s how Hibernate was born and why we do this every day: to help men get real, natural sleep and to feel like legends again.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Honestly, it's the number of subscribers who have stuck with us long-term. We've got customers who've been with us for 2-3 years, and that's astonishing. It makes us feel grateful but also incredibly proud and confident that Hibernate is profoundly impacting their lives. Good, natural sleep is addictive and seeing other people realize that is an immense reward.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Staying true to your authentic self and niche. Every paid advertising "expert" teaches you to appeal to the lowest common denominator and target those most likely to buy. When we started having success, it was when we stopped trying to appeal to everyone and instead doubled down on our target customer - people like us!

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Pursue something you're passionate about. Anyone can sell T-shirts, but if you don't love the heck-out T-shirts, it's going to be hard to stick with it through the long term until it's a truly profitable business.
  2. That said, make sure the thing you're passionate about has actual business potential. You've got to make sure the market is there and that there's a need for what you're selling. You're going to be running a business, not pursuing a hobby, and a lot of first-time entrepreneurs confuse the two.
  3. Align with partners who are going to make your life easier. There's a good chance you won't be shipping or manufacturing products yourself, so finding trustworthy, reliable partners is key, especially as you start to grow. It frees you up to do the marketing, strategic, and creative aspects that define your business. For example, in the beginning, we had a hard time choosing our third-party fulfillment company. It's cheaper to pick and pack yourself, you know? But we outsourced that to a fantastic young company, and in many ways, our growth has depended entirely on how awesome they've been.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Talk to your customers! Get feedback. Listen to them. Ask for their input even when you think you're being annoying. They're going to be your most valuable resource for ways to improve your product and business. And if any readers want to try Hibernate, they can use GOSOLO10 discount for $10 off their first order!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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