Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sally Duplantier, Founder of Zing, located in Cupertino, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My company is Zing, and my mission is to help people live their best life longer through better lifestyle choices. These include better nutrition, more movement, sufficient sleep, moderate alcohol consumption, and smoking cessation. Research shows that these five factors contribute to 60% of preventable deaths worldwide and dramatically reduce the quality of life in later years. My clients are older adults in their 60s, 70s, and 80s, and organizations that serve them, such as senior living facilities. I also work with several universities on research related to aging.
Tell us about yourself
I am in my "third act" professionally, having retired (twice!) from the corporate world. I created my first start-up in my 20s began my current company, Zing, in my 60s. Zing is mission-driven. I am an educator and researcher in the emerging field of Healthspan, which is the number of years we live without chronic disease or disability. I am motivated by the desire to help older adults make positive changes that will increase Healthspan and create systems that increase the health and wellbeing of all individuals, especially underserved communities.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is starting a wholly new business, different than anything I've done before, in my 60s, after selling my first company. I had to return to school to do this and earned a Certificate in Nutrition Science from Stanford and an MS in Gerontology from USC--45 years after earning my BS.
I also created a bi-monthly webinar program called Wellness Wednesday at the start of the pandemic and have grown the audience to over 3200 registered participants from 23 countries. The program features cutting-edge researchers, thought leaders, authors, and health care professionals on topics related to health and wellness.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I have had two companies, both very different, but I think in both cases, one of the hardest things is self-doubt. It takes a tremendous amount of motivation, hard work, and just stick-to-itiveness to make it work.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Identify your passion, but do the research to understand your market and the unmet needs. Figure out where you can be unique.
- Keep your expenses as low as possible. I made big mistakes overextending my first company financially.
- Create a small team of trusted advisors and truly listen. They aren't cheerleaders (although you need some of them too.)
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I have been an entrepreneur all my life, from age 28 when I quit my job at Xerox Corporation and made up the fact that I was starting a business at my exit interview. There were so many discouraging months and even very hard years, but in hindsight, I can't imagine doing anything else.
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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