Starting a business is just the first step on the entrepreneurial journey. It’s often glamourized as an exciting experience full of money, freedom and notoriety. But what follows is what makes the difference between a flop (which is the case for most ventures) and a resounding success. The things most people can’t post on Instagram or get credit for. The endless hours spent on product development, research, marketing and sales strategy. Pooja Johari, founder of microcurrent leader 7E Wellness, is no stranger to this process.
In 2008, she launched the company with a concept to make non-invasive facelift technology accessible to the masses. Over the coming years, she was able to scale that into one of the most prominent brands in the growing space. We asked her several questions that every founder, new or seasoned, can learn from as they seek to grow their respective brands.
What made you want to start this business?
“Well, first the beauty space in general was of interest to me. I was always interested in it. Pair that with my passion for medical technology – I received my Masters in Biomedical Engineering from USC – and microcurrent was a perfect cross-section. But more than that, I didn’t like that most people thought they needed to go under the knife to receive these kinds of results. You shouldn’t need to sacrifice money, time and pain for your appearance. So I threw myself into making various versions of a consistently effective device. And MyoLift is what I came up with.”
What are the biggest struggles of starting a business at the beginning?
“You can get all the advice possible, but at the end of the day, each business is different. Different challenges, strategies and roadblocks. So the biggest struggle was learning what was going to work for this brand specifically. The only way to do that is to experiment, and experimentation means you must be comfortable with failure and growing pains. While we’ve had our fair share of success, especially early on, we also had our fair share of learning opportunities and business owners should be prepared for that as they set out on this journey.”
Are there any habits that you practice that you feel has made you particularly effective as a business owner?
“Again, I think this is different for each person, because we all have our own strengths and weaknesses, but for me, I would say my passion for learning. Whether it’s management styles, marketing ideas, growth products or concepts shared by our staff, you need to be open to learning. If you think ‘I’m the boss – it’s my way or the highway’ you are doing yourself a disservice. Being open to the talented people around you, whether internally or in your network, the more you can learn, the more you can apply and the faster you can grow.”
What do you consider the main difference between 7E Wellness and your competition?
“I could go on about that for hours! But I would say the product line’s versatility. We’ve dedicated a lot of time to ensuring that our products are easy to use and consistently effective. Whether that is QT and Mini (7E’s consumer models) or MD and 600 (7E’s professional models), we wanted everything we made to be simultaneously intuitive and effective. And I think we’ve done that. There’s nothing subjective about what we created – you can plainly see the results. And getting started is overtly simple.”
If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting on their business journey, what would it be?
“Be patient! Especially when you’re passionate about something, it’s all too easy to want to rush results. I was guilty about that at first as well. But when I decided to slow down and focus on completing each step, big and small, with care and accuracy, my overall impact went up. These things take years to mature and if you’re going to pursue this goal, you need to be in it for the long-haul.”