Million Dollar Monday

Pursue Your Passion, Startup Advice from Liz Anthony

June 14, 2021 Greg Muzzillo
Million Dollar Monday
Pursue Your Passion, Startup Advice from Liz Anthony
Chapters
0:42
Introducing Liz Anthony
2:32
Healthy Lifestyle
5:07
Turning a Hobby into a Business
8:21
Little Liz Cartoon
10:17
Customer Feedback
12:35
Marketing on Facebook
15:34
Selling in Retail Locations
19:40
Think Outside the Box
23:50
People Love to Help
25:55
Big Dreams for the Future
Million Dollar Monday
Pursue Your Passion, Startup Advice from Liz Anthony
Jun 14, 2021
Greg Muzzillo

Liz Anthony created wholesome, protein-packed snacks with simple ingredients during her college days to fuel her energy as an athlete. Her passion quickly turned into a business that became Liz Anthony Nutrition. Tune in to this week’s Million Dollar Monday as Liz shares her compelling story with Host Greg Muzzillo.

Chapters
00:42 - Introducing Liz Anthony
02:32 - Healthy Lifestyle
05:07 - Turning a Hobby into a Business
08:21 - Little Liz Cartoon
10:17 - Customer Feedback
12:35 - Marketing on Facebook
15:34 - Selling in Retail Locations
19:40 - Think Outside the Box
23:50 - People Love to Help
25:55 - Big Dreams for the Future

Resource Links

If you enjoyed this episode, click here to watch/listen to more from Million Dollar Monday.
Subscribe and receive updates when new episodes are available.
>>>>>   Follow us on YouTube   <<<<<

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Liz Anthony created wholesome, protein-packed snacks with simple ingredients during her college days to fuel her energy as an athlete. Her passion quickly turned into a business that became Liz Anthony Nutrition. Tune in to this week’s Million Dollar Monday as Liz shares her compelling story with Host Greg Muzzillo.

Chapters
00:42 - Introducing Liz Anthony
02:32 - Healthy Lifestyle
05:07 - Turning a Hobby into a Business
08:21 - Little Liz Cartoon
10:17 - Customer Feedback
12:35 - Marketing on Facebook
15:34 - Selling in Retail Locations
19:40 - Think Outside the Box
23:50 - People Love to Help
25:55 - Big Dreams for the Future

Resource Links

If you enjoyed this episode, click here to watch/listen to more from Million Dollar Monday.
Subscribe and receive updates when new episodes are available.
>>>>>   Follow us on YouTube   <<<<<

Greg Muzzillo :

Hello, and welcome to Million Dollar Monday. I'm your host, Greg Muzzillo bringing you real successful people with real useful advice for people with big dreams. I understand big dreams. I turned an investment of $200 and a lot of great advice from some really successful people into my big dream Proforma. That today is a half billion dollar company. Hello and welcome. I'm excited for today's Million Dollar Monday, cause it's going to be a little different. You know, most of the successful entrepreneurs I have on are pretty far down the road of their success. Their net worth range from tens of millions to even a billion dollars and more. And some people have told me, you know, Greg, I really love the series, but sometimes I think people, many people who want to start their own business or in the early days of starting their own business, can't relate to people who are so far down the road of having such large businesses, such large net worth's. And today we are going to take a different route. We're going to talk to somebody that's in the early days of getting started up and it's achievable and believable kind of a story. And everybody that's listening that thinks, geez, how could I ever start my own business? This is a wonderful story about a wonderful woman. Who's kind of taken a little bit of a hobby or making her own nutritional kind of foods for herself into a dynamic with growing and successful business. So without any further ado, let's just get started. Let me introduce the founder of Liz, Anthony Nutrition, Liz Anthony, Liz. Thank you for joining me today.

Liz Anthony :

Hi Greg. It's great to be here with you today. Thanks so much for having me.

Greg Muzzillo :

Oh, no. Thanks for being here. And , I am really excited to hear your story . So let's start at the beginning. I always like to start at the beginning. Just tell us a little bit about your youth and your education and maybe your family background , any entrepreneurial experiences that you might've had. In other words, where did you eventually get the work ethic and where did you eventually get the idea to want to start your own business?

Liz Anthony :

Yeah, so I grew up in, the outskirts of Memphis, Tennessee. I was in a pretty small town and I was always highly involved in every type of sport. You know, anything from softball, to soccer, and basketball, but what happened with all those sports, was I realized, I was so good at the defense, I was good at the running. I was really fast. And so when I was in high school, I joined the track team and I had a lot of success in track and field and then started with cross country. And I just grew into a runner and I was really passionate about all things that had to do with being healthy. And that was a little bit before people had started to realize that we need all of these, you know , nutrients for our system to help us perform better. So I was always testing out like, okay, if I eat an apple before practice , does this make me perform better than someone over there, eating Cheetos and drinking a Sprite. And so I just found that my energy levels were always so far up there when I ate that. And with that, when I entered into college at university of Tampa and moved to Florida and started with running , you know, I noticed the same trends and I also noticed that there was no there's a lot of things out there that I didn't necessarily like eating to fuel me that were easy. And on the go, when you are in that college lifestyle. So , you know, I've always been really into making my own healthy treats. I think back to my first entrepreneurial venture though, it had nothing to do with health and nutrition, but I made jewelry. And so I kind of took that and how this was in, I guess, middle school, where I started creating jewelry and going to different like markets and selling my jewelry. I was like, wow, you can really turn any idea you have into something that you're passionate about and you can sell to others and share what you love. So that's how I kind of got the idea when I started making my own protein bites. I thought back to that first entrepreneurial journey and was like, wow, I think I actually can take this and do something similar to the same thoughts I had before.

Greg Muzzillo :

All right . So at some point , you were making your own nutritional , treats that I guess you thought fueled you the best for your running, but how does that start to turn into a business?

Liz Anthony :

In college while I was making these treats, I would always share it with my friends, my teammates, my coaches. And they're just like Liz, you know, if you were to sell these, we would buy them from you. And that's kind of where I had that idea. I don't think that I wasn't necessarily there yet where I could see that bigger vision. It wasn't until I got my master's in health and nutrition to where I really started honing in on, you know, I want to do something post-college that I can be in charge and I can be the one to call the shots because I had so many ideas working at different jobs in the health and wellness community during college. And I always would want to recommend something or have a different flare to what that business doing. But , you know, ultimately it's the owner's business. So I was like , you know, I can take these ideas that I have and put it into my own company. So that's kind of how it was born. Liz, Anthony Nutrition. I started off by thinking I wanted to coach clients and help them with their meal plans and their supplements. But , you know, I launched the protein bites on Facebook originally and that post just kind of blew up on me. And I believe that it's because I surrounded myself with so many people who were interested in what I was promoting with health and wellness. And at that point I was just like, okay,

Greg Muzzillo :

To show everybody what we're sort of talking about here. This is , I think everybody can sort of see, this is sort of one of the varieties of protein bites, just so that people can sort of see what is the product that we're talking about. But tell me how you go from people saying, I think I buy those if you sold them because I liked them to getting on Facebook and then actually getting orders. Tell, tell us how that happened , like almost step-by-step.

Liz Anthony :

Yeah, so I was making them in my kitchen. The first, the first step that I had to make was how am I going to package these? What is it going to look like when I give them to the customer? So I went to Walmart and I looked through all of their box choices and I was like, you know what? That cupcake box looks great. But the only option they had was a bigger cupcake box. And it was a cardboard box that had the clear kind of covering on the top. So you could see in . And I was like, I think that the best look would be, let's break them up into little squares. We're going to stack 12 on the top, 12 on the bottom. And this can be that kind of thing that, you know , families can share with their kids. They could share it with coworkers at work. But I just, I always loved the idea of having a bite versus a bar because for me, I was so on the go and I found that other people were too. And that was a big problem. Like I cant stop to eat a whole meal or even a full bar, but something like a bite-sized snack is perfect. You just pop it in. You're good for like an hour. Okay.

Greg Muzzillo :

So you have this idea and you go to some stores and you see what might be the best packaging, but there's a lot of details, Liz in buying the packaging and buying the label and buying the ingredients and cooking it all up and, and probably be legal to sell like food online or what , I don't even know what you need to be able to make sure that you can do that. How hard was all that put to put those pieces together and come up with a viable product that was packaged and ready to sell and list on Facebook?

Liz Anthony :

Yeah. So when I first started, like I said, I had the cupcake box and I just stuck, stuck a business card on top, but then I realized, okay, I kind of need to have the calorie count, the nutritional facts and all of that. So I knew then my first step was to have a proper label. And so I , you know , worked with like FDA requirements and we created our nutrition facts . And with that, I was like, you know, I've always kind of wanted to have a cartoon character of myself. I think that'll be so fun for the logo. And so that's how , you know, Liz, we call her little Liz cause she's the cartoon version . That's how she was born.

Greg Muzzillo :

This is, this is little Liz. There's little as everybody. And I love it by the way. I think it's fun. All right . Lots of, lots of details . So how long did it take and how much money did it cost you? Because there's a lot of people listening saying, wow, this, this wasn't that hard. And I can relate to, I have an idea and maybe it could become a product. Maybe I can list it on Facebook, but how long did it take to go from the idea of thinking you wanted to do it commercially, how much time and about how much money and research and, and coming up with packaging and everything, did it cost you?

Liz Anthony :

Well, you know, the good thing about researching packaging and trying to try these things out, a lot of companies will send you free samples. So I tried to take that to my advantage and get as many free samples sent to me. So I was like running to my mailbox every day, super excited about that sample of the day that was coming in, you know, whether it was a container like our bites or whether it was his sample of a label. And it does take a while . I would say, I mean, we've gone through about three labels total, and every time we update a label, it has more to do with research through our customer base. Like, would you rather pick up a pack where protein bites is bigger on the label or the flavor is bigger? So it's all about what the customers are looking at, what draws the eye and that's, especially from like a grocery store perspective. So I think the label is super important and there's a lot of like doing like research groups, group studies with your friends or family. I would say it took me a good for our first label. It took me a good six months

Greg Muzzillo :

About , how much money might, you have put in, in those first six months when you're going from an idea to a packaged product listed on Facebook ready for sale?

Liz Anthony :

Yeah, I would say that definitely took a couple of thousand dollars. And you know, the thing that just is really a bummer about just starting out is you get everything at such a lower price point when you're able to buy in bulk, but when you're starting and you might be in a smaller space, you're not able to store all that. And you also don't know if you're going to go through all of those containers and still want that same container. So it's, yeah, it's so much trial and error and there's definitely, there's definitely startup costs that come along with a food product,

Greg Muzzillo :

But a couple of thousand dollars. There's very few people that are listening right now that couldn't find some way to scrape up a couple thousand dollars. Even if it's something that's on the side, that's a hobby of theirs to slowly turn it into a business. So on Facebook, did you, did you create a company page for Facebook or did you just have it on your own page? Tell us how that got started on Facebook.

Liz Anthony :

Yeah. Since, since I had everybody kind of cultivated on my personal page, that's where I launched it, but I also went ahead and made a business page that way, when I posted about it, they would be directed over to the business page. That way, if I had friends, you know, that weren't necessarily interested in their product, they didn't have to keep saying my post about my business, even though I do share a good amount on my personal page, they should follow the business case. And from there, see all the updates. And then from the Facebook business page, I did create an actual website because that's a lot easier to take orders and to be able to pick out your options. And Facebook has changed a lot since I first launched my product . So now you have, you know , your Facebook shop and everything. So you actually now could do everything from Facebook.

Greg Muzzillo :

You mean people could actually go on the Facebook itself , pick out the products, pay for the products and have them shipped to them from Facebook. Also now I know your main website. In fact, I'm a customer , Liz, I, you know, I bought a bunch of this because lizanthonynutrition .com now, right. I went to LizAnthonynutrition.com. All right . So about six months to put it all together. How did it feel getting that first order online?

Liz Anthony :

Oh, it was great. And you know, I went through everything. I went through the baking of the product. I would, I had the option at first for in-person delivery or to ship. And now a lot of people chose in-person delivery because they didn't have to pay the shipping costs. And it, I think one of the most rewarding things about this first couple months in business was delivering the product to my customers, seeing their smiling face, getting that in-person feedback from them on why they love the product, because eventually that, cultivated my pitch to my grocery store accounts. You know, our customers love X, Y, and Z about the product. And , you know, here's why we're so passionate about what we do. So I definitely think that when you're first trying out a product, you've got to have that feedback to be able to perfect it. Because even though you might love it, the, customer, the broader reach is what's important.

Greg Muzzillo :

So you were almost like using these early customers is as your test kitchen. Yeah. Okay.

Liz Anthony :

Exactly. And you know that was I mean, that was a couple of years ago. And then after that, when I started to realize I've got so many orders, I'm not going to be able to do that anymore. That's when we converted to shipping. And then, you know , I also wanted for my customers who didn't want to have to pay shipping. That's when I realized, okay, I need selling locations . So let's start this part of the business. So we went from the launch on Facebook to delivering to customers and then, okay, we need selling locations, meaning

Greg Muzzillo :

Retail stores. And I know that you're in several retail stores. I know that you're in Publix, which is a pretty big name. And I know that , you're in FitLife foods and some other , health food type , stores. And I know at , Liz Anthony fitness, you list all the locations so that people can figure out where they can buy this stuff. How hard was that? Was there some additional investment, additional research you had to do to go from a product you sold online to actually being approved, to be in some retail stores?

Liz Anthony :

Yeah. So when you sell online, there's different licenses and laws versus if you're selling to retail, because retail, you got to scan it in, you've got to have your item , you know , processing codes. So there was a lot of learning with that. And how do I even get like, something like a UPC, barcode, like on the back of this package,in t he grocery store. And so from, at that point, I definitely started asking around to other resources. So I would learn from people who had, I've seen do something similar or I 'd actually, I remember the first time how I learned that I needed a UPC was one of my first selling locations that I approached. It was a local h ealth store here in Tampa. I was like, hi, I want to pitch my product to you guys. And she was like, well, you're g oing t o need a UPC. And then my face just went blank and she walked me through it. She's like, you know, here's what you need to do. And that was s o a mazing. And so that was our first selling location. And I just remember, y ou k now, the day we had everything together, seeing them l ike lined up on the s helves and I'll send you a picture of that one. C ause that's, that's a great memory. And I was just like, wow, like my first grocery store, this is so cool to walk into a store and just see your product there.

Greg Muzzillo :

Yeah. What, like small little pieces of the big dream coming. True. Very exciting. Now I know when we talked, you told me also that y ou're not your product is not like some of those bars that are over in the nutrition section or whatever, with loads of preservatives.

Liz Anthony :

Yeah. And so, and you know, that's because our product, it has an eight week shelf life and that's because we don't put any preservatives into the product. So a lot of bars you'll find that they're in the protein bar section and their shelf life is a couple years from now. And these bars , it's more about the freshness, the taste looking at the back of the package and recognizing every ingredient that you see , you know, our bites, the core ingredients are oats, peanut butter, whey protein , sea salt. And then we add cocoa and like the chocolate, we add strawberry to the PB and J. And so it's , it's just something that you, you fully understand what's in the product. And I feel like that's a big problem with people, especially if they're trying to be more healthy is they're just so overwhelmed. They look at the back of the package and they're like, wait, a second like the nutrition, facts look good, but what am I actually putting into my body? People are starting to become more aware of this every day. And what I want to do is I want to make it simple for people. I don't want to make nutrition harder than it is because it does get very complex.

Greg Muzzillo :

Yeah. you know, when you and I talked , you made me way more aware. And I did find interesting when I sort of read the ingredients, there was nothing there that I couldn't pronounce. And then I did go look at some other like protein bars, cause I've got a senior in high school who lifts, weights works out and always want to have something on the go. And I look at some of what he's eating and it's like, there were words that were like this long and I couldn't even pronounce, like, what is that, that you're putting in your body. I never kind of never thought of it before, till we talked about it. And , do you find that the customers value that, simple, honest ingredients are a part of your success?

Liz Anthony :

Oh yeah, absolutely you know, I get, I get, I love when I get customer notes and feedback and t hey'll just be like, I, you know, this reminds me of something that I would make at home, but it's so nice to have it prepared because I think a lot of people, they make, you know, the, they m ake protein balls or b ites at home. And t hen the issue is, you know, a lot of us don't have time to do that all the time. We don't have time to prepare. And so that's another thing that I want to make it easy for just on the go lifestyles.

Greg Muzzillo :

One of the things that I really like about your story is that you're a, bootstrapper now for those people that are listening , there are only really sort of two ways to start a business. One is with your own money, like Liz is saying a couple thousand bucks, it's achievable, believable that you could do that. And , but one of the things that Liz and I talked about this a little bit is that , and, and in fact , my wife and I, our sponsors at the university of Florida, big Gator, $50,000 business plan competition. And as much as we love putting together those kinds of competitions, and I judge other competitions at university of Notre Dame, I'm involved at the university of Tampa. One of the things I worry about is a lot of younger folks that are , have entrepreneurship schools and classes and even majors. I couldn't even spell entrepreneurship back when I was in college, on one hand, they were very lucky to have that education available to them. But on the other hand, I worry, they're being taught the right way to start a business is to get an idea, write a business plan, go pitch your business plan, raise a lot of money and cut up the pie right away. And I worry because like my story is a bootstrapping story, took $200 I bought a phone answering machine , started knocking on doors. And I think not enough stories about bootstrapping, just taking some money and doing it one day at a time, all on your own and still owning a hundred percent of the company. So that someday if the time is ever right, you do have a hundred percent that may be when it's time for investors or whatever that you could cut up the pie a little bit. How did you make the decision to go on your own bootstrapping rather than maybe trying to raise money and doing it the way a lot of colleges seem to be teaching kids?

Liz Anthony :

Yeah. So I think that there there's a lot of different ways to raise money, but one of the big things is, you know, you've got to actually know what you're going to be spending this money on. And I don't think that unless until you have experience until you're actually like, knee deep in the business, I mean, at least a couple months, maybe even a year, you don't even know what you need unless you've had experience prior. So, you know, if you're, if you're someone like me, you don't really know, didn't really know a lot about business when you started. I think that's a beautiful phase of the company where you're learning everything yourself. And you're like, okay, now I know, and I can confidently pitch to an investor that I need X, Y, and Z. Now, like I said , I did get, I did get some help along the way. It wasn't all me , but I think doing it strategically, especially if you are not ready to give away a portion of your company is the best way it's, you know, bartering service day or say , you know, if I'm able to use your service now , you know, can we, can we work out something for, you know, trade similar to what I just said. So there's all sorts of ways that you're able to do this. You just got to think outside the box sometimes.

Greg Muzzillo :

Absolutely. And hooray for you, right? Because , there are lots of ways to bootstrap. There's lots of ways to get creative. And you know, I think one of the most, one of the most powerful things is most people are wired to help. You know, I, tell our people, that the most powerful words you could say, although you never say this is, I've got a problem and I need your help. Now you never quite it that way. Like h e maybe say, Hey, I'm trying to get this business going. I'm wondering if you could help me with some ideas, but I tell people, listen, the reason why all of us buy girl scout cookies from cute little g irl, standing at our door during a period called lent when a lot of people are supposed to be dieting is because people are wired to want to help. And I think that's what you're saying, Liz. I mean, you went into a store and you called on the store and the person liked you and wanted to help you and gave you some information you needed to come back and be more efficient at selling your product through their store. People want to help, right. Is that your experience?

Liz Anthony :

Absolutely people love to help. And all you have to do is be willing to ask questions. You know, feel them out, say, you know, what, phase are you in, in life right now? B ecause some people you could approach, they could be so busy with their day to day. You know, they're not in that space to help out, but you can always, you can sense it. There's a certain energy when you're around somebody who fits your energy. And I think t hat that's why I love personally doing things in person, although it's been a lot different, you know, since this past year and everything, but I just, I think that people always are willing to do somebody else's service because they probably had that h elp prior in their life t oo.

Greg Muzzillo :

Absolutely. That's why this whole thing exists. That's why I do Million Dollar Monday because so many people gave me great feedback. Great ideas, great advice, great assistance. I mean, there were times I should have gone broke, you know, the , the guest I had on actually last week or the week before, talked about how he had two near death experiences in his business where he should have, could have gone broke, but he didn't right , because he found a way to work around , but, and , had some help through his own creativity also. But , that's why I'm doing this is because so many people gave me great advice. Now, if I, through Million Dollar Monday can provide any inspiration or advice to aspiring entrepreneurs or people with big dreams. It's exciting for me, Liz, this has been fun. And what I love the most about it is there's nobody that's listening that thinks they want to own their own business. That may have a hobby or an idea that can't listen to the story you just told and say, you know what, by gosh, if she could do it, I could do it. And I just, I love that. I love that you were willing to come on and , and be the first of, I hope many more people who are somewhere earlier on in that journey of pursuing their dream, because your story is so relatable to so many people who have big dreams, but maybe they don't know where to start. I really do appreciate that you came on. I think everybody listening , I would encourage you to go to lizanthony nutrition.com. Okay. I am pushing for Liz because I love her story. You've in business for five years. I think your sales were approaching $200,000 is , uh, what you had told me. Tell me, as we start closing up our time here, what are some of your big dreams for the future of Liz Anthony Nutrition and Liz Anthony?

Liz Anthony :

Yeah. So that's a great question. I definitely want to add more products to our line , experiment with different types of dietary restrictions, for example, you know, vegan , maybe people who are allergic to peanut butter using an almond butter and replace of our peanut butter. So there's all sorts of ideas. And there's, I mainly get the feedback from customers. Customers will say, well, what about this? What about that? And that's the best way to build your new products. So , you know, I plan on a lot, a lot more focus groups going forward for our new products that we added. We'll add them online at first, see how they do, and then propose them to our retail locations. I would also love to grow, you know, outside of Florida right now, we're currently just in Florida with our grocery stores, but, you know, finding out how do we do that with, you know , such a short shelf life. So these are problems that we're working on right now, but I see, you know, I don't really see them as problems. I see them as opportunities. And it's so fun to be in this spot that we're at in business. And, you know, like you said, to know that we're here, but to know that we can take it up here.

Greg Muzzillo :

Yeah. And Liz, there are a lot of products in the grocery store right now that have shelf lives way shorter than eight weeks. Right. So it's surely doable. Well, anyhow, I really appreciate your coming on and sharing your wonderful story. As I've said, it's just inspirational for everybody. That's more at the beginning stages or the thinking stages or wondering how they could sort of do it stage , I'm a happy customer now and, and, our family is addicted to your product, Liz, Anthony, nutrition, protein bars. And , thank you again, Liz, it's been great talking with you and taking some of your time.

Liz Anthony :

Thank you so much, Greg. I appreciate you. And I respect you so much and I think it's so awesome what you've done with your company. And you're someone that I really look up to.

Greg Muzzillo :

Well, thank you for saying that. Do I get some free brownie bites?

Liz Anthony :

You might have a couple free chocolate. All right . Thanks Greg. Bye

Introducing Liz Anthony
Healthy Lifestyle
Turning a Hobby into a Business
Little Liz Cartoon
Customer Feedback
Marketing on Facebook
Selling in Retail Locations
Think Outside the Box
People Love to Help
Big Dreams for the Future