Monday, October 11, 2010

The Biggest Hindrance to Being Efficient

The biggest hindrance to being efficient is interuption.  Surprisingly, one of the most serial and most well known interupters is you.  As efficient, dedicated, and focused as you think you might be, there is still one major obstacle that stands between you and the completion of your goals: Asking for permission instead of forgiveness.

Let me give you an analogy.  Visualize someone standing at the top of a tall mountain with a 100 lb. ball in their hands.  This person is on a mission to drop the ball down the mountain and let it roll.  Now, if this person asks for permission before dropping the ball, his mission is easily thwarted.  But if this person drops the ball first and apologizes later, who can stop the ball from rolling once it picks up momentum?  This is because people are slow to allow projects before they begin, but quick to move out of the way once the project has already begun.

Let's make this analogy hit home.  If you are on  your own personal mission and you make the mistake of asking permission before you've begun, you've just wasted time, money, planning, and mental energy when the person you ask says no.  But if you begin first and ask for forgiveness later, it's rare that anyone can stop your progress.

As long as you have a thoughtful, prayerful, and good intentioned plan, there is no need to ask permission of anyone.  If you make a mistake along the way, as many times we do, just apologize quickly for your errors and move on.  People may find fault with you for your errors, but they can never find fault with your diligence.  People who try are more respected and loved than people who don't.

One last caveat: If you are a minor, yes, you still have to respect your parents authority.  So don't do anything that you know they would never allow you to do.  And the same thing goes for adults too.  Don't do anything you know your boss, pastor, husband, wife , judge, or doctor would strictly forbid.  But in all cases, as long as you are operating within the  confines of the freedom you have been given, there is no need to hesitate.  And the only one you need to ask permission of is God and God alone.  Now get the ball rolling!

Aarin Elizabeth is the founder of iVi Scents | Nontoxic Bath and Body
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday's Sermon Summary 8/10/10

Today is Sunday, so I get to talk a little bit about what I learned in church today!  The sermon was on the importance of holiness.  The bible says that we are commanded to be holy because God is holy.  I really liked this message.  

Being holy means being set apart and devoted to God. I know it isn't always easy to set yourself apart, because it is much easier to try to blend in.  Blending in causes little controversy and avoids lots of tough decisions and confrontations.  But I think setting yourself apart is a good thing to practice, because being unique gives us the opportunity to stand out. 

The second part of being holy - my devotion to God - is a little more difficult for me to grasp.  I try my hardest to live a devoted life, but sometimes I get distracted by all of life's duties, responsibilities, and grandeurs.  This becomes especially hard in light of entrepreneurship.  I guess I just have to remember that devotion leads to direction, so without it I am lost.  Putting it into perspective like this helps me to realize that there is nothing more important that I can do for my business than to devote my life to God.

Happy Sunday!  I hope you have a fantastic week!
Aarin Elizabeth is the founder of iVi Scents | Nontoxic Bath and Body
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Are Already An Entrepreneur? Find Out Here!

The word "entrepreneur" is a derivative of the french word "entreprendre," which means "to undertake."   In the traditional sense of the word, an entrepreneur is anyone who undertakes something.  Most modern Americans think of an entrepreneur as undertaking a business.  But in reality, an entrepreneur is anyone who undertakes anything.  This can be a project, creative vision, or any thing else.  If you are already undertaking responsibilities, you are already an entrepreneur in the most rudimentary sense.

Let's add a little more definition to the mix.  Another interpretation of the word  "entrepreneur" is one who shifts economic resources out of an area of lower yield into an area of higher yield.  (This is where we get the modern term of entrepreneurship from.)  Basically, this just means that if you take resources and multiple them in order to have more money, you are an entrepreneur!  Think about that!  Even a stay at home mom can be considered an entrepreneur under this definition! After all, doesn't she take her family's resources and multiply them in the form of cutting costs and stretching dollars in order to have more expendable income for her household? Ummm..... Yeah!

I write this blog post to tell you that you don't have to be the founder of a Fortune 500 company to be considered an entrepreneur.  All you have to do is take on a responsibility and multiply its resources.  I'm pretty sure many of you already do that on a daily basis anyway.  The next time you cut out a coupon, make an investment, or take on an odd job..... You are practicing entrepreneurship!  So never think of these tasks as mundane again.  Think of them as an chance to emulate some of the greatest entrepreneurs on earth.  So if an opportunity does arise for you to start your own business, you'll be ready!

Aarin Elizabeth is the founder of iVi Scents | Nontoxic Bath and Body
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Contest!

Smack us for a chance to win

100 iVi Scents reward points!

To enter, just write a testimonial here:

Aarin Elizabeth is the founder of 
iVi Scents | Nontoxic Bath and Body
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Friday, September 17, 2010

The Number One Dream Killer....

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." --Albert Einstein

This quote really spoke to me today for some reason.  It got me to thinking..... What is reality?  Is Einstein right?  The Bible says that we are to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7).  I believe that reality is comprised of all the things that we can understand with our five senses - All the things we can touch, smell, see, taste, and hear.  So what, then, is faith? I believe faith is comprised of all the things that we hope for in our hearts, but cannot yet experience through our five senses.  For instance, when I began this business, my reality was that I had just been laid off and had only $500 in my bank account.  But faith was when I felt lead to use that $500 to make my first batch of soap.

Sometimes we have to stop and refocus ourselves.  We have to turn away from our realities and see what God has in store for us.  Sometimes I feel that God has a mansion in our plans, but we settle for worrying about paying the rent on our studio apartment.  In fact, worry is the exact opposite of faith.  I would go so far as to say that they are mutually exclusive.  Faith and worry cannot coincide.  But ironically, when we are focused on our reality, worry automatically kicks in and extinguishes our faith completely.

What if I had not obeyed God and spent my last $500 on something else because I was worried about my reality?  It would have been a big mistake.  When I made that first purchase order, what I didn't know was that I would make $500 more dollars within days and complete hundreds of orders within a few months. 

Of course, we shouldn't do anything foolishly, but if you honestly feel lead in your heart to do something, and don't because of fear, you need to let if go and operate in a spirit of faith.  Think about it for a second..... What are you afraid of?  What are you supposed to be doing, but don't have the guts to?  Stop worrying about your reality and start focusing on  your faith!

Aarin Elizabeth is the founder of iVi Scents | Nontoxic Bath and Body
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Question For You! Please Answer (Pretty Please)...

Today, I received this email from a first time customer.....
"Thank you SO much for creating the best smelling soap products EVER!  I am a lover of all things beauty related and am beyond excited about finding iVi Scents.  I can't believe it's taken me so long to find this... I have already spread the word to other fellow beauty guru's and will continue to share the love of your products with friends and family everywhere...
God Bless!! :)
A.D. (a very happy to have found you customer)"
So here is my question: What about iVi Scents desperately makes people want to refer, share, blog, and review our products?  Honestly, think about it.  I don't think people write in to Best Buy, McDonalds, or Google like this.  But we receive emails like this daily.  So what is it about our company that makes people do this?  I really would love to know, so we can keep it up!  These emails rock my world! Please comment below.

Aarin Elizabeth is the founder of iVi Scents | Nontoxic Bath and Body
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Monday, September 13, 2010

Why I Cried Over a Soap Box

Yesterday was a very special day for me.  I received the new iSmell Soap box template and it was absolutely beautiful!  It was something so small, but it symbolized so much.  Here's why I cried when I received it.....

Last April, while I was working as a middle school history teacher, I was notified by my principal that I was one of the thousands of new teachers that would not have employment during the next school year.  Being laid off was one of the most humiliating and humbling experiences I have ever been through.  I had just completed one and a half years of graduate schooling and a semester of (volunteer) student teaching.  I had worked so hard as a first year teacher, I spent so much time and money, my students' test scores were high, and the kids learned to love history, but there was nothing that could be done. Teaching is based on seniority - Last hired, first fired.  I was devastated. Read my full story here....

Ironically, while searching for a scented air freshener for my classroom during my final semester, I discovered that I could create scented products for a fraction of the cost.  This became the first prototype of iVi Scents.  After researching and writing my business plan, I discovered that I had a passion for bath and body products, which is what I sell now.

Who would have ever known that getting laid off was the best thing that could have ever happened to me?  I make more money now, I love what I do, and I have complete control over my own destiny.  When I saw that soap box, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I cried because the Lord had a bigger plan for me.  I cried because the vision that He had given me for this business became a reality.  I cried because the soap box meant so much more to me that a cardboard package.  I cried because it was a symbol of my faith.  That little box represented the reality of something that was merely a dream a year and a half ago.

I was so thankful and appreciative of what He had done. I cried. 

Aarin Elizabeth is the founder of iVi Scents | Nontoxic Bath and Body
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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Why I'm Giving Up My Retirement For 3 Months In Spain

If you love what you're doing during these best years of your life, then by all means, keep doing it until the day you retire.  But if you are like the rest of us, and absolutely hate your 9 to 5 job, then take long vacations now and make up for this loss time later on life.

After reading The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss, my outlook on life was completely changed.  If you haven't read this book yet, buy it right after you read this blog!  I'm that serious about it.  The whole premise of the book is that it isn't the millionaires money we envy as much as it is her lifestyle. 

Just ponder that for a second.  What is it about the millionaire that seems attractive? It isn't her work ethic or her long hours.  It's the freedom of her schedule.  We all want the ability to travel, buy things, and change our schedules on a whim.  But no one wants to work like a slave and never have time to spend the money that they've worked so hard to make. I think this is why some women have married for money - You get all the perks of being a millionaire without actually having to do any of the work for it, at least not in the traditional sense.

That being said, we all can live like millionaires at one expense: Retirement.  Before I tell you why retirement is the biggest lie ever believed by man, let me tell you how you can obtain a millionaire's lifestyle right now.  All you have to do is take lots of long vacations.  Think of it this way, you either take the time now in small increments, or you take the time later all at once.  Do what you want, but I'm taking my time now. I'd rather have this time while I'm young, than trying to tour Europe alone when i'm old.

There is no way on earth that you can convince me to give up the best years of my life now hoping for a life of happiness in the last.  No way! Think about it.  Retirement forces you to spend 30 years of your life wholesaling your time to people you don't like, in order to buy things you don't need.  This is even more disheartening when you couple it with the fact that most people will NEVER be able to retire due to inflation and the increasing cost of living.  Furthermore, if you are an ambitious person, retirement is a recipe for boredom. 

I have made a decision to forgo delayed gratification because I have lateral options.  I am choosing to take my retirements now.  I am kicking over the big pot of gold promised at the end of my life, taking some of the coins out now, and taking them with me to Spain, Hawaii, Argentina, France, Indonesia, and New York City. 

So what about you?  Are you willing to give up your retirement for a series of mini vacays for the rest of your life? Or do you think retirement is worth it? Comment below...

Aarin Elizabeth is the founder of iVi Scents | Nontoxic Bath and Body
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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Why a Recession is the Best Time to Start a Business

Starting a business in the midst of a recession is one of the smartest business moves you can make.  Some of the greatest businesses of all time were born during bad times: Facebook, LinkedIn, Monopoly, Apple, Cliff Bar, Scrabble, KFC, Dominoes, FedEx, and Microsoft are just a few.

So why is now the best time to become an entrepreneur?  First, the cost to open a business is at an all time low.  A recession is the best time to buy rent estate, purchase equipment, hire designers, buy products, and seize coveted advertising space, because everyone is willing to accept discounted prices.  Second, the competition is low.  A recession creates a lower barrier of entry into the marketplace.  As the only light in the dark, you have no choice but to shine brilliantly.  Third, a recession gives you confidence.  If your business can survive through the tough times, it can survive through anything. Likewise, if your business folds under the pressure, it probably wasn't meant to be -in the first place - And it's cheaper to fail fast if you are doomed to fail. 

I know dozens of people personally who have lost their jobs due to this recession -- In fact, I was one of them.  But after opening my own business, I now have a steady income and the ability to create jobs for others. So although it may seem like starting a business now may is risky, sometimes I wonder if working for someone else may be even be riskier. 

Aarin Elizabeth is the founder of iVi Scents | Nontoxic Bath and Body
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Monday, August 30, 2010

Why Not Having a Blog is Killing Your Business

If you think that blogging is unnecessary or a waste of time, your brand is destined for a slow suicide.  Blogging is one of the most important things you can do -- for your brand and for yourself.  Here's why...

Blogging makes you a better salesperson. I am constantly writing sales pitches via Twitter (a microblog), Facebook, and this blog.  It is a unique opportunity for me to formulate these pitches, state them precisely, and recite them clearly over and over again.  If you can practice this online, you will also be able to do this easily and confidently in person.

Blogging gives your business a face.  A website tells people what you are.  A blog tells them who you are.  For instance, when people who have never heard of iVi Scents go to our website, all they know is that we sell nontoxic bath and body products.  It wouldn't be appropriate to tell them anything else there.  But a blog is different.  It is a place to share your company's culture, charity projects, events, photos, and employee shenanigans (hopefully they have some).

Blogging forces you to focus. Every day, at the end of the day, I have to sit down and recap my day.  Was it productive? Was it fruitless?  Did something amazing happen?  I am accountable to all of these questions, which means if slacking occurs, I have to own up to it.  Likewise, if I am focused and productive, I have lots to be proud of.

Blogging allows you to test your ideas. When I first started iVi Scents, I would rack my brain trying to think of ideas for scent names and new products.  Then one day it hit me -- I could ask my followers on Twitter!  They solved in two minutes what took me two days!  In fact, two of my products were named by a follower this way.  The iCing Body Frosting, one of our best selling products, was one of them.

Blogging increases traffic to your website. Unlike your website, your blog is updated with content often.  This is the stuff search engines crave!  They scour the internet looking for change, something only blogs can provide.  So give them what they want, and they will return the favor.

Blogging makes you a better thinker. There is nothing more embarrassing than doing something stupid, except doing it in front of billions of people.  This is completely possible when things get uploaded to the internet. To avoid as many embarrassing moments as possible, you find yourself really thinking about your content and your ideas.  It may not prohibit you from making a mistake, but it ensures that they don't happen as often.

Blogging makes you more creative. Sitting down at the end of every day and making yourself come up with something to write about taps into the right side of your brain -- the center of creativity -- and allows ideas to flow.  After practicing this daily, your creativity will begin to come more naturally and quickly.  This will translate into other areas of your business as well.

Blogging keeps you up to date with the latest trends. In an effort to come up with as much fresh content as possible, I try to stay abreast of what's going on in my niche, in social media circles, and in real life.  This helps me to keep my business in line with these trends as well.

Blogging makes you a better networker
. There's nothing like logging into your blog account and seeing that people have commented, read, or subscribed to it.  Seeing these people happy fuels me! Prior to starting iVi Scents, I had absolutely no networking experience, but after building a large network of people via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube I can now network with ease.  Virtual networking skills easily translate into the real world.

Blogging allows you to have a chronological record of your business growth. I was advised to keep a personal journal about the growth of iVi Scents but failed to do so.  I really wish I had, especially when I get discouraged.  You are going to need something that reminds you how far you've come during those difficult times.  It will encourage you beyond measure.  Plus, you should also have accurate records, so when the media asks you to film your success story you're prepared!

I challenge you to start a blog and write every single day.  You can set one up on Blogger, Wordpress, Typad, or a Facebook Fanpage. You will soon discover all of these things I have mentioned are true! If you are inspired to start a blog as a result of this article, please mention it in a comment below!

Aarin Elizabeth is the founder of iVi Scents | Nontoxic Bath and Body
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

iVi Scents is Giving You a Piece of Our Business

iVi Scents is a community oriented company.  We wouldn't be here if it weren't for our loyal customers and fans!  To give back to all the people who have given so much to us, we are offering you a piece of our business.  Our new program, iVi Scents Affiliates, will be an opportunity for us to share the wealth with you.  It's simple and requires little to no work!

Here's how it goes:
  1. Sign up for an iVi Scents Affiliate account
  2. Post a link or banner on your website, blog, email, YouTube channel, or Facebook Page
  3. Earn 10% commission on all orders that come to us from your links.
We'll give you everything you need to get started, including banners and links.  These banners will be specifically assigned to you.  All you have to do is cut and paste the html code from your iVi Scents account into your website.  When you login to your account, you will be able to see your sales commissions and orders that came to us via your links.

A Young Girl's Business Advice:
Affiliate programs and referral programs are a powerful method of marketing, because they come from fellow consumers, and therefore carry much more weight than if they had come from the company. How can you harness the power of word of mouth marketing in your business?  Can you start an affiliate program or a referral program to get the word out about your company and help others to make some extra income at the same time?

Aarin Elizabeth is the founder of iVi Scents | Nontoxic Bath and Body
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How Feedback Converts to An Increase In Sales

We hired a graphic designer and are working towards a cool new design for our soaps.  To the left are the new concepts that she came up with.

We have to change our soap packaging for two reasons: 1) Wrapping each soap is a time consuming process that is hindering us from mass production, and 2) Many of our customers were complaining on their YouTube channels and blogs that they loved the look of the zebra print tissue paper, but they didn't like the functionality of it.  The reason why the wrapping is not functional is due to the fact that most of our customers like to cut their soaps into slices in order to conserve them longer.  However, after cutting the soaps, they had no where to store them.

Now that the cost of the soap boxes is no longer an issue, we have solved both problems.  The soaps are now scalable for mass production and our customers have a cute, yet functional, soap box

A Young Girl's Guide To the Old Boys' Club:
There is no way we could have known that our customers used slices in order to prolong the life of the soap.  Fortunately, we have a feedback system in place.  Every single one of our products has been reviewed dozens of times, because we have an active YouTube Beauty Guru Community.  These girls (and guys) buy our products and post their thoughts for the world to see.  This may seem scary at first, however their feedback has been invaluable to our company and we would not be where we are today without them.  What processes do you have in place to get instant feedback from your customers, clients, colleagues, and management?  Don't take their criticism personally -- even when it hurts. Think of it as a way to help you grow stronger and make your products better.  I have so much confidence when I show my products to others now, because I know that hundreds of people around the world agree with me.  It also forces you to make some critical business decisions like stocking up on products and services that people love, and axing the ones they hate.  You'd be surprised how hard it is to give up on a product that no one likes but you.  Surrender it as a failure and devote your time and attention to better things.  Don't ever cling onto something like it's your firstborn child, when other people wish you'd rid yourself of it. I'll leave you with this little story: I created a body oil called Oil Sliq and literally only one person bought it.  I tried to market it in so many ways, but no one wanted it.  After I accepted its defeat, I focused my attention on creating a lotion and that's how my iCing Body Frosting was created.  It became a success almost instantly and remains so today.

Aarin Elizabeth is the founder of iVi Scents | Nontoxic Bath and Body
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tradeshow Exhibition to Enter the Wholesale Market

I just booked our spot at the California Gift Show in Los Angeles on January 21-24!  This is probably the biggest thing that has happened to my business to date.  The Gift Show is an international trade show that matches retailer buyers with wholesale sellers. We are going as a wholesaler.  This will give iVi Scents the opportunity to get into shops, boutiques, spas, department stores, hotels, amusement parks, etc.

Usually, new exhibitors are relegated to the back of the convention center, because the prime real estate is reserved for more senior exhibitors.  However, the Git Show sales representative told me that I called at exactly the right time, because she was about to give this booth away to someone with more clout.  Instead, she gave it to me.  Favor. The iVi Scents booth is going to be towards the front of the L.A. Convention Center along the main pathway.  In fact, buyers will have to pass my booth in order to get to all the other booths.  The sales representative also told me that we should pick up at least 20 to 30 vendor accounts if we set up our booth well. That means iVi Scents could be coming to a store near you!

I could have chosen a booth with the bare necessities, namely drapes and piping.  But I opted for the next package up, which means that my booth comes with hard white walls, black carpet, and a light installation.  I chose this option for two reasons: 1) the location is better, and 2) the booth is move in ready.  I can paint, install shelves, and decorate if I want, but I don't HAVE to.   Having options is key for me.

Since I've never set up a tradeshow booth before you have the opportunity to learn with me. I'll have to scour the internet trying to find good ideas.  I've been working with a graphic designer to create my new website and product packaging, so maybe she can help me out.  She'll have to design some really big posters, brochures, and fliers! 

Tradeshows are a unique opportunity to put your products in front of people who will buy them in mass amounts on behalf of their stores.  Are your products scalable for this kind of purchasing?  For instance, I wanted to make my soaps in fun shapes and colors, but then I realized that they could not be mass produced easily (scalable).  So I had to employ a simpler shape that could be reproduced quickly and easily.  Scalability is what's going to separate the men from the boys in business.  It's also what determines who gets into the department stores and who stays at the flea market.

Aarin Elizabeth is the founder of iVi Scents | Nontoxic Bath and Body
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Monday, August 23, 2010

How First Impressions Can Make or Break a Sale

So I've been shopping around for new labels to package the iCing Body Frostings and iShine Sugar Scrubs.  I'm looking for something that is waterproof, chic, and durable. Professional labels has always been a goal for my company.  However, you have to be realistic about your budget constraints.  When  I first started this company, I used to print the labels myself on my home computer.  Then I moved to a digital printer who could print lots of labels quickly (short run) without expensive minimum amount requirements.  However, I am moving the business towards wholesale and cannot get by any longer without having professional labels.

The first step in this process is to find out what the labeling requirements are in your industry.  Soaps and cosmetic products are regulated by the FDA.  So I read through all the legal jargon in order to find out what the required items were, where to display them, and how to arrange them on the package.  Then I had to create all of the words on the package (copy) and give that to my graphic designer.  The next step is to figure out the circumference of the jar and for her to create a template from that.

I had been looking all around for a label company when I came across one that I was really impressed with.  They sent me a beautiful portfolio with lots of different label samples inside.  The portfolio was completed with brochures and a business card.  This was a stark contrast to what some of the other companies have sent. The majority of companies sent me shoddy labels in a plain envelope with my name handwritten on the front -- literally, with nothing else inside.  If a company can't even do their sample presentation correctly, how do you think the rest of the job is going to turn out?

Nothing gets my goat more than a sloppy presentation.  Just because you are a small company doesn't mean that you can't do things the right way.  Work with the limited budget you have to create something that you can be proud of.  Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression, so put your best foot forward.  If you don't, you could get the boot!

Aarin Elizabeth is the founder of iVi Scents | Nontoxic Bath and Body
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Customers Respect Entrepreneurs Who Give Back

Today I attended a Tea Party with the ladies from my church. It was wonderful!  I was able to have some much needed fellowship, advice, and the best tea I have ever tasted!  

I think every woman likes to have tea parties because of what it symbolizes - royalty, chicness, and femininity.  I was looking around at some of the little girls and they were having more fun than the ladies were!  I just goes to show, you are never to old (or young) to enjoy a good old fashioned tea party.

I had only been to one other tea party prior - It was for a bridal shower.  Even then I thought to myself, I'd love to have one of these one day!  I think that I will soon.  I turn 30 this January and that would be the perfect occasion!
The scones were to die for. They were one of the best pastries I have ever had!  And the sandwiches were wonderful too.  They cut the crusts off and make them into little triangles.  I just think that is so cute!  It's settled, I'm definitely having a tea party for my next birthday!  I should have one next August for you all when iVi Scents turns 2 as well!

The tea party was a church event.  But I ended up meeting a lady who was very inspired by what I do.  I was able to speak to her and give her advice and that really made my day.  What event are you a part of outside of business networking?  Can you join a church group or other social club where you are able to give back to others?  This is so important in business.  After all, no one makes it on their own. Being a "self-made (wo)man" is a myth.  Thinking otherwise just makes you a selfish made woman.

Aarin Elizabeth is the founder of iVi Scents | Nontoxic Bath and Body
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Friday, August 20, 2010

A Thank You Letter To Our Customers And Fans...

I am so grateful to each and every one of my customers and fans.  It's been a tough road.  Sometimes I have good days and sometimes I have horrible days.  To be honest, if I knew how much work, sacrifice, and diligence starting a business would be, I might not have ever done it.  That's the truth.  But maybe that's why God shielded me from this knowledge.  Who knows?  What I DO know is that when the bad days come, I always have so much support from you all.  I swear, it never fails: When I have one of those days where everything seems to be going wrong in my professional (and personal) life, at least one of you will say something that is so encouraging and so uplifting.  I thank God for you all and pray for you daily.  So I just wanted to say thanks.  It means SO much to me that you are so supportive.  I really need it, and it always seems to come at the right times.  

iLove You, 

iFeel Lucky Contest #4

iFeel Lucky Contest #4

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Blow Your Competition Out Of The Water

"Instead of focusing on the competition, focus on making the competition irrelevant."
 --Kim & Mauborgne, Blue Ocean Strategy

I've been reading a book called Blue Ocean Strategy, and it is changing the way we do business at iVi Scents. The premise of the book states that in order to move from a red ocean packed with bloody competition to a blue ocean that is calm and completely void of competition, you must do the following:

A prime example of this is Cirque Du Soleil. Circuses were losing money do to a lack of interest among children, heightened animal rights awareness, and all of the associated expenses of feeding, taming, and transporting these animals.  But the founder of Cirque Du Soleil, added value and cut costs in all the right places.

This is so amazing to me, because this is what I have tried to do in my business from day one.  I don't care what other bath and body companies are doing, offering, or selling.  My competition is irrelevant because they don't do what we do.

iVi Scents is unique in that we offer scents, quality, and style that other companies cannot do or are unwilling to do.  Before iVi Scents, there existed just two marketplaces in the bath and body realm: 1) Function void of style, and 2) style void of function.  iVi Scents is the junction of both worlds, a place where function and style merge and play nice together.
I believe this is why our customers and fans are so loyal to us.  We are meeting needs and desires that no other company is willing to.  We try to listen to our customers' feedback.  We value what the say and take everything to heart. iVi Scents is a company built from the ground up with the customer in mind.  I don't understand how big companies lose sight of this: Their customer base is the single determining factor that allowed them to become big in the first place. I often wonder why so many of them refuse to care about us anymore?

How can you make your competition irrelevant? What value can you add that other companies can't or are unwilling to add?  What costs can you cut that other companies have ignored?  Create your own circus and leave the clowns in the dust!

Aarin Elizabeth is the founder of iVi Scents | Nontoxic Bath and Body
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How To Contact A Celebrity

Find iVi Scents Swag in your GLAMINAR Tour bag!

I am excited to announce that YouTube superstar, Kandee Johnson has extended a sponsorship opportunity to iVi Scents to be a part of her 2010 GLAMINAR Tour sponsor lineup. This lineup includes other fabulous companies like Zuca, Dinair Brushes, NYX, Urban Decay, Crown Brushes, Alcone, and many others.  We are honored to be included alongside these great companies, and ecstatic to be a part of Kandee's inspiring tour. To show our love and support, iVi Scents will giveaway an iSmell Soap to every one who attends an upcoming GLAMINAR.

With over 350k subscribers, Kandee Johnson is huge in the YouTube Beauty Community, a community where my business thrives.  Everyone wants her to review their products , because if she does, your products will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people.   IHow did I do it? I employed an age old adage: "It is better to give than to receive." I contacted Kandee and asked her if we could send iSmell Soaps to stuff her GLAMINAR gift bags.  She accepted this offer, and with it, I was able to get noticed and stay in contact with one of the biggest gurus on YouTube!  View her iVi Scents Blog Post here.

But remember, don't ever contact someone bigger than you and ask them for something.  Always contact them with a product you can give them or a service you can provide for them.  No one likes a taker, so be a giver!

Aarin Elizabeth is the founder of iVi Scents | Nontoxic Bath and Body
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