CEO of Organic Anti-Aging Company is only 25

A new unprecedented company is now paving the way for the organic industry, its name; Z Skin Cosmetics. Already winning awards worldwide for its low price and high performance products; it has become an international success within months. Ryan Zamo, now the very successful CEO of the company told us, “I really didn’t think much about my products when I first made them. I mean, to the person who creates them, they’re obviously the best ever.”

The young entrepreneur began creating organic skincare last year. He told us “I literally tried out every single treatment possible, pills and creams and every infomercial product. The only difference I did notice with them was that I was losing more and more money each time without any results. That’s when I came up with my own formula.”

Anti-Aging2

With the noticeable difference in his own skin, Zamo decided to further his endeavor with creating organic products, adding “After I made my own acne products and my skin actually cleared up, my mom begged me to whip her up something to help out with her aging skin, so I did some research and got to work. I didn’t think it would actually turn out right the first time making it, my acne products took a few weeks of trial and error to get it right. But to my surprise, she loved them! Before I knew it I had customers, stores and large corporations from around the world ordering them”.

 

His mother is a longtime plant biologist and horticulturist. “I do have to admit that my parents are the ones who jump started my knowledge into this. My dad always shared with me the crazy ways they used to treat hair and skin with herbs and oils as he was growing up, and my mom knew the exotic and hidden medicinal herbs from around the world” the young entrepreneur told us.

 

Zamo used his knowledge from his parents and hit the pavement researching even further into herbal remedies, saying, “It was just so interesting to me. After realizing there are so many herbal traditions from Hungary that no one else knows about, it intrigued me to study smaller cultures and villages around the world.” Today, his ingredient list spans across the globe, integrating thousands of ancient herbal medical practices from cultures around the world.

 

“Believe it or not, I still create each order. I bottle it myself, label it, package it and ship it, I work about 19-20 hours per day. But to me, this is not work, I love every second of it, nobody is hovering over me making me do this. I never started doing this for the money, I did it to help others out, so hearing customers thanking me for changing their lives is worth way more than these corporations can ever offer me. This is why I quit my first job out of college as an account executive for a brokerage firm.” Said Zamo.

 

The talented and hardworking CEO, at just 25-years-old, is truly setting a new standard for the organic industry. His hard work, dedication and passion to help others have brought him accelerated international success.

This entry was posted on March 8, 2015.

Couple Quit to Make Marshmallow Gun

Kim and Beaver Raymond both said “I quit” after a homemade toy they dreamed up for their son turned into a big hit. The Raymonds were working in the fashion industry in 2002 when they made marshmallow “shooters” out of PVC pipe for their son’s birthday party. Stunned by the success of the food fight they witnessed, the couple and some friends figured out how to construct and market a new marshmallow shooter; and the Marshmallow Fun Company was born.

howto-make-copper-marshmallow-shooter.w654

Beaver, yes that’s his real name, recounts a humorous story that led him to the fun idea. “I was working weekends as a kids’ party costume performer. I would dress up as super heroes, cartoon characters, and the like. One time, I went as Batman to a little boy’s birthday celebration. I was used to performing for children around seven and older; but this time, the kids were only like four and five years old.  That’s the age where they really like to ask questions.  One guest, a boy of about four years old kept asking the famous question, why? Being unprepared, and wanting to please the moms who were conveniently sitting in the corner, I attempted to answer all of his questions. He would ask why, and I would answer; with each answer being followed by why.  After about 10 rounds of this, one of the mothers came rushing to the front of the crowd and shouted, do something, Batman! That’s when I got it into my head that I really needed a new line of work!”

Kim had a similar experience. As a fashion buyer, she had been accustomed to gambling on new finds in foreign countries, bringing back small samples to be approved by her bosses. On one such occasion, she was asked to fly to Korea to look at some quilts. She was used to deciding on clothes, rather than bedding, so she was in a bit over her head. Trusting her instincts, she purchased one sweat shop’s entire line, thinking that she had made a daring and original choice. After lugging the whole lot back to the States in her suitcases, narrowly avoiding customs and immigration, she was informed by her bosses that she had only managed to bring back cheap Chinese copies of the quilts they wanted. Mortified, she decided that it was time for her to quit.

Both now realize they made the right decision. In 2014, the Marshmallow Fun Company sold more than $17 million worth of shooters. The couple say that they have managed to combine both of their passions into one unique opportunity which they can enjoy together. That, they say, is the sweetest thing that they could shoot for.

We could not agree more. We congratulate these two on working together to be successful quitters.  They serve as an example that couples can work together in both their personal and professional lives to achieve their dreams and achieve financial independence while working alongside each other.

This entry was posted on March 8, 2015.

Two Brothers Quit Separate Jobs to form Single Company

Brothers Shep and Ian Murray were miserable sitting behind desks at their corporate jobs in Manhattan. Shep Murray, an advertising account executive, and Ian Murray, who worked at a small public relations firm, quit their jobs within 10 minutes of each other one day. They took cash advances on their credit cards despite being told how “dumb” their idea was, and started Vineyard Vines — a tie company based on Martha’s Vineyard. Or, as the brothers like to say, they decided to trade in their business suits for bathing suits by selling ties.
quit seperate jobs
At first they sold their ties one at a time out of their backpacks, on the beach, on boats and in bars. They sold out of 800 ties within the first week. They quickly re-ordered, paid off their debt and moved into their first office. More than a decade later, the business is now an entire clothing line.

“That day in the office when we quit,” Shep says, “wasn’t our first time we had talked about it. The whole spontaneity thing sounds good and seems romantic; but the truth is, we had planned it for months. We just didn’t tell anyone because we didn’t want to get fired.”

His brother Ian added, “We knew that living on credit cards would be risky, but we had everything lined up. It wasn’t like we just up and walked out. We knew what we were doing. I suggest to anyone that has wild plans like we did that you do your homework first. We don’t recommend that anyone jumps without a parachute.”

They admit that without a few connections and some sales skills under their belts, they would not have been the boy wonders that they were. Not everyone can convince strangers on the street to buy a tie.  But with persistence and panache, the pair were capable of pulling it off.
There are now 30 freestanding Vineyard Vine retail stores around the country, and the line can be found in close to 1,000 stores. The company is projecting about $200 million in sales for 2015.

“Looking back,” they chuckle, “We were looking to get out of the corporate world. Now, we are up to our necks in it, literally.  But you know what? We wouldn’t trade it for the world because there is nothing better than being your own boss.”

When asked which brother is really in charge when it comes down to it, they both looked at each other. After a brief pause, they pointed fingers at one another and laughed out loud. Then they grabbed each other’s ties.

I asked them how they came up with the name Vineyard Vines.  Shep said, “When we got to Martha’s Vineyard, we asked everyone where the vines were. They just looked at us like we were crazy.”

Ian added, “I guess we were crazy.  But vines grow like crazy. Sometimes you got a go a little crazy to grow your own success.”

We couldn’t agree more, boys.

This entry was posted on March 8, 2015.

Two Cooks Quit to Make Potato Chips

Dana Sinkler and Alex Dzieduszycki were working for Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at his four-star restaurant, Lafayette, in New York when they decided to strike out on their own and start a catering business. They were looking to create a signature dish to serve at the bar, since it’s the place people first visit at a party. But they wanted something different from the elaborate crudité platters that were popular at the time. So they experimented with frying different vegetable roots in the kitchen of Sinkler’s tiny apartment and struck gold.

“At that time people had not heard of the Iron Chef. There were no reality cooking shows, and people just didn’t know how hard it could be to work for a demanding chef.” Said Dana.

Two Cooks Quit to Make Potato Chips

Alex added, “But we knew. We also knew that it was something we could not continue to do and be happy. We knew we worked well together, and we knew we had what it took to be successful. We didn’t tell chef V that, though!”

Dana continued, “The chips were really a lucky accident, like a lot of inventions are. Cooking is no different. A lot of dishes are happy accidents. Thank goodness most people don’t know that!”

Alex followed, “We were drinking wine and fooling around and talking about why people would eat nuts or potato chips, and Dana joked that people do not fry nuts; and then it hit me. I thought about what could be fried, and I just started throwing whatever into hot oil. I was surprised at how some things turned out.”

Dana said, “We were pleasantly surprised, but still skeptical. We started looking at how to bag these things, or keep them fresh. We knew how to make food for a restaurant. But how do you package food for a market? What are the laws? There were so many questions, but luckily we had a friend with a health food store who helped us get going. She gave us a shelf and told everyone to try them. The rest is history.”

The vegetable chips were a hit, and soon the pair brought Terra Chips into mainstream retail stores by showing receipts from their friend. Soon, a private equity group took notice and bought 51 percent of the company. Shortly thereafter, they marketed the holding to Hain Celestial, who bought Terra Chips as part of an $80 million bundle deal that included three other companies. At the time, Dzieduszycki says, Terra Chips had about $23 million in annual sales.

“It really could not have grown any faster. Things could not have happened any better than they did. It was like the universe was waiting for someone to make these chips.” Laughed Alex. Dana agreed.

Sinkler and Dzieduszycki have since moved on to new ventures. Sinkler has started a restaurant called Hubee D’s. Dzieduszycki began Julian’s Recipe, a frozen waffle line. Both are highly successful and still doing what they love: Making great-tasting, healthy food.

This entry was posted on March 7, 2015.

Young Lady Quits Job and Writes Book about her Success

One thing is for sure – I wish Miki Agrawal’s book DO COOL SH*T was around four years ago, before I quit my day job and started my own business (I’m still working on the Live Happily Ever After part of the book’s subtitle). A masterful mix of personal stories, chapter summary takeaways and workbook-like questions aimed at encouraging readers to identify their passions and take an entrepreneurial path, it’s packed with experience-based advice and inspiration – and a lot less expensive than business school.

young lady

Agrawal was working around-the-clock for Deutsche Bank after graduating from Cornell University when the terrorist attacks of 9/11 crumbled skyscrapers that she would have been in, if not for late night drinks with friends causing her to uncharacteristically sleep through her alarm. Acknowledging her good fortune in the weeks that followed, she realized finance was not what she was put on this planet to do and made a “passion pivot,” shifting her life trajectory to courageously pursue opportunities that better aligned with her personal passions. She is now the founder of a highly acclaimed farm-to-table pizza restaurant, THINX – a stain resistant line of sustainable underwear for women, and a partner in Super Sprowtz – a children’s multimedia company she started with her twin sister Radha that teaches kids about healthy eating. Oh, and did I mention she’s in her mid-thirties, gorgeous, and has an attitude that would give Tony Robbins a run for his money?

Turning the pages, I found myself fluctuating between wanting to track Agrawal down and become her BFF, and suspiciously searching for cracks in her seemingly perfect veneer, counting the number of times she encountered challenges that might allow me to more easily relate. This was largely due to a stylistic choice made possible by the benefit of hindsight – Agrawal’s advice skews confidently punchy. But that makes for a fun read, and she does show vulnerability when talking about blowing out both of her knees while playing soccer for the New York Magic, the financial sacrifices her parents made to ensure she and her sisters received top-notch education, the challenges WILD experienced during its first month of operations, and the lessons she’s learned about selecting partners and hiring team members through experiencing some missteps along the way. Ultimately, I found myself not only rooting for her continued success, but also wanting to be a bit more like her myself. Here are the questions I asked her:

How do you recharge your battery, and stay grounded as your life continues to get bigger?
I believe in lots of sprints and many short breaks. So I would go hard for 5 weeks and then take a week off entirely and go to Burning Man! No phones, no internet, nothing but connecting with friends and loved ones. I probably do around 5-6 weeks on and a few days to a week totally off. The breaks are actually important to think through the business as well. Almost like a mental retreat.

I appreciated your section on selecting partners, hiring slow and firing fast, and the business characteristics and personal qualities to look for. What 3 character traits do you think are the hardest to teach?
1. Self-starting/thinking for themselves
2. Staying calm under pressure
3. Can this person withstand the “airplane test”? Meaning, would I want to sit next to them on a 14-hour plane ride? If yes, amazing!

This entry was posted on March 7, 2015.