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Entrepreneurial Origins

I have always been an entrepreneur. I started my first business when I was 8 buying candy in bulk from a wholesaler and selling it to the neighborhood kids at retail. I have been blessed with some great business and life experiences.  As an entrepreneur I have failed and I have succeeded. One thing I know for certain, success is not a location, it is the journey and I continue passionately on a path to success.

I have been fortunate to have many wonderful experiences working as a VP for a publicly traded company, a law clerk for a federal judge, publishing a business magazine and founder of a dot com company. Currently I am a cofounder of marketing company where we have clients from all across the globe. I have had some grand experiences and I am sure there will be more.

Frequently I am asked about a recent venture my brothers and I started, Jus International. Founding Jus International with my brothers was a marvelous experience. We had many challenges to get the company off the ground, but with a ton of work, we saw our vision become reality in 2008 when we launched the company. We no longer have any management responsibilities within Jus International, but I hope other entrepreneurs can learn from our experiences to help them overcome their challenges and understand that achievement of dreams is an ongoing proposition.

As the founders of Jus International, we were a group of entrepreneurs who wanted to build a company dedicated to constantly improving and exploring better products and services for our families, our distributors and their clients.  The Jus genesis was a story of persistence and growth and it included people all across the globe.  Jus origins were not about a magical fruit found in an unknown land.  Jus was about learning to follow dreams and finding like-minded people who also share a vision of being a part of something extraordinary.  As founders of Jus, we believed dreams could come true with the right partners and determination.

As the founders of Jus, our dream was a company in which opportunity should be made available for everyone, with success coming to its people according to the power of their own dream and willingness to achieve it.

Dedicated to Your Success,

graphiti

Jeffery Boyle
Co-Founder Jus International

******************

What are your dreams worth?  Are your dreams worth some disappointment and bad times to achieve them?  Are you willing to sacrifice all of your dreams and passion for life just because of some bad times and disappointment on the way? I hope your dreams are more powerful than the obstacles you encounter on the path to achieving them.  Jus International was built on passion and dreams and will continue to thrive based on thousands of entrepreneurs’ desire to be a part of something great.

boyle-videoMy dream to succeed in network marketing started in 1994 with Amway and continues today in Jus International.  When I first started my network-marketing career in 1994 I was young, intense and I was deeply devoted to my Amway business.  However, I was in for a real education and I failed to achieve any financial success in my first nine months; I only made $18 before expenses.  I don’t think $2 a month would make too many people excited.

I was and continue to be much too determined to be scared off by some failures.  It did not matter how many people told me no or skipped my meetings.  I loved the challenge, I loved my upline, and most importantly I loved being with people who were positive about life and wanted to get better. I had shown a ton of presentations in nine months and I only had two people in my downline.  In fact, I bought the business starter kit for one of them.

The turning point in my Amway business was in December 1994 after nine months in the business.  I was on break from college and was home for Christmas.  I wanted to hold a large opportunity meeting at my parents’ house.  I begged my mom to invite her friends and I called everybody I could think of.  I even convinced my upline to drive five hours in winter conditions to host the meeting.  I was sure we would have forty people there, but when nobody showed up.  I was beyond devastated.  I was so mad my throat ached and I did everything I could to not break down in tears.

I am so grateful to my upline, Kendall and Roxanne Bennett for their comfort and support that night.  They told me shake it off and Kendall played pool with me for an hour while he convinced me I could still be successful.  The next morning my mother called a couple of people and asked if they could come by.  A few of her friends showed up and decided to join my mother’s group.  Three months later we were selling over $15,000 of monthly volume.   Over the next four years my group grew significantly in volume from devoted distributors all across the United States, it was an amazing experience for a college kid.

My group consistently grew and I won trips to Hawaii, Mexico and other wonderful sandy places; but I built it in a way that bordered fanaticism.  I drove thousands of miles every month.  I slept frequently in rest stops because I was too tired to make it all the way home.  I would go to my downline’s home and go through their cabinets and dump “negative” product into the drain or toilet.  Imagine the looks I got when I would pull out some Scope from their cabinets and explain to them that I was doing their business a favor by dumping $5 of mouthwash into the toilet.  I consistently made 45 presentations a month and talked to everyone within speaking distance whether I knew them or not.

The ultimate example of my “commitment” came on my honeymoon.  Sitting next to my beautiful bride on the plane, I commenced to practice what I was preaching by talking to everyone near me. I talked to the guy sitting next to me instead of my new wife.  By the time we got to Vegas, he was in.  It took a couple hours but I closed the deal.  And yes, my wife is pretty amazing.  A more jealous woman would have punched me in the arm and not talked to me for the rest of our honeymoon.

Let’s just say that my fanatical devotion to my business eventually caught up to me and I burned out.  I was baked emotionally.  Not because I worked too hard, but because my experience left me to believe that it was too hard for normal people to succeed in network marketing.  And believe me, there were not very many people as crazy as me in how they built their business.  Frankly, I now don’t blame the people who built it differently than I did.  When I was married and had my first son, it became very hard for me to keep up such a frantic pace.  I believed that if network marketing required fanaticism and eighty hours a week year after year, it may not work for the masses.  Although it was extraordinarily difficult, I decided to leave network marketing for good.

I moved on to other entrepreneurial ventures and helped raise millions of dollars for a dot com business with my brothers before we sold our interest in that company. After selling our interest in the dot com company, I moved on to corporate America where I became a Vice President of Sales for a fortune 1000 company. I had reached the executive level within four months and when I got there, I realized quickly I didn’t like it.  I quit my job, started a business magazine with my brother and attempted to run it while I went to law school.  I am lucky I didn’t flunk working full time and simultaneously trying to get my head wrapped around the Statute of Frauds, future interests and contract law.

During my second year at law school my best friend from high school called me to help him with his new network marketing company.  I was not interested, but he was persistent.  By the time summer came around, he had convinced me to come see him.  I remained pessimistic during the presentation.  I had become a network-marketing critic and I believed my friend deserved a little payback since he made fun of me for years while I worked so hard with Amway.  After a two-hour presentation by the CEO of his company, I told them some things to watch out for and wished them luck.  My friend kept calling, and frankly speaking, he was convincing.  I eventually gave in and started to be more open.  By the time I had graduated from law school I had agreed to work for him as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for my friend’s company.

What started out as a favor eventually became a passion for me.  As part of my job I decided to research other network marketing companies.  My brother Brian and I even joined some of them as a part of researching the modern network marketing business environment.  We attended many of their meetings.  I was amazed at how much more sophisticated network marketing had become.  The marketing was first rate, and the compensation plans were better.  The modern compensation plans, coupled with sophisticated marketing helped me believe again that consistent passion could deliver financial success in two to five years for the devoted distributor.  More importantly, I saw with some tweaks to their plans, the new person could make $250-$500 very early in their businesses.

What really made me passionate about network marketing again was the people at the meetings I attended.  Sure there were some cheesy sayings and some things that made me concerned (like stories of feeding a baby chick with tumors and no feathers mangosteen juice until it became healthy).  Sure I heard the claims of miraculous healings and instant wealth and discounted those stories.  However, what I loved was seeing a bunch of people with dreams.  I loved the look in their eyes.  I loved seeing hope.  I loved seeing excitement.  I loved being in a room that was alive.  I loved network marketing again.

While working for my friend’s company, my brother Brad wanted to take the business to Japan where he had lived for over four years.  We were told that it did not make much sense financially to enter Japan.  Brad was not easy to discourage so he decided he would raise the money to take the company to Japan.  He set up some meetings with venture funds.  One meeting was with a venture capital firm when I first met Jason Reading.  The firm liked what they saw enough to ask us to arrange a meeting with the owners of the company I worked for.  We ran the idea by my friend and his partners but they were less than enthusiastic about selling any part of their company even if it gave them more funds to expand.

After pouring my passion and time into my friend’s company, I saw that there was not much hope of gaining any ownership with him.  I wanted to build my own future, and I eventually left my friend’s company and moved on to my own projects.  However, I could not get the network-marketing bug out of my head.  I had to figure out a way to stay in network marketing but also implement some of the important lessons from my years as a distributor and corporate employee:

  • Keep the new person in mind:
    – Ability to make money quickly for new committed builder.
    – Ability to make $300 to $500 a month if you are building it part time.
  • Stable commissions:
    – Experience taught me that volume without the right amount of people was usually due to people buying their way to leadership levels and meant too much inventory build up.
    – With the right people and product the committed builder should have ability to become truly financially independent and even wealthy in two to five years of consistent building.
  • World class products, but limited in number:
    – Experience taught me that too many products only leads to confusion instead of more sales.
  • The company and its brand are more important than individual personalities:
    – All for one and one for all.
    – Mentoring and edification is key by leaders, but upline worship leads to disillusionment.

Jus History LogosI began to call many of my contacts I had built over the years and some of them were interested in being a part of a network marketing company that was done right.  Brad suggested that if we put together a business plan, we might be able to raise money through different venture capital funds. My brothers Brad, Philip Niu (my brother in law) and I began to talk more frequently while Brad tried to get us an appointment with venture funds.
We wanted a world-class product and a name that would be easy to remember and embodied our product and company vision.  Some of the names thrown around in the beginning were:

  • Xvita – Vita means life in Latin.  X could be used in many adjectives to describe the product and message.
  • SoliVita – Soli means sun in Latin.  Essentially life from the sun.  We loved this message but the name seemed awkward.
  • Eveyo – I have no idea what we were thinking with this one.
  • Vitensis – tried to incorporate a form of Vita into a name that actually had the domain available.  Looking back on it this was just a bad one.

We eventually settled on Xvita and I began making a bunch of logos and cover pages for our presentations to various venture funds. (click here to see the original Xvita site)

Xvita Mock up

While Brian and Brad were working on getting our numbers right, I began to call every nutritional lab I could find from my research. We knew we wanted to stay in nutrition but I went to law school, and frankly a legal degree did not make me qualified to assemble the best list of ingredients for world-class nutritional products.

I eventually was led to a lab on the east coast.  This lab was amazing and wanted to work with us. They had the ability to globally-source ingredients.  They had patented technologies and advanced delivery systems, which would be incredibly valuable to create value and efficacy to the products we decided produce.  They offered expert formulation and they had a Scientific Advisory Board to help with the latest developments and technical innovations.  Their team included leading research scientists, molecular biologists, physicians, pharmacists, clinical nutritionists, herbalists, food technologists, and even sports physiologists. I was amazed.  These guys were exactly the team we needed to create the best product in the industry.

Xvita Product MockupTheir initial product suggestion involved a functional health drink that included eight ingredients and a complimentary line of three different powder based tablets that would dissolve in the drink and make it a specialty drink.  For example, one of the tablets would have been loaded with B vitamins, guarana and taurine for energy.  The idea was going to be called the “Nutra Bomb.”  Although the idea was unique and nobody was doing it, it was not achieving our product goal of something we would take ourselves and even give to our kids.  The idea was more of a marketing gimmick instead of truly being good for the body. We were skeptical, but we needed something to present to the venture funds as a product idea.  I went to work creating web sites and marketing information for it in preparation for funding meetings.

Brad scheduled another meeting in November of 2006 at a Utah venture company with various employees including Jason Reading as well as a retired President of a successful network marketing company.  Brad and Brian had a business plan prepared, and I had ready the Nutra Bomb information as well as mock websites and branding proposals.  The meeting seemed to be cordial, but the former network-marketing executive seemed very skeptical and the venture fund was reluctant to invest in a start up.  At the time, we were very disappointed but the only success from the meeting seemed to be that we were able to secure another appointment with the former executive.  Although he was reluctant, we had the meeting scheduled a month later.

We worked hard, and the December meeting came quickly, but I was able to secure commitments from three experienced network marketers.  Brian, Brad and I met at Brad’s office in Utah with our charts, graphs, and resumes of the network marketers for the meeting.  Even though I had called and emailed the former network-marketing executive about the meeting, he still forgot about it.  Had we not called him, I doubt he ever would have shown up.  The meeting lasted about thirty minutes and he told us it was not something he was very interested in pursuing.  We had worked hard, but he said we were still just a theory and theories by themselves do not typically put money in the bank account.

For the next four months we did our best to keep the dream alive.  We were unable to get any real attention from different venture funds so we did our best to make the company look less like a start up.   We worked hard to get real products and I spent a lot of time talking to possible distributors.  This was a very challenging time to remain positive and motivated.  We did not have any real interest in funding our business from venture firms and we were incurring expenses trying to create materials and interest.  It would have been very easy and understandable to give up during this time.  But we simply refused to give up when it seemed like success was just around the corner if someone would hear our story.

With my brothers providing morale support and with frequent strategy calls, I spent a more and more time trying to help us look more like a company and not just an idea.  I worked almost daily with the lab to get us something truly special.  The lab sent back four proposed recipes.  Two of the recipes looked like me-too products of existing network marketing companies and other retail products.  One of the recipes had Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.  The last recipe had fifteen superfoods in it.  It was the most expensive to produce, but it looked very unique.  We called it X-15.

Click Here to see original Xvita proposed marketing collateral

What made the product exciting was that it was a proven product idea, juice, but it did not rely heavily on powder-based ingredients like most of super-food drinks on the market.  It had the all the colors of the rainbow and utilized delivery agents of fresh juice, herbs, concentrated juice, extracts and most importantly a lot of fruit purees.  I told the lab the importance of it being the best on the market and told them to make one more attempt at improving it.  They came back with a proposal that added eight more ingredients that worked synergistically with the other fruits and still kept it an all-natural product.  The lab made us some samples and sent it overnight to us.  It was incredibly exciting to finally get some samples after so many months of working every day to make the dream happen.

While I was working with the lab during the day, I was also working with a group of software engineers in India at night to program a back office, which would enable us to enroll people and get them committed to our business.  We still did not have any commitment from investors and we had not met or really spoken with them in months, but we believed that we had to show possible funding partners that we had a company with much more than an idea, we had to be a real company.

After almost six months with no real contact with investors, Brad went to work to get us more meetings.  Jason Reading had left the firm he was working with  and had partnered with Richard Durham to start Aries Capital.  Brad had developed a good relationship with them from other ventures and they decided to take a look at us.

For this meeting we were prepared to show that we were ready with a product, a functioning back office with real time enrollment capability, a corporate website, marketing collateral and over 100 people committed to the business with a basic compensation plan.  This was the first time I had ever met or spoken with Rick and the first time meeting with Jason in months.  I think they were surprised how much we had done since we saw Jason last.

Although the meeting seemed to go well, it was also the start of a process that included more intense research to get the answers Aries needed to give us funding.  Rick and Jason seemed to share our desire to have the best product on the market.  In fact, it was a requirement to have the best in order to take the chance on a start up company.  They were passionate about finding opportunities that made sense long term and our idea gave them the ability to be a part of a company that made money by giving thousands of entrepreneurs the chance to realize their dreams.

Even though we did not receive a commitment for funding at this meeting, I left impressed by our meeting with Aries.  The idea of working with funding partners that bought into our dream where hard working entrepreneurs could make it big was exciting.  I believe they caught the vision of network marketing that would give them the opportunity to fund more than our business and ideas, but the businesses of thousands of distributors all across the world.

Click here to see the Xvita Meeting Presentation Cover for Venture Funds

x-15-super-berry-hi-oracAfter three more months of due diligence, Aries decided to send us $10,000 to test the product to see how well it compared in nutritional categories compared to other products on the market.  It was the moment of truth.  Would it test well or would months of waiting and rejection be wasted.  To our great relief and excitement, the tests came back far better than we could ever imagined.  The test came back so high that the email with the test results was accompanied with one word from our lab, “WOW!”  We scored off the charts on our ORAC test, significantly higher than anything on the market.  The first round of funding came within weeks of getting the tests back.  It was an exciting time after so many challenges.

Although the team at Jus has grown from a few dedicated entrepreneurs to many thousands of committed people across the world, we are still a company of dedication and commitment to helping the little guys achieve their dreams.  I am honored that so many people have caught the vision that started with just a few people and now is gaining momentum at an incredible pace.  I am honored that Aries Capital would believe in our vision and help fund us so that we could give people across the world an incredible opportunity.  Most importantly, I am excited to hear the stories from network marketers tell their own stories of overcoming challenges on their way to achieving their dreams.

There is still much more to tell about how we started.  The company name changed from Xvita to Jus and we found incredible leaders such as Rea Nichols, Jake Hines, Scott Adcock, Brent Coles, Corey Kent, Kunio Toma, Greg Belzeski and many others to help us get started.  However, so few people knew what it took just to get to funding for this great opportunity.

Jus started as a dream for a few and now it is the dream of many.  We continue to experience challenges each day, but we also continue to thrive where others are failing.  I hope that the challenges I experienced will help people understand that following a dream with passion is a great way to live.

Many people ask me what it took to get Jus International started? It seems that all companies in this industry are built more on a story than a real product.  Jus is different.  The Jus story is on going, but originally was about a group of entrepreneurs who wanted to do it right and hoped to find the right funding partners that would see their commitment to excellence, a magical environment and health.  It was and continues to be a story of persistence and growth.  It is not about a magical fruit found in an unknown land.  It is about following your dreams and looking for like-minded people who also share your vision of being a part of something extraordinary for themselves and for their families.  The Jus International story is about never giving up on your dreams.  It is truly about small entrepreneurs doing whatever it takes (ethically) to make their dreams come true.  I hope Jus and network marketing become your success story too.

Dedicated to Your Success,

graphiti

Jeffery Boyle

Founder/President Jus International

******************

What are your dreams worth?  Are your dreams worth some disappointment and bad times to achieve them?  Are you willing to sacrifice all of your dreams and passion for life just because of some bad times and disappointment on the way? I hope your dreams are more powerful than the obstacles you encounter on the path to achieving them.  Jus International was built on passion and dreams and will continue to thrive based on thousands of entrepreneurs’ desire to be a part of something great.

My dream to succeed in network marketing started in 1994 with Amway and continues today in Jus International.  When I first started my network-marketing career in 1994 I was young, intense and I was deeply devoted to my Amway business.  However, I was in for a real education and I failed to achieve any financial success in my first nine months; I only made $18 before expenses.  I don’t think $2 a month would make too many people excited.

I was and continue to be much too determined to be scared off by some failures.  It did not matter how many people told me no or skipped my meetings.  I loved the challenge, I loved my upline, and most importantly I loved being with people who were positive about life and wanted to get better. I had shown a ton of presentations in nine months and I only had two people in my downline.  In fact, I bought the business starter kit for one of them.

The turning point in my Amway business was in December 1994 after nine months in the business.  I was on break from college and was home for Christmas.  I wanted to hold a large opportunity meeting at my parents’ house.  I begged my mom to invite her friends and I called everybody I could think of.  I even convinced my upline to drive five hours in winter conditions to host the meeting.  I was sure we would have forty people there, but when nobody showed up.  I was beyond devastated.  I was so mad my throat ached and I did everything I could to not break down in tears.

I am so grateful to my upline, Kendall and Roxanne Bennett for their comfort and support that night.  They told me shake it off and Kendall played pool with me for an hour while he convinced me I could still be successful.  The next morning my mother called a couple of people and asked if they could come by.  A few of her friends showed up and decided to join my mother’s group.  Three months later we were selling over $15,000 of monthly volume.   Over the next four years my group grew significantly in volume from devoted distributors all across the United States, it was an amazing experience for a college kid.

My group consistently grew and I won trips to Hawaii, Mexico and other wonderful sandy places; but I built it in a way that bordered fanaticism.  I drove thousands of miles every month.  I slept frequently in rest stops because I was too tired to make it all the way home.  I would go to my downline’s home and go through their cabinets and dump “negative” product into the drain or toilet.  Imagine the looks I got when I would pull out some Scope from their cabinets and explain to them that I was doing their business a favor by dumping $5 of mouthwash into the toilet.  I consistently made 45 presentations a month and talked to everyone within speaking distance whether I knew them or not.

The ultimate example of my “commitment” came on my honeymoon.  Sitting next to my beautiful bride on the plane, I commenced to practice what I was preaching by talking to everyone near me. I talked to the guy sitting next to me instead of my new wife.  By the time we got to Vegas, he was in.  It took a couple hours but I closed the deal.  And yes, my wife is pretty amazing.  A more jealous woman would have punched me in the arm and not talked to me for the rest of our honeymoon.

Let’s just say that my fanatical devotion to my business eventually caught up to me and I burned out.  I was baked emotionally.  Not because I worked too hard, but because my experience left me to believe that it was too hard for normal people to succeed in network marketing.  And believe me, there were not very many people as crazy as me in how they built their business.  Frankly, I now don’t blame the people who built it differently than I did.  When I was married and had my first son, it became very hard for me to keep up such a frantic pace.  I believed that if network marketing required fanaticism and eighty hours a week year after year, it may not work for the masses.  Although it was extraordinarily difficult, I decided to leave network marketing for good.

I moved on to other entrepreneurial ventures and raised millions of dollars for a dot com business with my brothers before we sold our interest in that company. After selling our interest in the dot com company, I moved on to corporate America where I became a Vice President of Sales for a fortune 1000 company. I had reached the executive level within four months and when I got there, I realized I didn’t like it.  I quit my job, started a business magazine with my brother and attempted to run it while I went to law school.  I am lucky I didn’t flunk working full time and simultaneously trying to get my head wrapped around the Statute of Frauds, future interests and contract law.

During my second year at law school my best friend from high school called me to help him with his new network marketing company.  I was not interested, but he was persistent.  By the time summer came around, he had convinced me to come see him.  I remained pessimistic during the presentation.  I had become a network-marketing critic and I believed my friend deserved a little payback since he made fun of me for years while I worked so hard with Amway.  After a two-hour presentation by the CEO of his company, I told them some things to watch out for and wished them luck.  My friend kept calling, and frankly speaking, he was convincing.  I eventually gave in and started to be more open.  By the time I had graduated from law school I had agreed to work for him as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for my friend’s company.

What started out as a favor eventually became a passion for me.  As part of my job I decided to research other network marketing companies.  My brother Brian and I even joined some of them as a part of researching the modern network marketing business environment.  We attended many of their meetings.  I was amazed at how much more sophisticated network marketing had become.  The marketing was first rate, and the compensation plans were better.  The modern compensation plans, coupled with sophisticated marketing helped me believe again that consistent passion could deliver financial success in two to five years for the devoted distributor.  More importantly, I saw with some tweaks to their plans, the new person could make $250-$500 very early in their businesses.

What really made me passionate about network marketing again was the people at the meetings I attended.  Sure there were some cheesy sayings and some things that made me concerned (like stories of feeding a baby chick with tumors and no feathers mangosteen juice until it became healthy).  Sure I heard the claims of miraculous healings and instant wealth and discounted those stories.  However, what I loved was seeing a bunch of people with dreams.  I loved the look in their eyes.  I loved seeing hope.  I loved seeing excitement.  I loved being in a room that was alive.  I loved network marketing again.

While working for my friend’s company, my brother Brad wanted to take the business to Japan where he had lived for over four years.  We were told that it did not make much sense financially to enter Japan.  Brad was not easy to discourage so he decided he would raise the money to take the company to Japan.  He set up some meetings with venture funds.  One meeting was with a venture capital firm when I first met Jason Reading.  The firm liked what they saw enough to ask us to arrange a meeting with the owners of the company I worked for.  We ran the idea by my friend and his partners but they were less than enthusiastic about selling any part of their company even if it gave them more funds to expand.

After pouring my passion and time into my friend’s company, I saw that there was not much hope of gaining any ownership with him.  I wanted to build my own future, and I eventually left my friend’s company and moved on to my own projects.  However, I could not get the network-marketing bug out of my head.  I had to figure out a way to stay in network marketing but also implement some of the important lessons from my years as a distributor and corporate employee:

  • Keep the new person in mind:

    – Ability to make money quickly for new committed builder.

    – Ability to make $300 to $500 a month if you are building it part time.

  • Stable commissions:

    – Experience taught me that volume without the right amount of people was usually due to people buying their way to leadership levels and meant too much inventory build up.

    – With the right people and product the committed builder should have ability to become truly financially independent and even wealthy in two to five years of consistent building.

  • World class products, but limited in number:

    – Experience taught me that too many products only leads to confusion instead of more sales.

  • The company and its brand are more important than individual personalities:

    – All for one and one for all.

    – Mentoring and edification is key by leaders, but upline worship leads to disillusionment.

Jus History LogosI began to call many of my contacts I had built over the years and some of them were interested in being a part of a network marketing company that was done right.  Brad suggested that if we put together a business plan, we might be able to raise money through different venture capital funds. My brothers Brad, Philip Niu (my brother in law) and I began to talk more frequently while Brad tried to get us an appointment with venture funds.

We wanted a world-class product and a name that would be easy to remember and embodied our product and company vision.  Some of the names thrown around in the beginning were:

  • Xvita – Vita means life in Latin.  X could be used in many adjectives to describe the product and message.
  • SoliVita – Soli means sun in Latin.  Essentially life from the sun.  We loved this message but the name seemed awkward.
  • Eveyo – I have no idea what we were thinking with this one.
  • Vitensis – tried to incorporate a form of Vita into a name that actually had the domain available.  Looking back on it this was just a bad one.

We eventually settled on Xvita and I began making a bunch of logos and cover pages for our presentations to various venture funds. (click here to see the original Xvita site)

Xvita Mock up

While Brian and Brad were working on getting our numbers right, I began to call every nutritional lab I could find from my research. We knew we wanted to stay in nutrition but I went to law school, and frankly a legal degree did not make me qualified to assemble the best list of ingredients for world-class nutritional products.

I eventually was led to a lab on the east coast.  This lab was amazing and wanted to work with us. They had the ability to globally-source ingredients.  They had patented technologies and advanced delivery systems, which would be incredibly valuable to create value and efficacy to the products we decided produce.  They offered expert formulation and they had a Scientific Advisory Board to help with the latest developments and technical innovations.  Their team included leading research scientists, molecular biologists, physicians, pharmacists, clinical nutritionists, herbalists, food technologists, and even sports physiologists. I was amazed.  These guys were exactly the team we needed to create the best product in the industry.

Xvita Product MockupTheir initial product suggestion involved a functional health drink that included eight ingredients and a complimentary line of three different powder based tablets that would dissolve in the drink and make it a specialty drink.  For example, one of the tablets would have been loaded with B vitamins, guarana and taurine for energy.  The idea was going to be called the “Nutra Bomb.”  Although the idea was unique and nobody was doing it, it was not achieving our product goal of something we would take ourselves and even give to our kids.  The idea was more of a marketing gimmick instead of truly being good for the body. We were skeptical, but we needed something to present to the venture funds as a product idea.  I went to work creating web sites and marketing information for it in preparation for funding meetings.

Brad scheduled another meeting in November of 2006 at a Utah venture company with various employees including Jason Reading as well as a retired President of a successful network marketing company.  Brad and Brian had a business plan prepared, and I had ready the Nutra Bomb information as well as mock websites and branding proposals.  The meeting seemed to be cordial, but the former network-marketing executive seemed very skeptical and the venture fund was reluctant to invest in a start up.  At the time, we were very disappointed but the only success from the meeting seemed to be that we were able to secure another appointment with the former executive.  Although he was reluctant, we had the meeting scheduled a month later.

We worked hard, and the December meeting came quickly, but I was able to secure commitments from three experienced network marketers.  Brian, Brad and I met at Brad’s office in Utah with our charts, graphs, and resumes of the network marketers for the meeting.  Even though I had called and emailed the former network-marketing executive about the meeting, he still forgot about it.  Had we not called him, I doubt he ever would have shown up.  The meeting lasted about thirty minutes and he told us it was not something he was very interested in pursuing.  We had worked hard, but he said we were still just a theory and theories by themselves do not typically put money in the bank account.

For the next four months we did our best to keep the dream alive.  We were unable to get any real attention from different venture funds so we did our best to make the company look less like a start up.   We worked hard to get real products and I spent a lot of time talking to possible distributors.  This was a very challenging time to remain positive and motivated.  We did not have any real interest in funding our business from venture firms and we were incurring expenses trying to create materials and interest.  It would have been very easy and understandable to give up during this time.  But we simply refused to give up when it seemed like success was just around the corner if someone would hear our story.

With my brothers providing morale support and with frequent strategy calls, I spent a more and more time trying to help us look more like a company and not just an idea.  I worked almost daily with the lab to get us something truly special.  The lab sent back four proposed recipes.  Two of the recipes looked like me-too products of existing network marketing companies and other retail products.  One of the recipes had Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.  The last recipe had fifteen superfoods in it.  It was the most expensive to produce, but it looked very unique.  We called it X-15.

Click Here to see original Xvita proposed marketing collateral

What made the product exciting was that it was a proven product idea, juice, but it did not rely heavily on powder-based ingredients like most of super-food drinks on the market.  It had the all the colors of the rainbow and utilized delivery agents of fresh juice, herbs, concentrated juice, extracts and most importantly a lot of fruit purees.  I told the lab the importance of it being the best on the market and told them to make one more attempt at improving it.  They came back with a proposal that added eight more ingredients that worked synergistically with the other fruits and still kept it an all-natural product.  The lab made us some samples and sent it overnight to us.  It was incredibly exciting to finally get some samples after so many months of working every day to make the dream happen.

While I was working with the lab during the day, I was also working with a group of software engineers in India at night to program a back office, which would enable us to enroll people and get them committed to our business.  We still did not have any commitment from investors and we had not met or really spoken with them in months, but we believed that we had to show possible funding partners that we had a company with much more than an idea, we had to be a real company.

After almost six months with no real contact with investors, Brad went to work to get us more meetings.  Jason Reading had left the firm he was working with  and had partnered with Richard Durham to start Aries Capital.  Brad had developed a good relationship with them from other ventures and they decided to take a look at us.

For this meeting we were prepared to show that we were ready with a product, a functioning back office with real time enrollment capability, a corporate website, marketing collateral and over 100 people committed to the business with a basic compensation plan.  This was the first time I had ever met or spoken with Rick and the first time meeting with Jason in months.  I think they were surprised how much we had done since we saw Jason last.

Although the meeting seemed to go well, it was also the start of a process that included more intense research to get the answers Aries needed to give us funding.  Rick and Jason seemed to share our desire to have the best product on the market.  In fact, it was a requirement to have the best in order to take the chance on a start up company.  They were passionate about finding opportunities that made sense long term and our idea gave them the ability to be a part of a company that made money by giving thousands of entrepreneurs the chance to realize their dreams.

Even though we did not receive a commitment for funding at this meeting, I left impressed by our meeting with Aries.  The idea of working with funding partners that bought into our dream where hard working entrepreneurs could make it big was exciting.  I believe they caught the vision of network marketing that would give them the opportunity to fund more than our business and ideas, but the businesses of thousands of distributors all across the world.

Click here to see the Xvita Meeting Presentation Cover for Venture Funds

x-15-super-berry-hi-oracAfter three more months of due diligence, Aries decided to send us $10,000 to test the product to see how well it compared in nutritional categories compared to other products on the market.  It was the moment of truth.  Would it test well or would months of waiting and rejection be wasted.  To our great relief and excitement, the tests came back far better than we could ever imagined.  The test came back so high that the email with the test results was accompanied with one word from our lab, “WOW!”  We scored off the charts on our ORAC test, significantly higher than anything on the market.  The first round of funding came within weeks of getting the tests back.  It was an exciting time after so many challenges.

Although the team at Jus has grown from a few dedicated entrepreneurs to many thousands of committed people across the world, we are still a company of dedication and commitment to helping the little guys achieve their dreams.  I am honored that so many people have caught the vision that started with just a few people and now is gaining momentum at an incredible pace.  I am honored that Aries Capital would believe in our vision and help fund us so that we could give people across the world an incredible opportunity.  Most importantly, I am excited to hear the stories from network marketers tell their own stories of overcoming challenges on their way to achieving their dreams.

There is still much more to tell about how we started.  The company name changed from Xvita to Jus and we found incredible leaders such as Rea Nichols, Jake Hines, Scott Adcock, Brent Coles, Corey Kent, Kunio Toma, Greg Belzeski and many others to help us get started.  However, so few people knew what it took just to get to funding for this great opportunity.

Jus started as a dream for a few and now it is the dream of many.  We continue to experience challenges each day, but we also continue to thrive where others are failing.  I hope that the challenges I experienced will help people understand that following a dream with passion is a great way to live.

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