Finding your passion in life usually comes with several false starts. Most people aren’t resilient enough to make it through and continue searching. Robin Boykin is not most people. Robin has recently realized her dream to turn her passion for organic healthy living into a thriving business, UEndure.
UEdure provides high quality organic teas that are not only healthy but benefit the body as well. Robin purchased the company and has been busy making it her own by adding new tea lines and difuser bottles. This is no doubt only the beginning of the incredible things she is bound to do at UEndure.
We all have something to learn from Robin’s strong business sense, perseverance, dedication and follow through. She has agreed to share her secrets to success and we couldn’t be more grateful! You can find out more about UEndure on their website, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m 58, but I probably act more like a 35 year old. I’m still a practical joker and I don’t intend to stop.
I grew up in a large family of 4 girls and 3 boys in Boston during the 60’s and 70’s. We enjoyed all of the traditional fun that kids had before computers, video games and cable TV for which I’m eternally grateful. In those days, we were encouraged to play outside. Those are memories that I still cling to just to remind myself that the world wasn’t always this crazy. I am a lover of all things organic and natural.
I got married, had my son and began working in corporate America in the mid 80’s. In 1986 I transferred to Houston, Texas. Shortly thereafter I became a single mom and continued my career as a business analyst until 2008 when I got laid off. My next gig was working in the Oil & Gas field as Land Analyst.
The whole time while working in corporate America, I got involved in many outside organizations and causes trying to figure out how to channel my energy and discover what my true purpose was. I consider myself a problem solver and I always loved to advocate for others who cannot fight for themselves. I began serving on various boards that support underprivileged families, and I volunteered with at-risk youth and the elderly. I got my Ombudsman certification and paralegal degree in 2009 which helped equip me with the resources I needed to apply Texas law to my advocacy work.
I am blessed to have raised a remarkable son who lives in Arlington, TX with his beautiful family.
I’ve been happily married for 5 years (2nd time around) to a great guy who has been patient and supportive as I work to find myself in this new phase of my business life. Yes, I’ve had several false starts.
How did you get into your business?
I have been dabbling in the entrepreneurial orbit for the past 11 years. However, finding my niche included many false starts. Although I have been successful in my small business advocacy endeavors I could not, in good faith, take money for something that just came naturally. I wanted that to be my “ministry” so to speak. That meant I needed to market something tangible so I could continue to provide my business referral services free of charge.
Several years ago, I came down with this mysterious illness. I broke out in hives from head to toe, I was so weak and sick I could not work for weeks. After multiple visits to various doctors and specialists, no one could pin down a definitive diagnosis, or a cure.
As a last ditch effort I visited a Chinese Herbalist Healer. He gave me this very bitter herbal tea to drink and a list of foods to remove from my diet. Not only was I healed almost immediately, I lost 15 pounds, without any extra effort. From that point forward, I was convinced that natural healing was 100 times better than drugs or pharmaceuticals any day of the week. I started to become obsessed with all things natural and organic.
I began investigating natural cures for every ailment. My favorite remedies usually include essential oils and herbal supplements. I also believe that the body can heal itself under the right circumstances, so I practice immunity boosting to avoid getting sick. I also visit a Kinesiology practitioner once or twice a year for ‘tune ups’. I spend part of everyday “prescribing” natural remedies to friends, family and coworkers. I’m happy to say that I never had to take any hormone replacements.
I knew I wanted to sell something that would contribute to the well being of our bodies and would not harm the environment. It was a no-brainer for me to pursue a business in the organic world. If I were going to be successful as a business owner, I needed to feel passionate about the product I promoted. I started researching and studying various paths to business ownership. I attended many small business workshops and listened to other entrepreneurs’ experiences…and lot’s of YouTube millionaires’ advice.
After much research I found a company called Empire Flippers, which brokers businesses for sale to aspiring entrepreneurs. This was ideal because I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel. I was able to purchase an existing company and use my creativity to make it my dream business.
I was so excited to find a company that makes organic teas, since I have been an avid tea connoisseur for many years. This was right up my alley! After a few weeks of negotiations, I found myself the proud owner of UEndure Tea Company. It has been five months since taking ownership of my new company and I’ve already added three new products to our line.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge has been two-fold: one is time. Since I still have my day job I am effectively working two full-time jobs. Until my company grows enough for me to pay off the loan that I took out to purchase it, I’ll be remaining in the Oil & Gas world a little bit longer. Therefore, the moment I walk through the door I go up to my office and begin returning customer communications and working on marketing strategies.
My second biggest challenge is technology. For an online business there are myriad marketing channels, tools, resources, etc. to build your brand, be competitive and run your business successfully. With those various channels comes the challenge of learning constantly. I have purchased every book and watched every YouTube video I can to stay up on trends and techniques. Sometimes it feels overwhelming, but very exciting at the same time. I never thought I would love entrepreneurship so much. It feels like I am raising my second child.
What do you wish you’d known when you started?
I wish I had known how important technology would be as the ultimate tool of business ownership. Whether it’s brick and mortar or online– digital is here to stay.
It would have served me well to take computer science in school. Technology is king when it comes to building your brand. Social media is also fairly new to me, so I find myself joining a lot of Facebook groups and local meetups looking for guidance. Sometimes I also have to hire a pro from Upwork, Fiverr or a local college student. I want to learn how to do all of that stuff myself and not hire out.
If you could narrow your success down to one thing, what would it be?
My absolute passion for making my customers happy. It brings me a lot of joy when my customer writes back with gratitude on how I responded to their questions or issues. I take customer service very seriously since that’s my bread and butter. As a prolific consumer myself, I can empathize with a customer who needs assistance. My belief is that a business rises or falls on the type of customer service they provide. My company sells on Amazon and our customer service rating remains at a solid five stars. I’m very proud of that fact. I respond personally to every customer within hours of their inquiry.
Where do you see yourself in a year?
In a year, I definitely want to be making enough income to ditch my day job. Since I purchased UEndure in July, I have already added two new organic teas that actually provide definitive health benefits to the body and a new larger tea infuser bottle. I love the company name UEndure, which lends itself to many other healthy lifestyle products. My vision is to be a whole body brand: yoga and fitness products, possibly herbal supplements, essential oil blends and resource books of course!
What are your top three tips for women starting a business?
1. Do your homework! Study the most successful people in your field of interest. They will help you avoid certain pitfalls that they encountered. Read as many books on Entrepreneurship that you can. A few books that I love are “Building a Story Brand”, “Finding Your Yellow Tux”, and “Wait, How do I Promote My Business?” My list is very long, but those are a start. If you don’t have time to read, get them on audio book so you can listen while stuck in traffic.
2. Pick a niche that you can love. It’s easier to stay enthusiastic when things aren’t going as planned. Resolve to stick it out knowing that the end result could be life-changing. In the meantime, keep your day job until your business is steadily making the same or more money than you are earning.
3. Write down your goals and look at them daily. I have my vision board hanging face-level in my closet so my dream life is in my face when I get up in the morning, before I leave for the day and before I go to bed at night. I like to dream bigger than reason. It draws the generosity of the universe to me. For instance I recently got an email order request for 120 Tea Infuser Bottles to be shipped to a customer in Germany! He wanted his Logo added and is gifting them to his clients for Christmas. They’re being shipped to him this week. I chalk that one up to the The Universe!
What is a typical day like for you?
I get up around 5:30AM, I take my probiotics and immunity tablets and get ready for work. I drive to work in bustling downtown Houston. I am fortunate that I enjoy my day job and I know that it’s a means to an end which has enabled me the opportunity to purchase my business in the first place.
I usually get home around 6:00PM. Most days I head straight up to my home office and go through my daily list of items that need attention such as responding to customer emails, checking inventory levels, communicating with my suppliers, thinking of creative marketing gimmicks and posting on social media.
What is your business motto or quote you live by?
Don’t limit yourself to practical thinking. Don’t settle. If you don’t feel satisfied, do something about it.
If you were starting your business over again, what would you do differently?
I would have started years earlier instead of waiting for the perfect opportunity. I would recommend to aspiring entrepreneurs to start where you are, if you can. Start small, if you must, but START!