Starting an anti-aging business is the right business to start if you enjoy helping people to live longer, healthier, happier lives.
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Jackie Silver has that exact passion, and, as a result, she's become a well-known name in the world of anti-aging advice.
We spent some time with her to learn how her business, Aging Backwards, has managed to grab the spotlight in the booming anti-aging industry and what entrepreneurial lessons she's learned along the way.
Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us. Why don't you start by introducing yourself and what you are doing.
I'm Jackie Silver and I'm Aging Backwards.
I'm almost 50 and I still get asked for I.D. to buy wine!
I have hundreds of secrets, tips and shortcuts for looking and feeling young – not the same stuff you hear every day.
I tell all in my book, Aging Backwards: Secrets to Staying Young, on my Aging Backwards website, on TV, on radio, online and in person.
As a television correspondent on the syndicated show, Daytime, I've been called the Aging Backwards "guru" and Aging Backwards "expert." I'm also the beauty editor for Clear Channel's Mix 100.7 Nancy & Chris Mornings in Tampa Bay, a weekly contributor to the midlife Web site LifeTwo.com, editorial consultant to Total Health Breakthroughs and a sought-after speaker.
My business is headquartered in Tampa, but it's truly a global business.
When did you start the business?
I started my business in 2006 to combine my natural reporter's curiosity with a burning desire to stay young and help others do the same.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
Before starting Aging Backwards, I was a voice over artist for 30 years. I wanted to do something more meaningful in my life. I'm always the person my friends (and their friends) would come to with anti-aging and beauty questions and I decided to turn my life's passion into my work.
Aging Backwards is not my first business. At age 25, I started my own newsletter business, Newsletters, Etc., to provide a la carte writing and production of newsletters for companies that didn't need or want a monthly public relations contract.
As one of the first desktop publishers in the world, I beta-tested PageMaker, the precursor to InDesign. I was featured in Entrpreneur Magazine (I may have an old tear sheet!).
In 1995, I started another business, CyberBabe With What's Hot on the Net. I created a radio minute, which would air weekly, where I would discover the latest, greatest Web sites and tell the listeners all about them. For example, "Track your packages on UPS," was BIG NEWS in 1995!
Where did you get the startup money?
My business, Aging Backwards, did not require substantial startup money and I have handled all the expenses personally.
Who are your main competitors? How do you compete against them?
My main competitors would be people who are "anti-aging" experts, but most of those people are doctors. Nobody does anti-aging quite like I do.
Aging Backwards is completely consumer-oriented with me as a youthful role model. I'm the "living logo" of my company. Nobody else has my story. I am defying my genetics. I was an obese child when childhood obesity was virtually unheard of. In addition, my father had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and he died of a heart attack at age 49. He was a cardiologist. I'm 49 and I'm perfectly healthy.
How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?
I work 24/7. I knew it would be time-consuming, but I wasn't expecting 24/7.
Luckily, when you have as much passion for a topic as I do for anti-aging, the work is a pleasure.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
Sure. I'm not just Aging Backwards – I do everything backwards.
I've been building my brand and creating visibility for my company for two years and have finally released my book, Aging Backwards: Secrets to Staying Young (October 1, 2008).
I've been writing it for two years, but I wish I had finished sooner.
What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?
Being a television correspondent on a syndicated show under my Aging Backwards trademark, as well as beauty editor for a very popular FM radio station has helped me generate tremendous brand awareness and credibility.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
The advice I would give to someone who wants to start any business is to be authentic and passionate. Surround yourself with good people and take their advice.
That's great advice. Passion is so important, because in the early days of starting a business, loving what you do may be your biggest source of compensation. Thanks so much for sharing your entrepreneurial experience with us, Jackie, and good luck in growing your business.