Dynamic Foundations Institute Presents The 2020 Entrepreneur Showcase featuring Female Founders
Welcome to DFI’s interview series, featuring female founders. Today our interview focuses on Leslie Farin, Founder and Publisher of 50Plus-Today.com, based in Plano, Texas. Leslie is a serial entrepreneur with an authentic passion for connecting with and helping older adults live meaningful and engaging lives. Read on and learn more about how Leslie started her new venture and how she’s helping others in her community.
DFI: So, tell me about yourself? What is your background or passion that led you to start your business?
LF: My online lifestyle magazine, 50Plus-Today.com, is a business that happily pulls together a lifetime of passions and skills for me. I began my career in the medical field as a clinical dietitian, then later expanded my focus to encompass overall wellness. I moved from a clinical setting to private practice where I worked with both individuals and groups, primarily older adults. To grow my practice, I marketed my programs to the community and to my surprise, found I greatly enjoyed this aspect of the business. Marketing provided a creative outlet for me I didn’t know I needed. After I achieved some success, I shifted my focus to provide marketing consulting services to other small businesses.
Throughout my career I worked with a variety of products and services, but I am particularly attracted to those related in some way to older adults. I enjoyed many rewarding interactions with different facets of the 50+ population in professional, personal, and volunteer capacities over the years. This population is the fastest growing in the U.S. today, yet often overlooked.
Considering decreased mobility is a frequent issue for many of us as we age, I am especially dedicated to helping create a safe and equally accessible world for all – which should be a given in 2020. We need to find ways to remove barriers that decrease participation and increase isolation for those with disabilities, particularly the elderly.
When I entered the 50Plus age group myself, I became overwhelmed by the many changes, both in body and spirit, which accompanied this new phase of life; I knew others must feel similarly. It made sense at this point in my journey to combine my healthcare background and marketing skills with my desire to help others live the second half of their lives as well, if not better than the first.
DFI: What do you think your unique skill(s) is/are that has/have helped you become successful?
LF: I have an entrepreneurial spirit and am not afraid to step outside my comfort zone or take risks. I’ve owned a number of businesses, some more successful than others, and consider the failures as important as the successes. It’s all research; that’s how I look at it. As is the case with most entrepreneurs, I’ve learned success comes more easily when I’m passionate about the work.
I have an entrepreneurial spirit and am not afraid to step outside my comfort zone or take risks. I’ve owned a number of businesses, some more successful than others, and consider the failures as important as the successes.
DFI: Let’s go back to the early days of your business. What were some of the obstacles you faced, whether fiscally, emotionally, mentally, etc., and how did you overcome them?
LF: My biggest challenge early on was feeling isolated. The life of an entrepreneur can be very solitary; even before Covid19, I spent a lot of time alone in my office. I enjoy interacting and brainstorming with other people – in person. Phone and video sessions are just not the same for me. Once I realized how much more productive and motivated I am when I break up the monotony, I made an effort to attend workshops and schedule networking opportunities a few times per week. As a result, I met many interesting people and forged mutually beneficial relationships. I look forward to future face to face interactions with colleagues post-quarantine, hopefully in the not too distant future.
DFI: Based on your experience during this startup time, what wisdom could you impart to other upcoming women entrepreneurs?
LF: Have confidence in yourself and your product, and don’t waste time worrying about the competition. There will always be competitors, especially in the online space. As a business owner, it’s your job to make your product stand out in a crowded marketplace. Try to learn from what your competition does well, otherwise keep your head down and work diligently to provide an outstanding experience for each and every customer/client. We are all responsible for our own success and failures; if your marketing efforts don’t work as anticipated or the marketplace changes, learn to pivot quickly to better meet the needs of your target audience.
DFI: What is your business offering during its normal operating state?
LF: 50Plus-Today is an online lifestyle magazine geared toward the 50+ population and their families. We offer answers to questions most people didn’t know they had! The publication encompasses a wide range of topics related to our target audience including health and wellness, travel, relationships, caregiving, work and purpose, recommended books and movies, product reviews and more. Our wonderfully inspiring 50+ authors are either experts in their field or talented writers with a story to share – or both! Our online magazine, e-newsletter and active social media channels provide exceptional opportunities for businesses targeting the 50+ community to strategically market their products and services.
Have confidence in yourself and your product, and don’t waste time worrying about the competition. There will always be competitors, especially in the online space.
DFI: What does the business currently look like, in terms of customers and product or service offering, now that we have a pandemic that has shuttered businesses?
LF: My online publication has not changed other than I now include a wide range of Covid19 related content in addition to our usual array of topics. What’s changed is that many businesses do not currently have the same marketing budgets to use for advertising. I find I engage more now in affiliate marketing arrangements than usual. Additionally, I have more time these days to build my online presence and expand my 50+ community which is great. Increased traffic and becoming an “influencer” is an essential part of monetizing an online business over time.
DFI: What does the future look like for you and your business?
LF: The future looks bright! I love working with the interested and highly engaged 50+ population and their families, so many of whom have great stories to share. 50Plus-Today is an essential and relevant online resource for this age group, and provides outstanding opportunities for businesses to connect with this audience.
Dynamic Foundations Institute is a place where all entrepreneurs, regardless of education level, business experience, financial status, or whatever, can receive assistance to make their companies grow. Large companies typically have tons of money to hire external experts to help them start new companies and sources for information. Small businesses don’t have that luxury. This is where DFI can help. We know how to help small businesses because we are a small business. We provide high-quality services that fit within the budget for small and medium-sized businesses. So regardless of the type of business you have or intend to start, we all need a foundation. This foundation needs to be strong yet dynamic. We are here help provide institutional learning and consultation services in a welcoming environment. Review our courses or contact us regarding consulting services today!