Our Business Success interviews are the home of countless stories from the UK's best and brightest from the business world. Last month we welcomed Jacob Lorek who told us about Finch Lockerbie, his construction company that is bringing fine craftsmanship to luxury homes everywhere. Today, we're speaking with Alessandra Sollberger from Evermore and learning about the importance of healthy nutrition. Take it away, Alessandra!
What's the story of Evermore, in a nutshell?
I grew up doing a lot of sports, so I had a nutritionist who taught me the importance of functional nutrition in my early days. It makes a huge difference - not just in athletic performance, but also in life and business! At Evermore, we're all about empowering people to boost their health and energy in a natural way.
Dietary deficiencies have become common. The nutrients in one apple today are equivalent to a quarter of that apple 15 years ago. Still, there are many superfood ingredients with plenty of the nutrients we lack. I noticed a huge difference in my energy and health when I wasn't consuming the right foods during my previous job. It made me feel like less is possible. Getting back to an active lifestyle was game-changing. A complete diet needs to be easy to access, though. That's why convenience, along with leveraging technology to find the best that nature has to offer, is a key value at Evermore.
How do you stand out from the competition?
By not fussing about competition. We do what we think the world and our customers need, we innovate in the ways we believe in and we're not afraid to express our opinions.
Describe your workspace. Are you tidy, or do you work in organised chaos?
I really don't mind organised chaos, but I also check on it to make sure it doesn't transition to just chaotic!
Tea or coffee?
I love green tea, it also has fewer ups and downs than coffee.
How do you keep a strong work/life balance?
During the week, I believe in scheduling off times directly into your diary. Then you can't find excuses not to do it, especially if it's fitness. I always ask myself if I'm aligned with the work I'm doing. Am I fulfilling my purpose? Am I satisfied with the overall picture? I work on weekends, but I try to keep them for enjoyable tasks. It's a good sign when the barrier between work and pleasure starts blurring, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't make sure to take time off just for yourself and your private life.
Which workplace habit can you not stand?
I'm quite casual and don't follow a dress code, but I once had a colleague who had a habit of taking his shoes off, right under the desk... And you'd notice it right away!
Who is your business idol, and why?
Coco Chanel pioneered what it means to be a woman in business. Back then, it was much tougher than it is today. It's through women like her that we've got it easier today. I've got so much respect for the iconic brand she created.
What is your management style?
When I got started, I thought the main skill to learn would be how to delegate efficiently. But in a small business, you also have to keep an overview of all activities and set up the processes yourself. Often, you should delegate only once they're actually working. I try to strike a balance between being close to what we're up to across all our workstreams but also giving ownership and responsibilities. In our setup, it's so important to have an entrepreneurial team that can make quick decisions and test out new ideas.
What advice would you give to people starting their own business?
Get to know yourself really well and understand what's driving you to start a business. Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses when you're planning your own goals. Make sure to constantly review your activities by the concrete output they produce and their impact on your targets.
What's your secret to success in one sentence?
I continuously challenge my comfort zone to expand it - I believe that many roads lead to Rome, so it's all about having the right attitude.
What will the future bring for Evermore?
There are many exciting products and services in the pipeline at Evermore. We're launching a personalised nutrition service. It includes online nutritional advice and tailored products that we deliver straight to your door. Nutrition isn't one-size-fits-all and we want to democratise access to tailored services. We're also stepping up our distribution in other countries and expanding into more product lines. We're here to make a healthy diet easy to access. That can be such a powerful ally in your life!
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