First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Deborah Fairfull: Lovely of you to ask and include my family in the question as everything is interconnected when it comes to startup success! We live in Australia, and this year has been full of unexpected challenges. My husband and I have 2 teenagers and a 23-year-old, and we all went into lockdown in March 2020. My husband and I own our own startup each, and the 3 children are extremely entrepreneurial. Two of the children started successful online businesses during the lockdown. Our third child was extremely focused on her school work, so with my husband and I both running our online businesses from home, our house was like a co-working space for the time of lockdown.
Now with the lockdown lifted, over recent times, there is more “coming and going” with family members out and about again. However, things will never be the same again as pre COVID, with all of us out and about 5 days per week. Now at any one time, somebody is at home (the pets are happy) working on their business. We now have a balance of working from home for around three days a week and going into the office when needs be.
As a family, we used COVID-19 to innovate in our individual businesses and focus on our dreams and how we could make a positive difference.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Blisspot.
Deborah Fairfull: I studied design at art school, straight from school, and then worked for a few years as a designer. At age 24, I started up my first business that was a successful design/early tech business. At 27 years old, I won the Business Woman of the Year Award, plus an innovation award. I had found my true passion: being a CEO and running a business. After 10 years and a successful sale to a publicly listed company, I founded my second business, “Eatsmart,” a healthy fast-food business, a forerunner to the superfood business that is everywhere now. After 3 years and a successful sale, I was blessed with the arrival of my third child.
In terms of academic education, I studied psychology in relation to HR skills when operating my first business. When my children were young, I studied counselling and kinesiology and then opened a private practice supporting people with their mental and emotional health. This lifestyle allowed me the flexibility I was looking for to be there for my young children as needed. I believe this experience also allowed me to develop the skills required to bring together the amazing Blisspot community that we have today.
While operating in private practice, however, my deep entrepreneurial passion was “calling me home.” When my younger child was in high school in high school, I wrote three online courses, “Bliss Every Day,” Love Now and Glow while you Grow. I was a Mindvalley Author for 2 years before opening my online wellness business Blisspot.
Blisspot was born of my desire to share ideas to make people’s lives easier, something that I had always loved doing with my teams in my 1st two businesses. I had the vision to bring together a large body of work so that Blisspot members would have many choices in what content resonates with them the best. We have also developed a focus on men’s health, alongside women’s specific wellbeing needs.
Blisspot is passionate about teaching people how to understand their mental and emotional world so that they can make choices around their unconscious patterns of behavior rather than being driven by them. Ultimately this allows people to achieve personal mastery so that rather than ending up in situations they don’t want (and even if they do), they have the skills to work through any challenges and live their life with more flow and joy.
Blisspot is an online wellness Community that has over 70 Wellness Leaders contributing from three continents. Blisspot educates in the 8 pillars of wellbeing; self-care, stress relief, emotional mastery, sound sleep, relationship support, conscious parenting, resilient body, and nurturing nutrition.
Wellbeing support is in high demand for businesses, as many struggle with employee engagement, retention rates, and the cost of worker comp. US$1 trillion is lost globally in productivity due to stress. (World Health Organization, 2019)
How does Blisspot innovate?
Deborah Fairfull: Blisspot innovates by looking at needs in the market. Currently, SME’s are in crisis due to the lockdowns and don’t often have the resources for wellbeing or HR departments. That is where Blisspot comes in. For businesses impacted by COVID, we offer 3 months free wellbeing support package. As part of this special offering, businesses can access our all course learning for three months for free to support them build resilience and a sense of calm to get them through challenging times. For the first 100 businesses to take up this offer, we are giving away 100-lifetime free Blisspot memberships!
If you are a business that has been impacted by COVID or know of any businesses and their teams that need the support, please email me at [email protected] .com, and I will send you the link for the FREE offer.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Deborah Fairfull: The coronavirus pandemic has caused people to look for ways to support their mental and emotional wellbeing, positively impacting Blisspot. The search for mental and emotional health support is due to the stress created by the side effects of the uncertainty and fear created by the virus. The hidden pandemic is mental health, and this has driven more users to Blisspot as our wellbeing education is in high demand.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Deborah Fairfull: When times have been challenging in my own business, and I have felt doubtful of myself and my dream, I have learned to push through those times and keep going. As my yoga teacher says, “Doubt your doubts!” Even if you get knocked back from every accelerator program and every investor you’ve seen! If you have a great idea that is relevant to right now, a great product and market fit, a deep knowing, and a clear vision of how your idea can impact the world positively—find a way to KEEP GOING. Don’t take on others’ negativity, causing you to doubt yourself. Hold true to your vision and keep making those thousands of incremental improvements that all add up to a successful business. Sometimes others cannot see what you can see, but one day they will, through your success.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Deborah Fairfull: I am a big believer in putting in place simple, effective regular routines to support your mental health. Just as we brush our teeth and exercise to be healthy, we need to support our internal state.
I meditate twice a day. Anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes, so that is is achievable and doable. I meditate in the morning to set my mental state for the day and in the evening, which helps me let go of the day and sleep more soundly.
I ride my bike every day to keep my muscles strong (strong body, strong mind) and aerobic exercise. The body loves to move, and getting fresh air and oxygen into your lungs is a great stress reliever. I also love the ride down the hills, for it gives me a real sense of freedom, and I take that feeling into my day with me. Going up the hills is, of course, a different story, but a great reminder that by tapping into our inner strength and resilience, we can achieve the things that we want to do.
I am very conscious of what I take on in my mind and body. Nourishing, nurturing food, and kind, wise thoughts. I do this by reading and learning from inspiring people. Guided meditations are also wonderful in boosting energy levels (all available on Blisspot). If negativity creeps in, I acknowledge it, learn from it and then let it go.
Doing good for others helps me too. When you feel down and out, you can change your energy simply by doing a kind act for another! I support other people’s mental health by taking a free regular Monday morning zoom session at 8.30 to share meditation skills and get people’s weeks started off in the best way possible. I began the meditation group when the Pandemic began to share skills to help people through these challenging times. It is an open group, and if anyone wants to join, please email me at [email protected] .com, and I will send you the link.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Deborah Fairfull: There are many competitors in the wellbeing space; however, we plan to stay in the game by innovating and being true to the unique offering that we deliver.
Your final thoughts?
Deborah Fairfull: This is an incredible time in the history of great change. We can buy into the fear and let it overwhelm us, or we can embrace this change and use it to evolve the world in new and positive ways. We can use this time to understand that we are far more powerful than our fear and that by developing a mindset that supports us, we can tap into peace and joy consistently, regardless of external circumstances. When we take this journey, one person, at a time, over time, peace, joy, and prosperity will be the predominant forces on the place. However, the journey begins with each one of us. Peace begins with me.