We pick the brains of Ian White, the man behind Australian Bush Flower Essences, about staying true to yourself in business
Have you come across Australian Bush Flower Essences? They’re basically natural products that help combat the effects of modern living, while harnessing the power of the Australian Bush. They’re created by Ian White, a fifth generation herbalist. We spoke to Ian recently about what he’s learned from launching and growing the business. And how difficult it can be to stay true to yourself while in business.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned since launching your own business?
That you can’t do everything by yourself. And to employ really good staff.
If you could go back and do something differently would you?
Maybe not employing a couple of people I did employ. However, every person and every situation connected to the business provided valuable lessons, so I wouldn’t want to change too much. Maybe getting rid of two senior staff a bit quicker than I did?
What was the biggest thing to surprise you while setting up a business?
Not only setting up, but in growing a business, was the level of complexity involved. Whether that’s adapting to new technologies or dealing with various government bureaucracies. I also learnt that if I was totally committed to the ongoing growth and expansion of the business, then the necessary tools and people to help would always be close at hand.
Did you learn anything about yourself?
I think I’ve learnt that I’m more patient than I possibly gave myself credit for! Also, that irrespective of whatever challenges came up, I’ve never lost my commitment to my goals and to the business. As well as the necessity to learn new skills to make sure the business survived and the jobs of all my staff were kept. There was also a degree of motivation for this coming from a fear of failing or appearing stupid in front of others. The latter was motivation to effectively learn new skills necessary for expanding the business.
How do you manage to maintain any level of work life balance? Is it hard to switch off?
I find balance with daily meditation. This not only helps me to relax but also heightens my intuition in regard to things I need to do for both myself and the business. I’d hate to think of who and how I’d be now if I hadn’t been meditating for these last 40 years!
I also go body surfing each day when I’m at home and of course, I use the Australian Bush Flower Essences. Whether the drops or by wearing our glass pendants that have balancing and protective essences inside. I am a ‘Black-eyed Susan’ constitutional type, characterised by always doing lots of things and trying to cram as many things as possible into a day. This specific Bush Essence, Black-eyed Susan, has been a saviour in terms of me being able to switch off, stay calm and not getting burnt out.
What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Happy wife, happy life!
What piece of advice would you pass on now to someone else who’s noticed a gap in the market?
Trust and follow your intuition and go for it!
Have you always believed in Australian Bush Flower Essences or did you have moments of thinking you were completely wrong?
Fortunately I can say I’ve always been totally passionate and committed to my goals regarding the Bush Essences. My original goal has always been to have the Bush Essences in every home, so that children can grow up having them to help with all their challenges and difficulties. I’m still very excited to be able to show people the benefit the Essences can bring to their life. The most rewarding aspect of my work with the Bush Essences is reading the testimonials of people from all around the world, sharing how the Essences have greatly helped them, their friends and family.
Right now is a really exciting time at Australian Bush Flower Essences as we have just launched our rebranded packaging and I am currently working on an exciting innovative project, which will be released later this year. At ABFE, new products are born only when I know it serves a higher purpose to truly give the health benefits and emotional balance someone needs, which is unique in providing emotional care and wellbeing.
Where would you like to be in five years?
Alive! And more than just alive, happy, vibrant and enjoying life. For the business, I’d like to see it expanding and even more people knowing about, using and getting all the wonderful benefits from the Bush Essences.
Why do you think people are becoming more interested in flower essences?
The needs of today’s society has changed dramatically in the last twenty years. For example our communication and technology has changed dramatically, creating a need for the Australian Bush Flower Essences that can help people deal with radiation and radio frequencies we cannot see, but feel drained by. So many people are overwhelmed by excess communication and the pace of life. There are also marked hormonal and mood imbalances today from our environmental changes.
The millennials, as a generation, are the most affluent but also the most anxious and sensitive generation. They are also much more in tune and interested in the environment, spiritual and emotional wellbeing, and working with healing options such as the Bush Essences, that are safe, without side effects and treat the cause of problems not merely the symptoms.