JANINE ALLIS' SPECIAL BLEND TO BOOST SUCCESS

Written on the 8 March 2017 by Laura Daquino

JANINE ALLIS' SPECIAL BLEND TO BOOST SUCCESS

BOOST Juice founder Janine Allis spent some time 'winging it' before building a world-class business.

Born in the 'burbs and from humble beginnings, Allis (pictured) partied with rock stars in her twenties in the south of France before finding her calling.

Across almost two decades in business, Allis has just survived, at times, but also thrived. Here are some of her top tips and lessons learnt.

Persevere through setbacks

Proof not all entrepreneurs are born at the lemonade stand, Allis 'didn't have an entrepreneurial bone' in her body growing up, and says all she cared about was netball.

So, when a teenage Allis cut her foot on a fiberglass screen and almost took her whole heel off with it, of course she got stitched up, and got on with it.

"But it was only three days until the grand final and I also had the worst flu ever," recalls Allis. "I remember, though, I played the game of my life - we won, and it's a time I look back on and think that 'kind of stuff makes a businessperson'; someone who goes through challenges and says, 'stuff it, I'm just getting on with it'."

However minor this might be in the scheme of things, Allis' approach put her in good stead for her career.

"I remind my kids that I think I've had one sick day in the last 16 years, not that I haven't been sick, but I refuse to let it get to me. You have to keep attacking."

Bowie got nervous

Allis 'the adventurer' left home at 21 and didn't return until seven years later.

"I finally found myself in the south of France, I had $40, and obviously no Internet, phone, Facebook nothing," she remembers. "I found out as an Australian you could get a job on the yachts in the south of France, so I lied a little and said Melbourne had a great yacht industry and I had amazing experience."

Allis worked the yachts and hung with Bowie, Michael Cane and Charles Saatchi. She closed that chapter of her life with a fair share of stories to tell, and took away a solid lesson on people.

"One of the things I keep learning in business is that people think people are better than they are," she says.

"David Bowie came up to me on the boat, and when Michael Cane and Steve Martin were coming on I was filming Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in this little cove we were in, and he went 'oh my god, they're coming on board, how exciting, I'm so nervous' I said, 'mate, you're a rock star, what are you worried about'.

"I've had women come up to me and say, 'I get really intimidated when I go into a room with a whole lot of men', and I say, that's your problem, not theirs."

Wing it but not with relationships

Allis seriously winged her twenties, and on top of good times travelling the world, it gave her a child to a 'great guy, who just wasn't my guy'.

She met her husband, Jeff, while working for United International Pictures.

"People used to ask what my tip was for success in business, and I would say, 'do your own accounting',  however, that's not the tip I give people anymore," says Allis.

"Marry well, and I'm not meaning traditional marriage; I mean when you partner, partner well, and the reason you need to partner well is, for a start, it's the quickest way to lose half your value if you get it wrong.

"Second reason: there's times when it's scary -  it's scary when the GST bill comes in and you haven't allowed for it the first time; it's scary when you budget for so much per month and it comes in half that because of something that's out of your control. It's scary.

"Without the support of the people around you to say 'it's ok', or 'yes we will sell our family home and put everything on the line for your vision or your dream', without that, you can't achieve.

"I've seen many people out there who haven't actually been able to do that and have failed because they haven't had that support of a partner. So whoever's single in the room, think about that; whoever's married and got it wrong, fix it."

Social media is like teen sex

We are in a new era, believes Allis, and "what made you successful in the past won't in the future".

Boost Juice might be all about juice sold at a storefront, but Allis is well into tech, sending her tech guide to major industry events like South by Southwest in Texas.

"That's when I discovered bots and we realised customers want to earn their discount. We thought: 'let's create a game where customers can earn a free drink',  and it was a massive success - 56 million minutes were played, and it got nearly 350,000 downloads.

"Digital Darwinism is a phenomenon in technology. If we're not adapting, if we're not finding out about bots, if we're not finding out about the new technology, we will die.

"I love this quote, 'social media is like teen sex, they want to do it, no one knows how, and when it's finally done, they're always surprised it's not better'."

Allis says it then becomes a baby that constantly needs feeding.

"Like a baby, your feed needs feeding, you can't just post and forget. It's important that you actually keep at it, you've got to continue to engage with your customers, and you've got to go back and forward all the time.

"Push the boundaries on there and don't be scared to be naughty, if nothing else."

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Startups are 'not for the faint hearted': Steve Baxter exclusive interview part 1
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