In Conversation with Dr. Susanne Bennett of Purigenex
Describe your business in a few words?
I’ve been in clinical practice for 31 years as a holistic integrative physician and the CEO and founder Wellness for Life and Purigenex. In addition, I am the host of Wellness for Life radio show on RadioMD and iHeart Radio, as well as the best selling author of The 7-Day Allergy Makeover, Mighty Mito and The Kimchi Diet.
Purigenex is an innovative skin care brand founded on the principle that “healthy skin leads to better health.” Purigenex is the only company that has topical medical grade Type 1 collagen that penetrates the skin without injections. This doctor-approved line for men and women focuses on extraordinary, unique products with therapeutic properties that help to nourish skin, release impurities, and combat aging.
What made you take the leap to start your own business
I’d already been in business as an integrative holistic physician for about 20 years specializing in allergies, skin disorders and anti-aging when I realized my skin health was not truly reflecting my internal body health and well being–energetic, vibrant and youthful! At the age of 45 (2007), I was suffering from typical aging issues from the elements (sun, wind and ocean)- mostly wrinkles, discolorations and sagging skin. I didn’t even use sunscreen and aggressive techniques (Botox, peels, surgery, etc) was not an option for me.
My research of an all natural, non-invasive skin treatment to rejuvenate my skin led me to a cutting edge skincare formula developed and patented by tissue engineering scientists in South Korea. It was a mask and serum of Type 1 Collagen that was originally created to heal 2nd and 3rd degree skin burns as well as for bone growth. As soon as I started using it, I knew immediately that it was going to change my skin for the better. I was reversing my biological skin age in weeks, I was seeing plump, vibrant glowing skin again! I wanted my patients to also benefit from it and I was able to secure the exclusive distribution rights globally. That was the beginning of Purigenex and to this day, we are the only company in the market that provides medical grade Type 1 Collagen mask and serum that penetrate the skin to increase the density of skin, improve the integrity and quality of skin.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I attended UCLA in the early 80s as a pre-med student majoring in Kinesiology. During my junior year, I had to work to pay for my college tuition. I was lucky enough, due to my knowledge of exercise physiology and love of sports, to start my own business as one of the first founding members in the private training industry catering mainly to people in the entertainment sector.
I learned quickly that working in a specific, unique niche was key to success and was passionate to pursue a career in the non-allopathic health service industry. I wanted to help people feel better from the inside out but in the most natural, holistic way.
I received my Doctorate in Chiropractic and my postgraduate certification as a Sports Medicine Chiropractic Physician. I had a very busy, successful sport medicine and rehabilitation practice which was not common in the early 90s, then abruptly had to change due to my infant son’s severe allergies. This led me to further my medical education in allergies and environmenmental medicine and shifted my sports medicine practice to what it is today, as an integrative holistic physician. Pivoting professional interests continues to improve my business growth and successes.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
When I was a college student, I didn’t even know the word “entrepreneur” existed but I knew in my heart that I wanted to go into business for myself. After working part time at UCLA hospital, I was extremely disappointed in the allopathic medical industry but I found that as a private trainer, there was so much more passion and excitement. My long career path has alway had the same spark of curiosity and energy, and I continue to seek new ideas and visions to improve my life and others at every level.
Wellness for Life Center, Purigenex, my books and radio show, have the same thread of boldness, passion and enthusiasm. I express my very best self when I am an entrepreneur. In the past five years, I have nurtured another business, Intuitive Business Consultancy, where I mentor and provide professional and personal guidance to high profile individuals. Again, I created a new business in an area that helped people. I am a people-servicing entrepreneur.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
Connections and relationships are so important in my line of work. The people who were my private training clients were the same people I reached out to when I opened up my first office as a chiropractic sports physician. Seeing how successful that was, I applied the same method to building out Purigenex. I personally knew a lot of doctors and medical clinics and launched Purigenex as an exhibitor at the largest anti-aging show in Las Vegas. Purigenex was very well received and voted as one of the “Best New Product Line” of the show. 90 percent of creating a business is on the front end, it takes a great deal of energy and preparation, and reaching out to everyone you already know will secure the growth and strength of the business.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
Before turning 28 years old, I measured my self worth by seeking other people’s approval. The “not being good enough syndrome” limited my ability to build my business to its full potential. Once I started to listen to my true inner voice, strengthen my self esteem and confidence, I quickly changed my work schedule to suit my needs, instead of working around my patients needs. I shortened my hours, increased my service fees and cut out all medical legal cases. Personal growth and self mastery work was key to building my specialty boutique practice which grew quickly and my work continues to remain in high demand.
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
The first thing I implement is the KOLBE assessment. It allows you to see how someone takes action, and figures out their gifts and talents. I’m able to determine if someone would be a good match for me and as a customer service person. A tip I can share from my experience is to “listen to your gut instinct.” Don’t just look at what’s on paper, pay attention to your intuition. You can teach people pretty much all the tasks that the job entails but you can’t teach someone how to be an authentic, good person.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
I started working virtually on the phone or Skype around 10 years ago due to the high demand of my holistic healthcare from patients globally. It got to the point where three years ago, 95 percent of my practice was virtual, so when COVID hit Los Angeles, it didn’t alter my practice much at all.
As for Purigenex, during the first month of COVID, many of our Purigenex customers including plastic surgeons, dermatologists and laser centers had to close down. Sales dipped for a while and it took about three months to get back on track. As a wellness expert on health docu-series and virtual summits, I’m able to share the benefits of Purigenex which continues to spread the awareness of the brand, so many more people are purchasing our products online.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
We will continue to service doctors and spas, but in the next few years, Purigenex will have more of a consumer presence. We want to provide a product that more people can access outside of visiting a medical establishment.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
On a personal level, this year has been about how important family and friends are, and that deep connections keep you grounded and focused. Professionally, one of the biggest lessons in 2020 is that flexibility and resilience are key to a thriving business owner. If you can be flexible and broaden your methods, or maybe become more specific with your niche, or even go in a completely different direction, it can make a huge difference whether you succeed or fail in business. Don’t pigeonhole yourself to only what you know. Go out there and learn more, go back to school if you have to, create action in your life, find a mentor and get better at your craft. Whatever it is, you are in control of your own destiny, you can change your life.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
Only do what you love to do, what makes you feel joy and fulfilled, and really follow your heart. When you’re passionate, it makes a difference. If you are unable at the moment to make huge changes in your career due to your circumstances, then find a passion outside of your work or get involved in being of service to others and the planet. Preparation is essential to following your dreams, change will follow.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
Nature. Staying grounded has to do with the physical body in connection to the planet. Connecting to nature, the elements, water, sun, plants, animals and even insects helps tremendously. Also, focusing on the body’s basic needs: sleep, exercise, food and nutrition to help ease the stress in your life.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Definitely, I cherish a balanced life! Humans thrive when their days are scheduled, coinciding with the natural biorhythms of the body. Schedule out as much as you can, your meals, sleep, exercise, work, play, connections, daydreaming etc. and give your full attention to each moment of time. Day to day life will be more calm, less stressful with more freedom. A healthy life is about balancing your time appropriately, not only for your passions but to connect with yourself, to be introspective. Getting to know yourself creates more balance in your life. When you take care of yourself, you become more focused, energized and productive.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
As early as I can remember, I loved nature and everything about it–the ocean, wildlife and flora. I collected insects, took care of injured birds and loved all bodies of water especially the ocean. My homes have all been close to the ocean. In Mexico, the Sea of Cortez is full of marine life, whales, dolphins, mantas and even whale sharks, which I’ve swam with many times! These magnificent leviathans and connecting to the brilliance of living things put us into perspective how important it is right now to become crusaders for the environment and all living things. Losing our natural resources- water, air, land and animals will ultimately affect human existence and for our future generations to survive and thrive, we have to conserve and cherish planet earth today. We must all do our part for the planet.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
Schedule, plan or have a routine for your day. Establish a rhythm and you will find freedom and balance.
Be fully present in the moment of everything you do, to be more efficient, productive and influential. Children really only need 3-4 hours of school per day, as long as they are motivated and focused to learn.
Nourish your body with clean water and unadulterated food – what you ingest and digest can truly prevent disease and improve your well being. Food and pure water has a huge impact on your energy, mental clarity, mood, vitality and your microbiome.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
Being an Entreprenista means being of service and helping others who are in need, and success and abundance will follow. Often, it’s the little things you create that can make the biggest impact, and sometimes it’s about serving and loving yourself. If I’m not feeling good, how can I make anyone else feel better?