Contributed by Libby Rothschild, EO New Jersey, the founder of Dietitian Boss, an online education and coaching platform that shows registered dietitians how to start, grow and scale a virtual private practice.
In photo, from left: Christine Yaged, Justine Tiu and Libby Rothschild.
Hitting the million-dollar mark isn’t easy—as every founder who has done so will tell you. Only 3 percent of women break US$1 million in annual revenues, and even fewer women founders hit that milestone before the age of 35.
I rarely meet women who’ve reached the million-dollar milestone under the age of 35. In an effort to explore this topic, I tapped my network to find like-minded women founders and co-founders who fit this age criterion. I have gathered our experiences to share our best practices and inspire women of all ages that it’s possible to hit the million-dollar benchmark.
1. Justine Tiu of The Woobles: $1 million in annual revenue at age 32
Justine Tiu co-founded a crochet kit company, The Woobles, with her husband. She describes her company as an e-commerce store that sells learn-to-crochet kits for complete beginners. Here’s what Justine shared:
“My co-founder (AKA my husband) and I started the business in 2020, and hit seven figures in revenue in under a year. The whole experience has been a whirlwind!
“When we started The Woobles, we made every kit with our own four hands. We bought the supplies at retail stores, spent hours winding yarn balls on Sharpies, crocheted the first few stitches of every kit, and hand-stamped every bag.
“Just a few weeks ago, we received our first container of kits made in China. Growth has been great, but in hindsight, I have a few regrets. I wish we had built our customer base more aggressively before Apple’s iOS 14 update. I wish we had hired more help sooner. On the flip side, I wish we had let go of under-performing contractors sooner. And after seeing how much launches impact our revenue, I wish we had started launching new products sooner.
“Overall, I’m happy with where we are and how we got here. We’ve been profitable from day one because of our specific product type plus our scrappy nature. We applied the user-centered design process to a vertical that’s traditionally been overlooked, and iterated on both the physical kit and accompanying digital experience quickly. And because we made a product that does what once seemed impossible—teach people how to crochet all on their own—we found a product-market fit: delightful people.”
2. Christine Yaged of Launch Potato: $1 million in annual revenue at age 27
“Starting a business as a young entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. When we first started the business, I had three co-founders who happened to be male. While all of our backgrounds were in digital marketing and technology, our personalities and views on how to operate the business were very different.
“As we eventually grew the team with the right people in the right seats, the experience of being an entrepreneur became exponentially more gratifying. I feel very fortunate to be in a leadership position with an amazingly talented, fun team. There isn’t a day I don’t laugh—the team is composed of a bunch of characters who work very hard but are also genuinely delightful people. The entrepreneurship journey is not an easy one, but it is a deeply rewarding one.”
3. Libby Rothschild of Dietitian Boss: $1 million in annual revenue at age 33
I’m the sole founder of Dietitian Boss, an online education and coaching platform that shows registered dietitians how to start, grow and scale a virtual private practice. I trademarked my proprietary process called the Dietitian Boss Method.
With my background in clinical nutrition, I would tell any aspiring entrepreneur that it’s possible to create a business and brand without a business degree. Growth is one of our company values. Along my journey, I have educated myself through programs including the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program, EO Forum, Young Entrepreneur Council and Forbes Business Council.
I started my company from my clinical office while working a 9-to-5 job that I hated. I felt underpaid and undervalued. One day, I shared my story on Instagram about how I created seven revenue streams while working a full-time job.
My story caught the attention of colleagues who asked, “Can you coach me to follow in your footsteps?”
I quickly learned from listening to my target market of dietitians on Instagram that they wanted to create a more meaningful body of work—and get paid more. I filled this gap.
From my experience, here’s what I will share with any entrepreneur who wants to reach a million dollars in annual revenues and/or scale: There is no packaged “perfect” roadmap.
The top skill I’ve developed, and continue to cultivate, is approaching my business with a growth-oriented mindset. I regret not hiring sooner and not slowing down the hiring process.
I would also share with any entrepreneur who wants to hear my experience about scaling that the best use of my time (before hitting the million-dollar milestone) included mapping out how I wanted my personal life and future company to look. I then reverse-engineered the strategy and associated key metrics based on my authentic vision. Every entrepreneur’s vision will be different, which is why this step is vital in developing your unique path toward reaching the milestone of $1 million in annual revenue.