Combatting Stress Culture with Sol Broady of Leilo

Summary of Episode

#3: Startup founder Sol Broady joins Annaka and Ethan to discuss how he created Leilo, a kava-based relaxation beverage. After experiencing the calming effects of the kava root while visiting Fiji, Sol began developing a beverage that tasted great and offered consumers “calm in a can.” Sol walks us through the R&D process of creating his beverage and how he forged partnerships to grow and expand his relaxation brand.

Sol Broady is the founder and CEO of Leilo, a non-alcoholic relaxation beverage. Sol created his company while obtaining his undergraduate degree at Columbia University and leveraged the university community to build his team and launch his relaxation brand. 

Full Episode Transcript

Podcast Episode Notes

Who is Sol Broady, and how did he get the idea for his relaxation beverage Leilo? [0:51]

What is kava? [2:20]

How Red Bull defined the energy drink market and what this means for a relaxation drink [8:10]

Bitter taste and difficult to produce — the hurdles of developing a kava beverage [13:01]

Getting students to test a not-always-tasty prototype and the initial steps of R&D [15:10]

Building intrinsic motivation and believing in your vision [20:38]

From horchata to a sleek 12-ounce can — how to invest in your idea and Sol’s approach to establishing yourself in an industry while on a budget. [28:00]

Learning to run with an idea and throwing out the notion that there’s a checklist of needed skills to succeed [32:55]

Mindset is the key to success, and for an entrepreneur, every single day counts [40:18]

Scaling strategies and pivoting business plans during the start of COVID-19 [45:55]

Creating honest marketing and truthful branding that draws in customers and is backed by a solid product [52:12]

Focus on your target market and get your product to those who will want it [54:50]

Don’t over promise and underdeliver — let your product do the talking [57:00]

Red Bull’s origin and building a brand, not just a beverage [1:00:10]

Scaling a brand, entering new locations, and Leilo’s future growth [1:03:12]

Forging partnerships with athletes and sports organizations [1:06:50]

Competing with few competitors — the advantage of entering the market first and the benefits of becoming the first relaxation partner [1:10:45]

Entering new markets and expanding throughout the US [1:14:40]

Sol’s advice for entrepreneurs: Be comfortable with not being perfect, and use entrepreneurship to solve the problems around you [1:18:34]

Entrepreneurship is incredibly rewarding and can be both hard and isolating. Don’t rush into things, and don’t forget to focus on your larger mission. [1:24:28]

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