Boss Lady

How to build a business from idea to reality


I had always known I wanted to be my own boss from an early age. It wasn’t just about the money – it was about the freedom, the leadership, the challenge.

I was 21 years old in my last semester at university, studying a Bachelor of Commerce, when I took the plunge and registered my company. I had pretty basic business knowledge (mostly theories) and no experience.

Investing my life savings of $20,000, which I worked hard for on the weekends and during school holidays at minimum wage, into my first business was not entirely a success. I was flying blind when I launched my first business, an online clothing store…

Where I went wrong:

  • I spent hours every day creating all of the content by myself (imagery, text, adverts etc).
  • Only posting on my own business social media account.
  • Spent all of my budget on product (stock) and allocated almost none to marketing.

What I should have done (and do now):

  • Send product (or provide your service) to people/influencers that can create content for you.
  • Rather than focusing on posting on your own page, get as many people posting on social media about your brand as possible, linking their pages to yours – this creates a direct flow of web traffic to you.
  • Spend at least 1/3 of your budget on marketing (ads, search engine optimisation, word of mouth). Creating the best product/service is pointless if no one can find it.

I was really struggling to push any product without heavy discounting. I didn’t know why I was failing. Through trial and error, I was slowly discovering what methods worked, and didn’t work, which leads to to my first tip.

Tip #1: Fail

It’s true when they say the only way to success is through failure. I could tell you everything I did wrong, and everything I did right, but to be honest it most likely will not be relevant to you. Everyone will encounter different barriers and issues. Failing and learning is a must.

Tip #2: Prevail

Losing confidence and hope, I didn’t know if it was a good idea to go on. At times, I thought of throwing in the towel and getting a full time job instead. It wasn’t until I was scrolling through Instagram one day, when I discovered the waist trainer, and my entrepreneurial spirit bounced back. I purchased one for myself and decided I would try to sell them too. This would be my side business. Low on cash, I spent $6000 on my first batch of stock.

The Thought Process – I thought to myself, what made me want to buy this product? I knew the answer – it was the imagery of the product on a social media influencer that I had seen. And what did the imagery make me do? It made me click onto the link on the Instagram page, which lead to their website, which lead to a google search about the product and its benefits, which lead to me purchasing the product. I am the target market. If this is was my thought process, then this will be my target markets thought process too.

Tip #3: Think like your target market

If you can’t? Find someone to work for you that can. You have to really understand your target market. You have to know who they currently are, who or what they want to be, and then you have to give it to them.

From that moment onwards, any advertisement I saw that made me interested in the product it was marketing, I would think about my thought process, and then replicate and use the same methods and techniques to fuel my own business.

Tip #4: Replicate success

Look at other successful companies that you aspire to be like. Look at what they are doing, look at how they engage with their consumers. Take these ideas and put your own spin on them, because they work.

Top #5: Creating a reputation

What I found particularly successful was having influential people promoting our brand. The more people posted, spreading positive word of mouth, the more sales we made and our followership grew. This method worked time and time again, and is still my number one tactic to building a successful business to fruition.

At 23 years old, I am now running a multi-million dollar company with customers all over the world, and you can too.

About Iyia Liu

Iyia Liu is currently 23 years old and the founder and director of LUXE Fitness and Waist Trainer NZ Aus. As the owner of two hugely successful businesses at such a young age, Iyia has proven her worth as a savvy young business woman, managing to transform a small personal investment into a health and fitness empire. Initiating her business ventures with Waist Trainer NZ Aus in April 2015, at the age of only 21, Iyia grew the company to $3.5 million NZ in turnover during its first year, all from an initial personal investment of $6,000NZ. Now selling to more than 90 countries globally, and with a wave of celebrities that love and endorse her product, including Kylie Jenner, Iyia surpassed even her own expectations. Always looking to achieve greater success in business, a year after launching Waist Trainer NZ Aus Iyia had the idea for her next business, LUXE Fitness. Recently launched in May 2016, the brand has quickly developed a global presence in the health and fitness industry, providing customers with top quality and effective products that are helping them achieve their goals. Quickly amassing a following of over 100k followers on Instagram and thanks to Iyia’s ability to understand the needs and desires of her customer base, LUXE Fitness has quickly developed a huge demand for its products, with over 2,000 sales of protein powder alone each month. Now employing four people to work across both brands, Iyia hopes to continue developing each company and achieving ongoing business success.

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