Creative Conversations is our conversation series that works with our Rosé Friday IGTV and podcast. Get a snapshot of some of the amazing conversations we have here and you can jump over to our podcast or our IGTV channel for an extended chat to get to know guests even more.
Ilter Dumduz | Blys
Who are you and what do you do?
Ilter Dumduz, I am the Founder and CEO of Blys, an on-demand booking platform that connects clients with independent wellness practitioners for in-home massage, beauty and wellness treatments. We exist to make self-care accessible and are on a mission to help Aussies lead healthier and happier lives by changing the way they prioritise their wellbeing.
How did the business come about? Blys was founded in 2016, after I’d personally experienced the difficulties of prioritising my wellbeing. My wife booked me a massage service as a birthday present, and I recall, “feeling a bit out of place” at the small Bondi clinic. As a typical guy, the best definition of self-care was a couple of beers at the pub with my mates, so I felt like I didn’t belong at a clinic. I don't do yoga or drink green juice, so am I allowed to have a massage? I remember having that treatment and walking out feeling amazing and rejuvenated - like a new man, really. This experience left me with a pertinent question, and one that ultimately inspired Blys: what was stopping me from having a massage more often? The answer? Blys.
Best career advice you have ever received? From my wife “F*ck the competition” - Without this advice, Blys would never exist. We had a well funded global player launch the week before we did, and I was ready to throw in the towel and not even bother until my wife told me to take on the challenge.
Worst advice you have ever received ?
Not advice, but more of an observation. I’ve watched lots of entrepreneurs spending way too long perfecting their idea before launching and missing the boat completely. As the Founder of LinkedIn says “If you aren’t embarrassed by the first version of your product or website, you’ve launched too late.”
What is one thing we should invest in for our business? Your focus should always be on the customers and their problems. Invest time in listening and learning from your customers, not just on technology or tools you find interesting at the time.
What is one thing you wish you had known when starting your business?
That it’s harder than you think. You always overestimate what you can achieve in one year and you underestimate what you can achieve in ten. If you’re expecting great success from the get go, it’s probably not going to happen, but it can be much much bigger than what you set out to do if you persevere.
What is your favourite part of your day to day ? My proudest moments are when we receive an amazing review from one of our customers about how we made their day, and when a provider sends me an email out of the blue, thanking us for the positive impact we make in their lives. That and watching my team kicking goals and growing. It honestly makes my heart warm.
What was an unexpected joy of creating your business? To see how I’ve inspired my sons and watching the day to day impact that building and creating something from nothing can have on them. Finding out that they have googled my name is always funny, but the underlying joy with this whole entrepreneurial thing is that it rubs off on them and creates bias for action.
Leave us with some words of wisdom ?
Calm seas don’t make good sailors. - You’ve got to put yourself out in the storm and get your ass kicked because there’s no shortcut to success, mistakes are the best teachers.
3 words to live by for 2022
Family, Resilience and Humour.
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