Andy discusses building your business with passion with Charles and Linda Van Kessler of Passion 4 Life Vitamins. Charles grew up in Amsterdam where he was separated from his family by the Nazis when he was only 3.
Through his experiences including living in an orphanage, then living alone as a child on the streets of Amsterdam, he gained a unique view of health and health supplements. This experience allowed him to develop a liquid vitamin perfect for anyone from 1 to 100 years of age.
Today, at 80 years young, he now teams with his wife, Linda, not only to run a successful vitamin company, but they are also determined to give back to children through their Passion 4 K.I.D.S charity.
Listen to this episode to discover their passion for business, passion for life and passion for kids and use what you hear to incorporate into how you can gain motivation for running your business.
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ABOUT THE HOST:
Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.
New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and www.makeeachclickcount.com.
Andy Splichal 0:02
Welcome to the Make Each Click Count Podcast. This is your host Andy Splichal. And today we're happy to welcome a husband and wife ecommerce team to discuss their business passion for life, and how they have used their passion to build their business and fund their charity passion for kids. Say hello to our guests Charles and Linda Van Kessler. Hello, guys.
Linda Van Kessler 1:09
Hi, Andy. Thanks so much for having us.
Andy Splichal 1:13
Well, thank you for being here. Now before we dive into today's topic, which is building your business with passion, can you take just a few minutes to share your amazing backstory? I mean, I know you could fill a novel, write a book, fill a movie, but just just a few minutes say let the listeners understand where we are, where you've come from.
Charles Van Kessler 1:36
Thank you. I am Charles van Kessler, and I'm 80 years young. I was born in 1941 in Amsterdam, Holland during World War Two. When I was two years old, my whole family was snatched away by the Nazis right in front of me, they busted into the House took everybody from the dinner table. And the only reason and I'm able to sit there and talk to you is because my mother was Catholic. While my father's side was doing a show. That was the last of sheen of the family. My mother put me in an orphanage, they drew an orphanage that became eight years of hell never saw her again. And at that time, I decided to either I commit suicide or I go runaway. And thank God I run away lived on the streets of Amsterdam for two years as a nine year old. So do you abuse was horrendous? Malnutrition, I was in such terrible condition. And then thank god, I've met an American family that heard my story. And that arranged a green card for me to come to America. And that's that's how the story started.
Andy Splichal 2:45
And how did you develop your idea for creating a liquid vitamin? How did that happen?
Charles Van Kessler 2:54
Well, my body and my mind, were still a disaster from what I went through. So I started taking handful of vitamin pills when I ended up in America, which most people still do today. But they didn't work for me. And I started researching and eventually studying nutrition, and to learn that many hard pills and tablets do not absorb properly into the body, like about 20-25%. That's a fact. Whereas liquid absorbs so much better. So I created a liquid vitamin product after years and years of study, that would work for me. And if it would work for me, I would share it with the world. And did it ever work for me.
Andy Splichal 3:37
What were some of the benefits that you that you receive?
Charles Van Kessler 3:41
Andy Splichal 3:42
How do you mean it worked for the benefit of the product?
Charles Van Kessler 3:44
Oh, the benefits of the products are pretty remarkable. It gives people a lot of energy that they didn't have before. A lot of stamina throughout the day, less aches or pains from everyday little things that come up and are better memory and just a better feeling overall.
Andy Splichal 4:04
Now liquid vitamin, are there other liquid vitamins on the market or most of them tablets or what's the breakdown you know?
Charles Van Kessler 4:11
There are a few other liquid vitamins. They've come up the last few years, but they have a much less lesser of ingredients we have 135 old food base ingredients and each daily ounce people take and that's why basically the product stands out by itself.
Linda Van Kessler 4:33
And additionally we have more meaningful levels of ingredients in our product than most other products. Creating a liquid vitamin is you know very expensive and so you know sometimes that drives what you can put in a product or whatever but we have always made it a a value of ours that we would never sacrifice The contents and the integrity of the product, in the name of profits for our business.
Andy Splichal 5:09
So let me ask you something, a lot of money, not a lot, but people that have developed a great product, this is a question they come but you have this great product. Why? What was your motivation? Why did you start your own business? In instead of taking a much easier path would be, you know, to sell that product directly to vitamin stores? Or, or even patenting and licensing the formula? What Why did you go to the path of creating your own business and the product?
Charles Van Kessler 5:40
Well, basically, the key reason of it was that we like to keep the cost down, and keep the product affordable, so that people can try it. Instead of thinking in their hand schools or pills, and to leave a legacy that, you know, you can start in life as bad and low as you can get. But if you really believe it, you can get up there was a lot of prayer and faith and hard work. And we keep it under the vitamin stores, because we don't want people to pay those exorbitant prices.
Andy Splichal 6:14
Now, who who would benefit? What is your your core customer who benefits?
Charles Van Kessler 6:19
People, basically, from one to 101. Lenders mom passed away just a couple of years ago at 107. C never took any medications, he was on our product for the last five years of her life. And so anyone can take it, anyone should take it. Because in this day and age we live in, we need to keep our immune system strong. And that's what the product does. It is known for dramatically increasing the immune system. So it's everybody's one. And people can stop taking those hard to swallow vitamin pills.
Andy Splichal 6:54
What do you see? Oh, go ahead. I'm sorry, Linda.
Linda Van Kessler 6:57
That's okay. Well, we're so happy about is that we feel like we could play just a small role in helping people get through this past year. All right, our sales really skyrocketed in a time when, you know, many businesses were going downward. And that's the way we said it's a mixed blessing. While we're very grateful for that. At the same time, you know, we're very sad that it had to come through a situation like a pandemic, however, people started to really focus on their health, I believe a lot more. And, you know, see the need for keeping their immune system strong and being proactive in their health. So that's a blessing. You know, if you can look at that, that one of the blessings that came out of this situation that we've all been in?
Andy Splichal 7:44
Yeah, absolutely, I can see that. Now, another quick question, you know, I have two smaller children would eliminate five, they won't eat any vegetables? How is this product work for them? Are they going to? Are they going to spit it out? Or what's the taste?
Charles Van Kessler 8:01
Oh, the taste is just like basically a high class orange juice, and has no sugar. It has no carbs it has I mean, it has nothing bad in the product. So kids love it. And when we did a show a while ago on a trade show, and the little kids, they get a shot, and then they come running back down the aisle. hey, Mister, can I have some more of your juice?
Andy Splichal 8:25
Wow. All right, well, that's it.
Linda Van Kessler 8:27
Yeah, most kids really, really love the flavor. And you can also put it in juice or a smoothie or water. You know, if you have a particularly fussy person in your family or child, and most of them don't even know they're taking it because it's just mixed right in there. And it's orangey looking. So
Charles Van Kessler 8:47
And it does really help the kids a lot too. Especially young kids in school to go into school because of the amino acids in the product reflect the increase in benefits into their, into their mind.
Andy Splichal 9:01
Okay. How did you guys name your company passion for life? How did you decide to name your business at your product that?
Linda Van Kessler 9:12
Well, we were thinking, you know what we could call it and I couldn't think of any better name to reflect the way Charles lives his life. He's been so so so much over the years, and yet he's always maintained. A very positive outlook, a very outgoing personality, never lets anything get him down. And like I said to him, you know, you just have a passion for life. And we can reflect that to people that that's the way you live your life. You know, everybody has things happen and trials and tribulations. But if you can, overall have the positive mentality that life is worth living and that you could make a difference from people You it just seemed a natural fit for him as a person.
Andy Splichal 10:05
Alright, well, I think you've made a great choice. I love the name. Now on the website, I see your have the tagline that says vitamins with a mission. Can you tell us about your charity and why you founded passion for kids?
Linda Van Kessler 10:20
Yeah, we're very proud of that. That's, that's one of the things that keeps us going when times get tough. We know that it's vitamins are doing great things for people's health. But we also know that the added benefit is that we are able to work with a lot of children in the United States that are in desperate situations. Our charity has passion for kids stands for the Kay has kids in desperate situations. And we work with children only in the United States, we feel that there's a huge need in our in our, our own backyard that we're trying to help in and change their lives. And it was very important to Charles who founded the charity, in the 70s. Already, long before I met him, because he felt like it was his responsibility and that God was telling him, look, you've been there, you've been a child on the streets, you've been a child in an orphanage, abused, malnourished. And you've made it through and it's your responsibility to help others through and help other children as well. So we always say, you know, when you do something good for your own health by taking passion for life, you're also helping us child in a desperate situation.
Andy Splichal 11:40
That's standing. Well, let me ask you something that most people might be wondering right now. Is a husband, wife team, do you ever find it difficult to work together?
Charles Van Kessler 11:53
Do the contrary, the contrary, we feed off each other.
Linda Van Kessler 11:58
We actually love it, our desks or chairs are back to back, we're with each other 24/7 When the other one goes out of the office, or has to step out of the office for just a little bit. The other one of us is, so it's like so lonely. And we text each other, like when you coming back, this is so sad. You know, it's just we feel we have a calling together to make a difference in this world. And it's more than just a business for us business is easy to, you know, not agree on certain things. But when you have a larger mission and purpose for what you're doing, you know, you work together as a team to make that happen and to make the difference in people's lives, in their health, and also for the children. So you know, we have a great motivating factor in making this work. And we love and adore each other.
Charles Van Kessler 12:59
And it was really a big moment in my life when I met my wife in 2001. Because I was working very, very hard. And I also had to take care of the charity that I created. But then I found Linda, who was very happily retired, she worked at the White House for President Ford, She ran the press with Billy Graham, 22 years around the world. And then she really was happily retired. And then the poor girl met me.
Linda Van Kessler 13:30
Now I'm just tired. Between running the company and the charity,
Charles Van Kessler 13:37
Linda Van Kessler 13:38
And him yeah, full time job, I live with Peter Pan.
Andy Splichal 13:45
Let me ask, you know, with this charity, and you talked about a legacy, but But why do you feel it's important to spend so much time on a charity issue and to work to leave a legacy through your business instead of just selling product?
Charles Van Kessler 14:02
It's just it's just in my heart. You know, in 78, God spoke to me at that time, I lived in El Paso and I went across the bridge in Juarez, Mexico, with some missionaries to work on the garbage dump, to deal with the little kids that go through what I went through. And so a couple of weeks later, God spoke to me and made me create this charity nonprofit. And it's just, it's in my heart and it's taken over to Linda. We just love it. We love to help kids in desperate situations as well as their families.
Linda Van Kessler 14:37
And it gets you through tough times too, because you know that this is not all about you. You know, it's about a much greater purpose. And when you find your purpose in life, it really changes things. You can work through so much more. And it's important we feel to pass that knowledge on and that positive feedback, an attitude that other people can get through things as well. We're all here to help each other. And we can leave a legacy of goodness and of hope and kindness and helping. It's just the little drop at a huge ocean, but it makes a difference.
Andy Splichal 15:17
How big would you ideally like to take your company? How big would you like to make it?
Charles Van Kessler 15:24
I'd like to say take it to the moon. And it's not for financial reason, it is really, for helping people to feel better, and to stay healthier, and to give them lots of energy and to feel good about themselves. And, and, you know, take their this passion and just make it happen.
Andy Splichal 15:44
You know, I mean, your product sounds great. Many, we've talked a lot about that. But also your motivation and your passion for life, I guess, no other better words. But what would you say to a business owner out there who's, who's struggling to find their motivation and running their business, especially after the last year, maybe their business is down? Maybe they weren't as fortunate to have a product line where the current situations lead to growth instead of its decline? And they're struggling to find motivation? What, what would you say to that business owner?
Linda Van Kessler 16:19
I would say never give up, you know, find it within yourself to dig deep through these difficult times, because the tough times, as they say, don't last but tough people do. And when you find something that is bigger than you, for example, our charity, you know, that's for us huge motivation, because it's no longer just about us. It's about if we give up, there are children that are depending on us and families that are depending on us. And who do they have to turn to you know, we were there hope we were there. The people that would be able to come in and when there were no other charities or no government programs for them. And so I think if you see that it's not only about you, but that you find someone who is struggling, that you can always find somebody who's in a worse situation than you are, it's not hard to do. And that I think looking outside of yourself, gives you the motivation to keep on going because you know now that you're an inspiration to somebody else, and you're pulling them along as well. So I believe that gives you great inspiration and motivation for going on.
Andy Splichal 17:40
Very nice, beautifully said, Linda. Now, if somebody out there would like to try your product, do you have any specials for for listeners?
Linda Van Kessler 17:48
We do we we would love to provide your listeners with the special price of 2995 with free shipping, which is a one month supply. That's quite a savings of between the shipping and everything of over $20. And we feel like this gives them a good way to try the product. And it's affordable. It's only about $1 a day to protect your health. And, you know, that's something that's important to us that it's affordable to people that they say well, you know, we would love to do this. But we tried to take that but out of there for them because we need to remember that people have to stay healthy in order to live their lives. So how special.
Andy Splichal 18:42
Is that a coupon code a linker or what is that?
Linda Van Kessler 18:45
We we will put a link in the show notes below. And you can just click on that. And it will take you to little information on our product. And then it will take you to the button where you can take advantage of that special and you can buy unlimited bottles, you know, it's not just a one time thing you can you can buy bottles to share with your family, your friends, your co workers. So
Andy Splichal 19:10
That's great. Well, thank you very much. Now, I think I heard also on another interview that did that you are writing a book, Charles, is that true?
Charles Van Kessler 19:21
Yes. Since about one year, that is correct. I'm about halfway through.
Andy Splichal 19:27
That's great. And that's your life growing up and how you
Charles Van Kessler 19:32
My life is from day one to where we are today. That's correct.
Linda Van Kessler 19:37
It's quite a story.
Andy Splichal 19:40
Well, I can't wait to read it
Linda Van Kessler 19:41
When it's all said and done.
Andy Splichal 19:43
Now is there anything I have missed anything that you'd like to add before we wrap it up today?
Linda Van Kessler 19:50
Well, we just want to thank you for giving us this opportunity. We we just have it in our hearts. We want to help people. We want to help child When and if we can do that today through motivating people to stay focused to find a cause greater than themselves to take action to be proactive in their health, you know, then we feel like we've made a little bit of a difference and we thank you for that opportunity.
Andy Splichal 20:18
Great. Well, thank you for joining me. Now that is it for today. Remember, if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts and leave an honest review. And if you're looking for healthier living, you can read more about Charles, Linda and you're able to order their product for yourself, friends or family by visiting that link in the show notes below. And you will find it there and take it right there and in order. In addition, if you're looking for more information on growing your business using paid ads requests to join the Make Each Click Count Facebook group I've been releasing some fantastic new free live trainings and more will be happening very soon. In the meantime, remember to stay safe, keep healthy and happy marketing and I will talk to you in the next episode.