In 1997, Kevin DeMeritt founded Lear Capital, a precious metals company. In 2008 he also co-founded Wilshire Finance Partners, a real estate investment fund, and currently serves as its president.
Mr. DeMeritt holds his Bachelors Degree with an emphasis in business and economics from the University of Montana. He is nationally recognized as an expert on the markets, the economy and geo-political events. As an expert DeMeritt has been a guest commentator on more than 1000 radio and television talk shows.
In 2008, Kevin’s 18-month-old daughter, Aspen, was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. She was immediately put on two different medications for the Arthritis and inflammation. One of the medications, methotrexate, is a cancer drug. It is so potent that doctors told his pregnant wife, not to come in contact with the medication because it could affect the health of the baby she carried.
When Kevin heard what this drug could do to his wife and unborn child, he started to research what this drug was doing to his 18-month-old daughter. Seeing the risks, he knew he needed to investigate alternative approaches. Knowing he could not take Aspen off her medication before he found such an alternative, his search began in earnest.
Like a lot of parents, he reached out to Google for help and found oodles of information. He discovered a variety of natural ingredients that showed promise. Arnica, Boswellia and St. John’s Wart were among those products. When rubbed on Aspen’s joints in the right amounts, some relief was achieved. He then heard about CBD and its potential to fight inflation. So why not blend CBD with the other natural ingredients that showed promise and see what happens. The result? Aspen was elated.
The more research he did, the more convinced he became that CBD could be something special. In 2016 a team of lab researchers from the University of Kentucky published the results of their study of CBD for relieving arthritis symptoms in mice in the European Journal of Pain. They concluded that when they induced arthritis into the knee joints of mice and applied a transdermal CBD gel, it reduced the joint swelling. The result was music to his ears.
He began sharing his formulations with others who started to use it for their own aches and pains. Again the results were positive and the requests for more product began to roll in.
Kevin is not a medical professional, just a parent on a mission to help his daughter. He wanted Aspen to have a normal childhood and to run and play with the other kids. The goal was for her to grow up strong and healthy and be able to do whatever she loved in life. The CBD formulas and products he has developed are the radiant outcome of love. He continually seeks out the best ingredients, scientists and technology to get the best results.
His pledge is to be transparent with the ingredients and testing with a:
Commitment to use high-quality natural ingredients
Purchase ingredients from socially responsible sources
and back all products with a 30-Day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Today, his daughter is 14 years old and an accomplished athlete with an active and enjoyable lifestyle. He created Chil Wellness as a new-generation wellness company with the goal to help others.
Where did the idea for Chil Wellness come from?
- In 2008, at eighteen months old, my daughter Aspen was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. She was immediately put on two different medications for the Arthritis and inflammation. One of the medications, methotrexate, is a cancer drug. It is so potent that doctors told my pregnant wife, not to come in contact with it because it could affect the health of the baby she carried.
I started to wonder what this drug was doing inside my 18-month-old daughter. I found the side-effects ranged anywhere from nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain to anemia, kidney problems and muscle weakness. I knew I needed to investigate different approaches. I knew I couldn’t take Aspen off her prescribed medication, but I was looking for natural ways to help when the arthritis “flared up” and gave her joints more aches and pains. So, like a lot of parents, I reached out to Google for help. I found oodles of information regarding natural ingredients that I could apply directly onto her joints. Arnica, Boswellia and St. John’s Wart rubbed on her joints in the right amounts, appeared to bring some relief. Then I started to hear about CBD. The more I investigated, the more excited I became. So, I started adding CBD into other topical ingredients until we were happy with the effects. I started feeling pretty accomplished about the results and I began sharing our creation with others who started to use it for their own aches and pains. They responded positively as well.
The more research I did, the more convinced I became that CBD could be something special. In 2016 a team of lab researchers from the University of Kentucky published the results of their study of CBD for relieving arthritis symptoms in mice in the European Journal of Pain and I was ecstatic with what it showed. They concluded that when they induced arthritis into the knee joints of mice and applied a transdermal CBD gel, it reduced the joint swelling. The result was music to my ears.
I am not a medical professional, just a parent on a mission to help my daughter. I wanted Aspen to have a normal childhood. I wanted her to run and play with the other kids. My goal for her was to grow up strong and healthy and to do what she loved in life. The CBD formulas and products that we have developed are the radiant outcome of love and we haven’t stopped since. We continually seek out the best ingredients and technology for our products.
Today, my daughter is 14 years old and an accomplished athlete with an active and enjoyable lifestyle. Now my goal is to help others. I created Chil as a new-generation wellness company that offers high-quality all-natural products to help others.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
The typical day starts with a workout and a 20-minute meditation. When work starts, all senior management gets together for a 10-minute meeting to quickly go over their important goals and if there are any roadblocks holding them back. Then those managers meet with their own teams about the same. I usually have follow-up meetings with Operations regarding inventory and production schedules and then with Business Development regarding new products and testing. I usually wrap up the day with a 30-minute meeting with Marketing and Finance and then the CEO for a quick session to see how the day went.
How do you bring ideas to life?
We always have a few products in mind we would like to launch. We narrow the products down to the top two or three based on everyone’s input and then conduct a survey with customers and other people to help us choose the product that they like. Once we have selected the product, we have a few different formulations produced and test them with our customers and focus groups to get more feedback. This process may take four months to a year to complete. Once customers are happy with the new product, we really lock down the price of the ingredients and manufacturing to make sure we can deliver that product at a price that makes sense. When you are producing all-natural products, sometimes one or more of the ingredient prices becomes to prohibitive and you need to re-formulate and start the testing process over again. When we feel we have a product our customers like and a price they are willing to pay, we move to packaging design and final marketing strategies while manufacturing is producing the product.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Technology. Only about 6% of CBD is absorbed into your body when taken as an ingestible. New technology from companies like Ananda Scientific have been able to boost that by 15-18X. This will really help with pricing for products as the CBD is one of the most expensive ingredients. Technology is also helping with topical products. Chil Wellness uses nano technology to decrease the size of the CBD molecule so that we can get more of it deeper into your affected area. Our Bio-nano technology reduces the size of the CBD molecule to 125 nanometers in size, which is about 700 times smaller than the width of a human hair. The smaller the molecule size, the better chance you have at getting more of the active ingredient deeper into the area where you need it. I believe technology will help us create products that are more effective and less costly to our customers.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Setting goals that have measurable performance metrics. I think some people set goals with time periods but don’t always break the project down to smaller measurable pieces and make someone accountable for those pieces getting done. If you want to get a project completed on time and within a certain budget, you may need three to four different parts of the organization involved, each with their own separate timetables and goals. Each of those people are accountable for their part with one person, and one person only, accountable for the entire project. I think spending the time upfront to plan the performance metrics that each person is accountable for and clearly communicating those metrics is worth the time. You will see more projects getting completed on time and on budget.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Learn to communicate better with everyone. If it’s at home or the office, communication, or the lack of, can mean the difference between happiness and success or complete failure. Communication needs to be often and transparent.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The same answer that I gave to the advice to my younger self. A lot of people think that a meeting every day is a complete waste of time, even if it’s only 10 minutes long. I would agree with that if meetings don’t have structure and a reason for having them. But if the communication has structure and a reason, then it will really help the entire team to keep on the right path and they will feel more a part of the company, not just someone who is receiving a paycheck. If the communication is transparent, then it really builds trust as well. If you communicate often, you can tell people bad news as it happens, and your people will rally around fixing the issue. When people are left in the dark, they make up their own conclusions about what is happening that make not be based on what’s really happening. I was horrible at communication in the beginning and I’m still learning to be better at it every day, but I have seen that with constant communication, you get better at it and people appreciate the information and time given to them.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Journaling. I use Panda Planner Venture. With this journal, every quarter you re-write your company vision, core purpose, values, who you serve and what’s important for that quarter. Weekly, you break that down into smaller pieces. Daily you start with writing down the two or three important priorities, any tasks and your schedule. It really helps you think about your business, plan and understand it better. The other aspect I love is that the start of each day the journal asks to list three things you are grateful for and three things you are excited about. At the end of the day it asks you to write down the day’s wins and how you could improve. It’s amazing how many times you forget what you are truly grateful for or what went right that day. It keeps you focused on the important things that really matter each quarter. When you look back in six to nine months, you can see how much you have accomplished and some of the things that you can change to get better at serving people.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Making sure we hire the right people for our culture and values. I believe people are the biggest asset in a business. When you hire the wrong person for a position or the culture, you can really set back the entire company. It’s impossible to hire the right person every time, but we spend a lot of time outlining a detailed description of our jobs and the kinds of skills needed so we are clear about those requirements for us and the prospective hire. Then there’s the culture aspect. We want to know what they think about the core values of our company and how they fit into their own values. If issues arise that could put our company values at risk, we want to know how they would respond. People make a business so I believe you need to have a strategy to hire the best people you can. By spending the time to hire the right people, you can feel confident that your business strategies and goals will be implemented correctly without having to micromanage or worry about the decisions they will make.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Creating a product that customers didn’t want. We tried to create an all-natural gummy product with real fruit tastes. We got carried away with exotic flavors that people didn’t really want but that we thought were great. The ingredients were to expensive and it took a long time to make. By the time we were through, a lot of time and money was spent without getting feedback from customers about how they felt about it. We finally stopped the project so we could go back to the drawing board. What we did gain from it was some great relationships with flavor experts to help us with our Mellow Mint tincture and other flavors that are coming out soon. I really don’t believe our tincture would taste as good as it does without those relationships. It is very difficult to flavor over a bitter ingredient like CBD effectively. At some point, we will relaunch a great fruit gummy, but we will check in with our customers along the way to make sure we are not making something for ourselves instead of them.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Artificial intelligence. I would start a consulting company to help businesses with implementing artificial intelligence. Most business owners don’t understand AI. There are so many different aspects to AI, from marketing data to chat bots, that can help businesses grow. If there were consultants who could look at a business and help the owner understand the benefits, costs and time to implement, I think you could do very well learning about this area of technology.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I purchased three physical copies of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss and gave them to my three children. We read them together and they loved it. It’s a great book about life’s ups and downs. A few day’s later some of their friends were reading it and laughing about how it was written, but they all got the point. With so many digital books, it was great to see them reading a real book and getting excited about flipping the pages to see what was next.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Basecamp. We use it for project management. It’s very easy to create a project, assign tasks to different people and keep track of progress. I like it because of how simple it is for everyone to understand and use.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Scaling Up” by Verne Harnish. It teaches you how to scale your business. From the financial aspects of scaling to hiring people, this book is an incredible asset when it comes to growing your business without losing control of quality or your culture. I recommend this book to everyone. It helped me grow a financial business to over $150 million a year in sales.
What is your favorite quote?
“Success is not final; failure in not fatal: it’s the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill
- Remembering “why” you started your business is very important. After some time that important reason may get lost and the passion for the business may get lost with it.
- Always reward yourself for the successes along the way (along with rewards to the team) and turn failures as steppingstones learned so that you can build upon them positively.
- Always remember that the customer is king! Without the customer, you don’t have a company. If you put the customer first throughout the entire product development process, pricing and marketing tests, you will have a much better chance of success once the product hits the market.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.