ELXR Juice Lab is a Toronto-based juice company by Dan Gelshteyn, a smart guy who found success through ’round-the-clock hard work: selling his new brand by day and juicing by night. Today, Gelshteyn oversees all aspects of his local watering hole for health heads as CEO.
Do you know where you got your drive from?
100% my dad. Growing up, I watched him build his business from the ground up. He has always been a huge inspiration for me and continues to guide me to this day. Whenever I feel like giving up, he always helps to put things into perspective and keep me moving forward.
How do you stay self-motivated?
I’ve never felt the need to motivate myself while starting my own business. When I was in school or working internships, I often procrastinated and avoided work (at all costs…). But now that what is at stake is directly correlated to what I put in, I’m automatically motivated to check off the next thing on my to-do list. I think keeping the big picture in mind is key.
What would you say is your preferred way to network?
I think people underestimate the power of leveraging the networks they already have. Chances are, someone you already know will be able to introduce you to someone you would like to know. It wasn’t a planned-out strategy for me, but in hindsight, I realize this is the mentality that I adopted to reach new people. When I started off, I could count the people I knew in this industry on one hand. Most of my friends work finance or corporate jobs, so I was sort of forced into really asking the right questions to the right people and seeing who might have relationships that might benefit me.
How would you describe your process for deepening relationships?
Especially in the food industry, which is more casual than others, spending time outside of the workspace is vital. Most of the people I work with have an intrinsic passion for food; so naturally, going for lunch is always a good call. From there, relationships develop organically. Some of my closest friends today are people I’ve come to meet through ELXR.
What are your preferred tools for keeping organized?
I’m basically allergic to technology, so pen and paper are always a go-to. Since I’ve expanded the company and my role has become more broad, I am continuously creating new systems to help keep my whole team organized and on top of deadlines. We use Trello (almost) religiously and, of course, Google products, like Calendar and Drive. Each night before leaving work, I make a to-do list for the next day. It keeps me organized and, well, sane.
What is your favourite way to market your product or services?
What sparked ELXR was first the branding: I wanted to create a product that was both high quality but also visually compelling. For this reason, I am still very involved behind the scenes of our social media. Social media is our main platform to convey our message and brand mission; especially since our target market is aged 20-35. Our goal is to curate inspiring content that also offers people value.
Who has been your mentor in helping you find success?
I already mentioned my dad, but other than that, my core team at ELXR continues to teach me something every day. It’s been important for me to build my team based on the qualities that each individual truly specializes in, hence why I learn from them constantly.
What social issue does your organization raise funds and/or awareness for?
The current size of ELXR has limited us in fundraising initiatives, however we consistently donate product to causes and charities we believe in to support their events and programs.
How and where do you continue to learn?
On the job! Just when I think I have everything figured out, something gets thrown at me and proves me wrong. I know it’s part of being an entrepreneur – it keeps things exciting and new.
Do you have a fitness ritual that you live by?
I like to get a sweat in at least a few times a week. For the past few years, I’ve mainly been going to the gym. It’s a good way to disconnect and find time for myself – always a good de-stresser. I used to play tennis as a kid and my New Year’s resolution was to start it up again. It’s been fun getting back on the courts and put my body through something different.
How do you feed your soul?
Travelling. If I could, I would be travelling 365 days of the year. As much as I like to travel to take my mind off work, you’ll probably find me trying a local healthy restaurant or juice bar on my first day. I love that my work can also be play.
How would you describe the eating ritual that makes you feel most powerful?
My breakfast smoothie is always how I start my day. I always have leftover juices from our ELXR production facility in my fridge. I’ll use them as a base and add in any superfoods I have lying around.
What type of content do you find most compelling on Instagram?
I follow a lot of accounts for their aesthetic feel, from food, fashion to personal accounts. I screenshot and save a lot of content that inspires our own feed.