In the three short years I have been doing this, I have learned some important lessons along the way. These are things I plan to always do as they force me to grow and keep moving in the right direction with my company.
1.) Surround myself with people smarter than I am
I don't have to look very far for this one! Pretty much everyone in this industry is smarter than I am and has so much to offer. I think this is one of my favorite things to do. Pick peoples brains. I never got too excited about learning when I was forced to do it in school, but now I feel like a toddler! I'm a sponge, trying to gain insight and wisdom from everyone around me. I guess that's what happens when you find something that you're passionate about. I took a class in college called Modern Scandinavia and call me crazy, but it just never got me going. Coconut Butter? Yes. Scandinavia? Modern or Old? Um...not so much.
2.) If I don't know how to do something or the answer to something, I find it.
This goes along with #1 but I have to use this skill every day. I have an undergrad in SPANISH, people. Why, oh why did I not take just one business course? Thankfully I have learned a lot and in a very short amount of time. A skill that an entrepreneur gets the hang of quickly if they are going to stay in business is to figure out the answers to all the many crazy questions. And if I can't find the answer, I network until I find someone who does.
3.) I try to be persistent, but not annoying.
I remember the early days. I would be so nervous to call people. I still did it, but I was scared. And people can sniff that out. I might as well have started the convo with "Hey! I am a ROOKIE in this industry, with no background in business, and actually I mostly only talk to my kids and pets all day and not about business stuff, but you should do business with me! Wanna be my jar supplier? I need 100 jars to start....Hello???" It wasn't this bad because people have been KIND. All this to say, I have learned to be persistent and confident. I've learned to get right to the point and that these are all just people like me. Trying to do what we can in this industry to make an impact. Big picture. So, if you're nervous like I was, keep making those calls and talking to people and making those business connections. Practice will make you confident. And more efficient.
4.) I do what I can in a day and then get some sleep.
I actually have always done this and I plan to continue. I do many things in a day. Take care of my family and build a business. So my to do list is in my head and is ongoing. It's like a scroll that just rolls over into the next day. I never know what the next day will look like because I am not a good schedule-every-minute person (ask my friends, they hate it). I like to live day by day and get what I can done and do my best, let the rest go and then go to sleep. I think this is what allows me to enjoy this journey. Let go of what you can't get done.
5.) I stay focused on what I'm doing.
It's so easy to compare myself to what other people are doing. Other startups are so inspiring and many of them are making this much money in this few amount of years and they are killing it and feeding millions of people and funding charities and selling for $300 Billion dollars all while doing their weekly triathalons and raising four sets of triplets. This is not a true story, but you thought it was for a second and felt bad about yourself, right? Maybe not. But the point is, I basically have tunnel vision when it comes to my business. I have much to learn from others and I know other people are out there killing it, but I use that as inspiration, not as competition. I am in my own lane, and God is driving this thing. It's my job to learn all I can and apply myself as much as I can with the brain He gave me and see where this goes. Comparisons a kill joy they say. I have to agree. #tunnelvisionandhustleHARD
So, there you have it. Lessons learned from a rookie in the food industry.
MANY more lists to come:)