Suz Schulte gets naked about starting a food business
So – I read your latest article and it really hit home about how we are always looking to present our “best” side in order to attempt to live a mostly edited life. And really, it has become so ingrained in our society that I often wonder whether any value is placed on substance anymore…
Now – I’m so early on in my start-up that I don’t really have stories to share about its trials. Actually, to date, taking the first step and starting has been the hardest part of my start up. Having the confidence to say to the world “I know I might fail, but I have to at least try” is one of the bravest things I’ve done. But starting hasn’t stopped the constant “am i doing it right” feelings and anxiety that really creep up on you when you’re questioning your decisions and juggling life and its commitments. Or worse, focusing the majority of your time and energy away from your business.
So when you combine your own negativity with that of others, it can really build into the perfect storm that stalls you! I’ve had so many people tell me that I can’t do what I’m aiming to – “who would pay that for jam?!” “Why would you waste your time” “you already have a great career, why would you give that up”. One of the steepest learning curves has been trying to look past those initial (often hurtful) statements and seeing peoples feedback as an opportunity to learn and make incremental changes that my lead to great success (or at the very least avert a massive failure!)…
I also think one of the “trials” is admitting to yourself when (or that) you need help (or as I like to call it, getting over my ego!) and acknowledging that you don’t know what you don’t know. As you’ve highlighted, the food industry is a complex and quirky place and to navigate it as a newbie is pretty daunting. For me, it was pretty humbling to admit that I didn’t know it all myself (no matter how much time i spent on google!) and that unless I wanted to deal with the ramifications of a massive mess I needed to be smarter about my approach.
Which is where Wandering Cooks and your fine self has come in… even the insight you provided in a basic kitchen tour made me go back and re-think and re-fine where i’m heading, timelines and approaches… so for a business that is yet to sell a single item (or even get to the point where I’m confident enough with my products to put it in jars for sale) I still feel like i’ve got a sporting chance!
Seriously though, outside of yourself – no one seems brave enough to tell the gruesome, confronting stories about business start-up. Thanks for seeing the need to share the knowledge.
written by (nakedly so),