We’re not talking protein pancakes today.
I’m stepping away from healthy food and fitness posts here for a minute because I wanted to talk about something else that’s very near and dear to my heart – creative entrepreneurship.
I started ProCakes with a vision for building a brand of healthy protein goodies that would not compromise on quality or customer service and instead, focus on building a strong direct to consumer relationship.
I didn’t start out thinking that way though.
When the idea for the company began, I thought about logos, design work, recipes and what I’d say when I finally get my big break on Breakfast Television (my dream come true media opp). I wasn’t thinking about profit margins, customer acquisition costs or COGS vs retail pricing. Truth be told, I didn’t even know what a P&L statement was (and somedays I wish still didn’t).
In a prior life, I used to run a company that supported women launching their own businesses (it was a local division of Ladies Who Launch), and yet I had never really grown a company of my own. I felt a little fraudulent relaying the information I had learned in training rather than the wisdom of my own first hand knowledge.
So I talked to budding women entrepreneurs about building their “A” team of support, having a vision for where they wanted the company to go, and how to use the law of attraction to drive success. I’m a little embarrassed to admit, I actually told women to clean out a junk drawer in order to get clarity in their business.
There were also a lot of great benefits to the services we offered in that company, but mostly it was the connection and community with like-minded women. Nothing that social media can’t solve pretty easily these days.
The reason I bring this up is that I see much of the support for women entrepreneurs being very superficial. Not that I don’t see enormous value in defining a vision and getting clear on your goals, but you can’t stop there if you want to run a company.
I think aspiring women entrepreneurs would be much better served seeking out supportive groups that address the nitty gritty of what it takes to grow a customer base or create a mind blowing customer experience. I don’t see that very often, so one thing I would caution would-be entrepreneurs is to find a mentor that has done exactly what they want to do and learn from them (even if you have to pay them). Be cautious of business coaches who’s skill set is limited to helping you define what your goals and visions are, and be clear on how your financials are going to work before you hang your shingle on the door. In the long run, this will be the data you’ll need to know in order to make the hard decisions in your business…. like whether or not you’re truly succeeding.
You can read more about my own story over at Do What You Love where I talk about failing early, leaving corporate and learning how to build a company from the ground up (without the woo woo).
Hope you find it useful in your own journey!