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Author Archives: Caleb

Startup life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows

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Life is always happening FOR us, not TO us! It’s our job to find out where the benefit is. If we do, life is magnificent. – Tony Robbins

 2016 is a year for the record books – records of disasastors. It started with our personal life, we had repair bill after repair bill after repair bill, and that soon bleed over into the business too. On top of that we began to lose traction in some of our biggest accounts to due to decisions made internally at the retailer level.

I won’t bore you with all the details, mainly because I don’t want to dwell on the negative. But laundry list of complains cut short, 2016 was pretty rough on my family and my business.

At first I kept asking myself, why is all this bad stuff happening to us, and why does it just keep on coming? My mindset was, all this stuff is happening TO me. But then I stumbled across the above Tony Robbins quote. It made me pause and think and feel better about the situation for about a week.

However, I recently came across this quote again in the Tim Ferris Book, Tools of Titans. I paused a bit longer on it this time. And I’ve been dwelling on it for the past few days.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what has happened, and am realizing a lot of the things that have happened have forced hard lessons on myself, my family, and the business. For example, I knew for a while I needed to let one of our key employees go. It wasn’t so much performance issues as it was I knew the business couldn’t sustain having them on the payroll with all that had been going on and other upcoming changes we had to make. It took things getting pretty bad before I mustered up the courage to let them go.

Another quote that I feel that helps put this into perspective is, “Greatness comes from adversity.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

Growth doesn’t come from things being easy. If there isn’t something in your life causing friction, you aren’t growing, you aren’t learning – you are simply stagnant.

Looking back at 2016, it has been grit and perseverance that has gotten us through. Many times, especially later in the year I felt like giving up, throwing in the towel and admitting defeat, but I’m thankful to have some better perspective now.

Everything that happened last year has been for my good. It has been to help me grow as an entrepreneur, as a father, as a husband. If 2015 was sunshine and rainbows (It WAS a really good year), 2016 was the pit of hell and I’ve emerged victorious!

The start of 2017 is still a bit choppy. But I know see that everything happening, is FOR me. And I can now stand strong and move forward with faith that my business will survive. With a bit of prayer, grit and hard work, we will pull through, and be stronger as a result.

Growing a business is an ultramarathon, not a 5k

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The time it takes to grow a business is more like an ultramarathon than a 5k. The startup up world is full of 5k racers that want a fast ramp up,  and quick exit. The reality of it is, these startups rarely grow a profitable business. Rather than focus on running 5k you should run an ultramarathon. Ultras as trail runners call them, are races with 26-48 hour cut offs and range from 25-100+ miles. The time it takes you to finish one of these races is more in line with what it takes to build and run a successful business that generates a profit year over year.
It’s easy to get impatient though when the rest of the startup world is scrambling around looking for investors. It’s easy to fall prey to that. I’ve done it myself. I’m not opposed to investors, and in fact we are looking for investors now, but investors will not cure or solve your problems.

Your primary focus should always be profit! Run your startup in a manner that if investor money went away you could still stay in business.

Just like running an ultramarathon where slow steady patience is key. The same is true for running and growing a business. Bearded Brothers has now been in business for five years, and quite honestly we haven’t achieved the growth that I thought we would by now, but we are in it for the long haul. This isn’t a flip and sell business. We are an Evergreen company, and will be here for years to come.

Food Launcher for Food Entrepreneurs

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FoodLauncherEmail

I’ve been pretty silent on this site for the past few months, but there has been a good reason for that. I have been working on Food Launcher: a website dedicated to helping packaged foods companies launch faster, and stay inspired.

In addition to the website, I have been working on an ebook. The book is currently in the editing phase, and will hopefully be ready for purchase at the end of April. The site was a result of my desire to help others, and the frustrations I experienced when launching Bearded Brothers.

Food Launcher is essentially your one stop shop to get the answers you need to launch your food business. Until now, there isn’t a single place on the internet you can go to get all your questions answered in one location.

I hope the site will provide loads of inspiration for other food businesses and help many others get their product to market.

Keep your branding simple

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Keep it simple branding

The coffee house sketch that sparked the Bearded Brothers brand.

I can’t tell you how important it is to have great branding, and one of the keys to great branding is to keep it simple. In a sea of consumer packaged goods that are screaming for your attention, simplicity is often the best way to grab somebody’s attention. When every other package on the shelf is LOUD, when ever color demands your attention, taking lo-fi approach is quite possibly your best option. This was the idea that sparked the Bearded Brothers branding. Keep it simple, “the more simplistic the better” were the words a mentor scribbled on a Moleskine journal page! We maintain the same philosophy when creating products too. Keep it simple!

If you found this post insightful or plan on launching your own food business in 2015 you may want to sign up for my Food Launcher email list, and be the first to know when my new site launches (March 2015). Food Launcher will focus on inspiring food entrepreneurs and providing valuable information to help you get your product to market.

Food Launcher Coming in March 2015

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It’s a new year, which means new goals, new projects, and new adventures. I feel 2015 is going to shape up to be an awesome year for me. I have decided to take on a big personal project, a side business if you will. The project is going to be called Food Launcher. Food Launcher is going to be a website/blog dedicated to helping startup food businesses get their project off the ground.

I haven’t decided for certain what all the site will have, but rest assured the site will be full of useful content for aspiring food entrepreneurs, such as blog posts, interviews, podcasts, and even a valuable ebook. This project is starting out of my own desire to help other aspiring food businesses launch and get their product to market. I remember vividly still all the frustrations and struggles I faced when starting Bearded Brothers. My goal is that Food Launcher will make it MUCH easier for new food businesses to launch.

So with that said, please sign up for my email list and you will be the first to know when Food Launcher goes live!