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Category Archives: Startup LIfe

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!

Persevere through all your challenges

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Guadalupe Peak

On top of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas. Perseverance got Zack to the top (with a Bearded Brothers bar in hand)!

Setbacks are inevitable, hard times will come, running your business will never be easy, and will be down-right challenging at times.

Here are a few things to remember when things get a bit crazy:

This is only temporary

The challenging times won’t last forever. Generally challenges come when a huge project consumes most of your time, or your business encounters a problem that it has to address. That project or problem won’t be there forever, so hunker down and power through.

Make a road map

Take a step back and write down everything that has to happen to get you through the turmoil. Then outline everything on a calendar or project management system with key deadlines highlighted with their due date. Failure to plan will just amplify that crazy feeling.

Take some time off (exercise)

This may sound counter intuitive when things are busy and you are working extra hours, but trust me, the relief you will get from getting outside will make you feel a thousand times better. As you probably know (but refuse to remember when times are tough), releasing endorphins helps curb stress. Even if you don’t get out for a run, bike ride, or intense weight training circuit, you can at least get outside and go on a walk. The fresh air will be reviving and you just might come up with some new ides to help you through the challenge.

Challenges make us stronger

Just remember that even though your challenge may seem negative, it’s actually good! I don’t believe there is such thing as a bad challenge. Challenges serve to strengthen us, help us learn and grow, and ultimately make us stronger. Every challenge has a takeaway that we will always remember.

Time is your most valuable asset

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Time is an asset

Time is an asset!

Time is your most valuable asset. As an entrepreneur or business owner time is in many ways more valuable than money, and you should be spending your time on high value priorities that will drive your company forward.

Chances are you spend a lot of your time on lower priority tasks that could be delegated. Something that takes several hours a week out of your time just might be something that another team member could do just as well as you, if not better.

Time is something that cannot be gained back once it’s lost, so it makes perfect sense that you would delegate lower priority tasks in order to serve the greater overall vision of your organization. Lets say your goal is to get your widget into over 1,000 retail locations across the United States. One of your primary goals as a small business owner would be getting sales. This means a large chunk of your time should be spent on trying to gain new accounts, but you are currently spending a lot of time answering customer emails that come in through your website. You are better off delegating the emails to somebody on your team and getting on the phone to make sales calls.

The 80% rule that applies to delegating a task, also applies to time. 80% of your time should be spent on things that are key to the vision of your company. They other 20% should be spent on simple operational type tasks, and delegating the things that get in the way of the big picture vision of your growing business.

If you are unsure what tasks fall into the 80% category it might be time to do some strategic thinking and figure out what your companies’ top priorities are. It would also be a good idea to track your time throughout the course of a week and figure out just how much time you are spending on given tasks. Then at the end of the week calculate just how much time you spent on high priority tasks that move your vision forward.

And remember, time is your most valuable asset. Guard it with care and learn to delegate so that you are free to work ON your business rather than in it.

Keep first things first

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When pursuing any great endeavor, whether it’s starting a business, or volunteering at a local non-profit, you must remember to keep first thing first.

The first things I’m referring to are not responsibilities related to your work. First things are your family, your friends, your health, and overall sense of well being.

An absent father, mother, husband, wife, is neglecting their primary and most important duties joys in life. I can tell you from experience working 50-60 hours a week on a regular basis is NOT necessary to start a business. Sure, there is a time and a place, but as the norm; well, that should never be the norm for anybody.

Your personal health, family, and even hobbies are ultimately more important than any business you might start or job you might take with a company. If you keep first things first, everything else will just fall into place (see Parkinson’s Law).

Delegate using the 80% rule

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Delegating is one of the hardest things to do as an entrepreneur. But in reality letting go is what we find so hard. It’s not that we don’t want to delegate, it’s that we fear somebody else won’t and can’t do as good of a job as we can. I’m guilty of this myself. In the early stages of starting Bearded Brothers I had a hard time delegating and transferring over responsibilities to my team. I feared that nobody was going to do as good of job as I was going to do, there were even responsibilities that I actually enjoyed doing, but just didn’t want to let go of, even though they were things another person could easily do.

When I was struggling to start delegating responsibilities I was even aware of the 80% rule. The rule states if you can find and train somebody to do the job at least 80% as well as you can then it’s time to delegate. Even though I knew that I didn’t want to believe it was true.

But hindsight is 20/20. Now that Bearded Brothers is growing and thriving I have delegated lots of responsibilities, and it’s one of the smartest things I have ever done as a startup entrepreneur. Learning to delegate has freed up valuable time so I am able to focus on growing and expanding the business. I still do plenty of day-to-day operations type stuff, but even a lot of that I’m starting to pass on to other team members.

It can be extremely difficult to let go of duties in your business that you value and deem as important, but the reality of it is you can’t grow your business on your own. Delegating is 100% necessary for growth, and is the best thing you will ever do as a business owner. I promise, you will see immediate results as soon as you transfer responsibility, especially on time consuming responsibilities.