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Full Transcript

Sari 0:00
The bigger your dreams, the bigger your goals, the more support you need, not less. Every great entrepreneur knows they need experts, they need a community to help support them, and connect them to really get that momentum going. If you find yourself in that start, stop, start, stop struggle, where you have an amazing idea something you make in your home kitchen, it can be a food item, beverages, pet treats, or even body care. And you just can't seem to get it off the ground or you haven't been able to make a profit yet. I want to offer you a free workshop. It's called Whip Up A Business You Love. And in it, you're going to learn the foundational pieces of having a business that works. An idea is not enough, a desire is not enough. We need to have a foundation and a plan for your next steps. And in that workshop, you're going to get my startup checklist, we're going to talk about your product, about pricing, what that investment looks like, how to really know if you have a solid idea, or a business plan that's going to work. And I make you an incredibly delicious offer to join me in Food Business Success at the end. Go to foodbizsuccess.com and in the right hand corner, you will see where to register to get that free workshop. And then I hope I will see you inside Food Business Success and on one of our Fuel calls very soon. Welcome to your Food Business Success. This podcast is for early stage entrepreneurs in the packaged food industry ready to finally turn that delicious idea into reality. I'm your host Sari Kimbell, I have guided hundreds of food brand founders to success as an industry expert and business coach and it's got to be fun. In this podcast, I share with you mindset tools to become a true entrepreneur and run your business like a boss, interviews with industry experts to help you understand the business you are actually in, and food founder journey so you can learn what worked and didn't work, and not feel so alone in your own journey. Now let's jump in! Hello, and welcome back to the podcast. Do you ever feel like you are a purpose chaser? You are always out there wondering, maybe you ask yourself, what is my purpose, right? You're questioning that all the time. And I was a purpose chaser for so long. I was always trying to find it outside of myself, wondering what the heck was wrong with me? Why couldn't I just figure this out? What the heck is my purpose? Why am I here? If I could just figure that out then I would finally be happy, I would finally feel better. And you know, feel like I was contributing and doing the thing I was meant to be. And this is a really fun conversation that I had with Lee Coles, a good friend of mine and a colleague. We talked, I guess this came out last fall and this is actually her podcast where she was interviewing me about finding your purpose. Because I was!I was a purpose chaser. I cannot tell you, I am one of those like I went through so many careers. I did so many different kinds of work and just constantly experimenting, but doing it from a place of not like fun. And oh, what about this? What about this? But like, this has to work, this is it! Right? And a lot of self criticism and self loathing and then beating myself up when it was not the thing, right? So, in this conversation, you're going to learn a little bit more about me and my journey and how the dots all connected. We can't know exactly how it's all going to work out, right, as in the moment. It's only upon looking back that you're like, oh, that's how it was all supposed to come together. It was supposed to have all of those experiences. Now, I didn't have to have such a suffering experience of those. I wish that I had just trusted that it was all going to work out. I did not. But I think it is very common for entrepreneurs to be looking for that thing, right? You're dissatisfied maybe in your work, your full time job, or now you've retired, or you're a full time parent, and you're like I just want that thing. Alright. That gives me more me meaning and fulfillment in my life. And so if that's you, I know this conversations going to be so helpful. We talk about discovery, TED talk that I found that changed everything for me. I literally just sobbed when I saw this TED talk, and I will put the link in the shownotes, so you can easily find it if this speaks to you. I am so excited for you to listen to this interview with Dr. Lee Coles. She's an organizational psychologist, and her podcast is called the Career Sequel. Here we go.

Lee Coles 5:37
If you've been hanging out with me for a while, you know that I like to ground career strategy in science and research and you don't hear me going around dropping the phrase find your purpose, you do hear me talking about the importance of finding work that's meaningful, that's aligned with your strengths and your core values, and the various components of your life. But today, we're going to do something a little different. We are going to talk about what it means to find your purpose, how this fits into your career trajectory. And best of all, you are going to meet my friend Sari Kimbell. She's a coach, the founder of Sari Kimbell Coaching and the creator of Food Business Success. I asked Sari to come on because Sari understands what it's like to chase after and find your purpose. She has an incredible career story that's going to have you on the edge of your seat, wondering what is this woman going to do next? And all the pieces of Sari's various careers, fell into place. And now she has a business helping food entrepreneurs make their delicious dreams a reality. Sari, welcome to the podcast. I am so excited to have you here because when I think of someone who has found their purpose, I think of you. So I want to talk to you about your road to finding your purpose.

Sari 7:11
Love to! Thanks for having me on. I'm so excited to talk about this conversation. And I'm going to talk with you and hang out with one of my favorite people. So yeah, I got a windy road and I think it's easy to for people to look at me now and say, ah, she's got it figured out. She's living her purpose and putting that in quotes, right?

Lee Coles 7:34
We'll put purpose in quotes for this whole time and we love windy road.

Sari 7:39
I have a slide I use in my coaching presentation that's like a bunch of loop de loops. And like some of them go under and over and backwards. And that's my life. There was a lot of times I said, I'm going backwards. I'm back to square one. I don't know your client, people probably relate to that. But what I realize now is that even when you're going backwards, like on a roller coaster, you're actually getting forward momentum.

Lee Coles 8:10
Oh, that's good. Yes, that is true. And my clients do say, especially if they're in a role and they've been in a job and they want to change, they feel like I have to start over. Yes. Did you feel like that?

Sari 8:27
Yeah. Oh, I started over a lot. People hear my story and they're like, oh my gosh, is this real? Like, I did not go to college straight out of high school. I just did not see the point. And I was smart and I hung out with smart people and, you know, kind of middle class like, it's not I mean, college was sort of expected. My dad was an engineer and that's what you do. And I just was like, I don't want to. I don't know what I want to do. And I didn't feel like college was the playground that I should be spending money on. You know, it seemed like a very expensive way to learn. I just wanted to be an adult and live like an adult. My dad said, you know, okay, if you don't want to go to college right away, that's totally fine. But I just want you to get a skill. I don't want you to be waiting tables the rest of your life and I was like, okay. So to placate it, I enrolled in like a business school where I got AA in accounting. And I was like a receptionist and I moved to Denver which was about an hour away and my parents dropped me off at this kind of sketchy neighborhood at a studio apartment. My mom said she cried the whole way home, her seventeen years old. Oh my gosh, I can't believe they did that but I loved it. I was like I'm being an adult you know, I'm exploring, experimenting. So I got my AA working at a tax office, CPA receptionist. I was like, I don't love this. This is not my purpose by any means, my passion. So I actually quit that job to go wait tables. So I waited tables in a 50s diner. I think everybody should wait tables, sometime in their lives.

Lee Coles 10:24
Especially in a 50s Diner.

Sari 10:27
I made a lot of milkshakes.

Lee Coles 10:28
I'm picturing you in roller skates right now.

Sari 10:31
There were no rollers skates. But yes, lots of milkshakes and patty melts. So I did that for a while and then I was like, I need something more. And so on my 21st birthday, my parents got me a flight to San Francisco, and to go visit a friend and I just fell in love. I had never really traveled much. And I just was like, San Francisco is my place. I love it here. And I said, I'm going to move and six months later, I packed my Honda Civic and I moved to San Francisco. I couch surf for a little bit kind of job waiting tables. And I just was like, this is early 20s. I'm just like, I don't know what I meant to do. I was kind of just going by the seat of my pants. So it felt good. And then I'm getting a job as a concierge for the W Hotel. At that time, though, I did say okay, I'm going to start going to community college and just getting some of those basics out of the way like, okay, I do want to go to school at some point. I don't know what still but I'm going to get the basics. You know, these first two years done. And then I did a study abroad to Paris as part of that. So I lived in Paris. And I was definitely really getting into food, right? Like San Francisco is such a foodie culture. I'm waiting tables at nice restaurants. I'm a concierge and then I'm a concierge and I'm going out to nice restaurants because they like roll out the red carpet for you. Yeah. San Francisco's very like farm to table at that time, the 90s, late 90s. So and then I'm in Paris. I knew food was always like something I loved. I was also, in high school, my first job was at a fabric store. And so I learned how to sew. And so I'm in Paris. There's like all the art and history. And so I come back and I'm like, I want to be a costume designer for film. So I moved to Los Angeles, couch surfed, I'm like 25 now and waiting tables again, going to school part time, and then I was able to get, I was doing costuming for theater at the school. And I was able to like get in touch, I did a couple of short films where I actually like made costumes. I was the costumer.

Lee Coles 13:02
That is cool.

Sari 13:03
And I know. At this point though, I was doing cool things but I was pretty unhappy. And that I remember having conversations a lot of times with my dad, like I just don't know what I meant to do. Like what's my purpose? And I was suffering a lot even though I was doing cool thing.

Lee Coles 13:24
Right and wait, I want to pause there for a second because as you're telling me this like you're moving to LA, you're in the film industry and, you know, I think that's super glamorous, right? I'm a movie buff, I love the entertainment industry. So as I think it's important to know that as you're talking to other people, no one can experience what you're experiencing. No one truly knows what is involved in the day-to-day of for instance, the costume industry so your dad for instance thought that you should be happy and I think lots of times people might stay in a career because of the feedback they're getting from other people who really don't know what's going on. So meanwhile you are feeling pain and misalignment

Sari 14:11
I was

Lee Coles 14:12
What is it about that like or why?

Sari 14:14
It's a dark time for me even though like I said I was doing the things from the outside but I just was like I don't know if this is it. I was really struggling. I mean, what I realized is being on movie sets is not glamorous at all. It's a lot of hurry up and wait. It's long hours and of course when you're kind of doing Indies and rogue like it's overnights and I was like I actually don't love this. I thought I would love it. I just remember saying over and over again. What's my purpose? What am I meant to do on this world? And I felt like there was expectations from, you know, I'm in my mid 20s now like why aren't you in a relationship? Why aren't you doing the things? Like I didn't have a lot of financial security. And so I think some of that was starting to weigh on me like I should know by now. Like, the clock is ticking. Twenty five.

Lee Coles 15:11
That's something that people say it. Every age, I should know by now.

Sari 15:17
But it's like I gave myself a window and then there was something about 25 that was like, I'm a quarter of a century. And I should know, it should be happening right now. And so I realized that it did not want to do that. I moved back to Colorado, and I enrolled at CSU. And I love, you know, the history part. So it's like, I'll be a teacher, and I love history. I come from like, a family of educators. So I was like, this seems like the thing that should give me purpose, right? Go to the Social Studies degree, I'm going to invest the time, the money, I'm all in. I'm going to do education. I'm going to be teacher. So I go to work and, you know, finish the degree and do all the things. And so three years later, I graduate, find a teaching job. And I just think, okay, this has to be it. I feel like at least have some financial security, I'm invested. I met my husband at that point. And he was a teacher. I was like, this is the life, this is my life. And then two years later, I just did not love the school I was in, and the principal, and I was not renewed. And so you know, I was like, oh, just invested all this time and money into a career. Now what? I thought that was it. I found it but it wasn't it.

Lee Coles 16:52
So what happened?

Sari 16:53
So, I go to work. I got a temporary job. I was just working temp jobs, I got a job at a real estate office, which was not my purpose, for sure. Just doing like administrative stuff. But it led me on a path, I was in housing so 2008, was laid off during the fall housing stuff. And so what I wish I did when I got laid off was take a breath and say, what an opportunity for me to like explore and figure it out. Instead, I was anxious and it was terrible, right? And I was like, ah, a lot of pressure. But I knew from some of my work with the real estate, the development is that they did a lot of sustainability work. And I was like, I really liking this combination of sustainability and food. Like that's kind of where I'm drawn. So I ended up finding a job on a farm, organic farm. It was $11 an hour. So talk about step back. And it was also commission, like I was setting up a sales program, and I've never done sales. And for whatever reason, they just liked me and thought I could figure this out. And so I just said yes. And I remember telling my husband like it's $11 an hour. And I'm grateful that he was like, okay, we'll try it. So after a week, I got a raise to $12 an hour up the first week, like you're doing great. And so that led me eventually, a couple years later to Whole Foods, where I tried multiple jobs there, buyer and then I worked for the regional office and was helping onboard local vendors. And then I was the marketing director. None of these things were in my education, by the way. So you know, this food thing was really clicking and local food. And then I got laid off from Whole Foods. And I did follow my advice, my own advice of like, pausing, taking a minute. It was also the same year that I got a divorce and so things were a lot of identities were being shifted. And that's where I did take some time to say what I really enjoy? And instead of going after purpose like that one gold thing like finding the gold, what do I enjoy? Let me give myself a little freedom. And so eventually worked at a Commissary Kitchen, helped people, and I realized like, this is where I want to come to is working with people, helping them in their food business and took the leap to be an entrepreneur, which was terrifying.

Lee Coles 19:50
So you had a lot of things in your life that set up this pause that you actually took advantage of.

Sari 19:56
I know, I wish we didn't need those like big life circumstances all the time to make changes because I think, you know, looking back, I enjoyed my career that stent four and a half years at Whole Foods. But along the whole way, it was like, okay, I'm doing this but my thoughts about it weren't great. Like I wasn't feeling fulfilled. I wasn't feeling like I was doing my purpose. It just felt like I'm learning and it's work.

Lee Coles 20:25
Sometimes it does take this seismic shift in your life to make you stop and pause and ask yourself, how did you discover that working in the food industry was something that you wanted to do? How did you decide to have that be your next step?

Sari 20:40
Yeah, I think I was finally able to look back at this point now I'm in my 40. And I could look back on the experience of everything, and now I look at my career, and I go, oh, my gosh, I'm using teaching, I'm using project management. And I'm using, you know, sales. And it's like, all of the things that I tried, even like that movie stuff, like doing hard things, doing kind of crazy hours sometimes and hurry up and wait, and patience like everything was for this. But it didn't come from out there. Because I think, we think if we just find out one thing, I'll finally be happy, finally be fulfilled. Even entrepreneurship was really hard at the beginning, I was not a natural born entrepreneur. And I was like, I don't know, this is going to work. This doesn't feel good. And I did feel some, there was a lot of reward when I did help people. And so it felt like, I'm just going to keep pulling this thread for a little bit. And so now it's like I realize, it's not some outside miracle happening to me, the magic wand of like, poof, you're living your purpose. I had to go discover, like what makes me feel fulfilled? What do I enjoy? What's important to me? What are my values? What do I enjoy doing? And how can I expand on my skills and my likes, the things that I'm kind of naturally attracted to and put it all together?

Lee Coles 22:14
Right that's a huge thing to really take time and do a self assessment. It may require you leaning on someone else outside yourself, that usually does, because some of the things that come naturally to you like, all the strengths that you have, all your unique talents, they are within you. You were you were born with them, so you don't see them as well as someone else might. But just taking stock of your strengths, your core values, and then also the skills that you like to use, the things that you're good at, that you like to use. And I love that you tried all these different jobs, everything taught you what you like, and what you don't like. And I always tell my clients, would you cross something off the list?That is moving forward. And sometimes it doesn't feel that way but it is, because you know, okay, I don't want to do that anymore. And that narrows down the focus. And I know that one thing that you do in your current job, all your clients, they come to you because they feel a calling to a certain purpose.

Sari 23:17
Right, and so my people are like, they make something delicious in their home kitchen, they make amazing salsa, cookies, kombucha, whatever it is. And so a lot of times my people are working, you know, they have that full time job, or they're a stay at home mom, right? So they're very full life. But there's just that like, little thought, what if? You know, this is like something I really love to do, and I love to share my food with others. Sometimes we have to tease out like, are you trying to use this business to give you purpose, or to give you fulfillment, or to prove that you're worthy. And so a lot of the work I do with my clients is helping them understand that like, this is just one vehicle that you could choose on the path that you're going to create your own fulfillment. There is no when I'm there, I'll finally feel like I've made it or I'm good enough or I found my purpose. And I love it that it's like, it's clearly aligned with something that they're passionate about. And I'll tell you one of my big shifting moments, I was probably the lowest of the low, post divorce, getting laid off, and I remember just laying in bed and just be like, what's my purpose? Why can't I find it? My brother was just, he went to school. He knew exactly what he wanted to do. He did it. He does it now. He's amazing, he's super happy. Like, I was just like, ah, this isn't fair. Like you just want it. And I watched a TED Talk by Emily starts with a W and it's called Multi Potential Lights. And she kind of described this unique people, like some people have purpose. And then some people. They're a cello player and a scientist, and they make the most amazing cookies. And sometimes they put it all into one job. And then sometimes you can find your purpose in like separating those things out but doing all of them. I just was in bed and I just was sobbing. I was like, that's me. That's what I am like it's okay, I finally gave myself permission to say, this is okay, that I've done all these things.

Lee Coles 25:42
Right. When you hear the phrase, find your purpose, it insinuates that you have one purpose. And I love that you when you are talking about purpose, you are also talking about fulfillment. I believe in finding a job that is fulfilling, that is meaningful, that helps fill that purpose bucket like you said, I don't think that there's just one thing that you're supposed to find. If you think there is one thing about you, that's going to be the golden ticket that you have to find. How much stress is that? Okay, so you have this revelation, that you.

Sari 26:25
I need to bring all these things together and say, what do I love? And where do I want to spend my time? And yeah, so I made the leap in entrepreneurship, and really, it was getting a coach. And what I found is, oh, fulfillment doesn't come from out there. It comes from me creating connection and exploring things that I enjoy doing. And I can't use my job or my business to create my self worth. It's a vehicle. And all jobs are that. And there's a vehicle for learning and there's sifting and sorting that you cross things off the list. I don't actually like that, don't want to do that.

Lee Coles 27:06
And I like to think that all of us are multi potentialites, I think we all are. What does it feel like embracing that?

Sari 27:14
There's more ease, there's more trust that this is all for something, this is all coming together. And I'm so grateful I had all those journeys because what it also shows me is I can trust myself, and I can trust that I will be okay. And I think, if you're searching for your purpose, and you feel like you're kind of in that job, you know, let's say you're an attorney, and you're like, I did all this work, right? Off the education, I'm in this role. And then you're like, but I also like this, and I also enjoy this and I'm like, I don't know if this is my purpose to be given the freedom and to say, I'm going to be okay, I figure it out and leaning on some inner trust of looking back and saying, how have I figured it out before? And what if it does work out?

Lee Coles 28:10
What advice would you have for someone who feels like I've invested so much time and energy in this one job or facet of my life maybe it's too late to go out and try to find my purpose or find something that I like better?

Sari 28:25
I would say regret is probably one of the worst things. And they've done all these studies, you know, at the end of your life, the thing that people regret the most is lack of taking action. They don't actually regret taking action even if it didn't work out, which is super interesting.

Lee Coles 28:44
That's such a good point. Yes. Yeah. Just knowing that they did it.

Sari 28:47
They have a lot less regret. Yeah, I did it. I tried it.

Lee Coles 28:51
Right, so put a strategy in place.

Sari 28:53
Getting a coach can really help you skip the line and go faster and understand yourself a lot better, because this is all about self awareness, right?

Lee Coles 29:05
Right.There's a playlist that we have going on in our head repeating certain thoughts over and over and over. And sometimes it takes someone else to point out that maybe those thoughts aren't serving you or maybe they're absolutely not true, the things that you think are truths, that maybe are not.

Sari 29:23
Because you can quit the job as an attorney and go be a chef. But wherever you go, you're bringing yourself with you.

Lee Coles 29:31
Yeah, that is so true. Sari, that is so great to have you on the podcast and I love you just being an example for careers that take lots of twists and turns, picking up gems along the way. Even though I know you didn't feel like you were picking up gems along the way. It turned out that you did end up with just a fistful of them. I love what you're doing now and also helping other people find purpose in their lives. Tell our listeners, how they can learn more about you.

Everything I do is under Food Business Success. I have a podcast and YouTube channel. And I really want to help people explore this because that before you just take a running leap off a cliff, which I've done, but it doesn't have to be that hard. So, Food Business Success, I also have Sari Kimbell Coaching. So everything's under those two things. Yeah, I work with amazing clients, helping them when they have that just an idea. And they feel like everybody's telling them to start a business and they're like, maybe I should, maybe I should be an entrepreneur, and go explore this. And so I help people with both the how as well as the coaching piece of it to help it go a lot smoother.

Lee Coles
Sari, thank you so much. It's so great to have you. And for everybody else out there. Please take good care and know that we're cheering you on.

My hope is that I just gave you and Lee, and I gave you permission to experiment, to play with it a little bit more, to not be so hard on yourself of finding your purpose outside of yourself. I encourage you to go experiment to play with it. And know that by saying yes to let's just say starting a packaged food business. It may not be the thing, but you're going to start creating new dots, you're going to create synchronicity. You're going to meet people, you're going to try things, and then that's going to take you to something new and you're going to meet new people. It's just getting in motion, and not feeling just so stuck and so serious about it. I really encourage you to go after your dream not because that's like the final purpose thing. But it will start leading you to it and you'll get on your way, you'll get on the journey. Of course I would love to support you in Food Business Success and in our membership program called Fuel. It is amazing and you're going to meet so many awesome people who are on the same journey, and it can really get you going, help you skip the line. Until next time, have an amazing week!

The smartest thing you can do as an entrepreneur is to invest in a who to help you with the how to speed up your journey and help you skip the line. When you are ready for more support and accountability to finally get this thing done. You can work with me in two ways. Get me all to yourself with one on one business coaching or join Food Business Success which includes membership inside Fuel, our community of food business founders that includes monthly live group coaching calls and so much more. It's one of my favorite places to hang out and I would love to see you there. Go to foodbizsuccess.com to start your journey towards your own Food Business Success.




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