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Full Transcript

Sari  0:00  
You started this business because you love your product. You love making it. You love the joy on other people's faces when you sell it to them or give it to them. And so you decided to start a business. And now the business is running over you like a Mack truck, you are wondering, when the heck are you ever actually going to make any money? When do you finally get that freedom and fun? That was the whole reason why you started this business in the first place. When will you stop being in the day to day of the business and running around like everything is on fire, where the business doesn't work if you're not in it. It is time for that to change. If you have proven your concept and you know, this is a good idea, then it's time for you to start learning how to be the boss, to become the CEO that your business requires of you to actually work, to create money and profit without you being in the day to day. And we do that through Master Your Business. Listen, you could go spend a lot more money on a MBA, and learn the same things that I'm going to teach you in this program. This is all about creating systems and processes and knowing your numbers, we're no longer going to be afraid of our numbers. And we're going to create an intentional path for your business to succeed, to stand the test of time and to work for you. We are starting a new cohort very soon. Go to masteryourbiz.co and get yourself registered. Prove to yourself that this is going to be a business that works and you are going to be the CEO your business needs. 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! Welcome to the podcast. This one is really special for me. I met Stephanie, oh gosh, a little over a year ago, and she's just one of those people that I just instantly fell in love with. And I knew she had such potential and it's been so fun to watch her growth from Food Business Success to one-on-one coaching, and then the Master Your Business, and now to the Mastermind that we followed up that program with. And if you are on the fence at all about joining Master Your Business, if you already have a business and you're ready to finally take it to the next level to grow it, to have it be sustainable, and not have it running you then you have to come join us in Master Your Business. We are starting a brand new cohort that starts May 9th and if you're listening to this afterwards, then know that you can always get on the waitlist. I plan to run cohorts throughout the year. And it is game changing for your business and life changing for you to not have to always be in your business, but to be really setting it up for future growth and the freedom and fun that you wanted when you started this business. Let's jump into the interview with Stephanie. I'm so excited to welcome Stephanie Wiley of Fat Kid Cookie Company. Welcome, Stephanie!

Stephanie  4:15  
Thank you for having me!

Sari  4:17  
So great to have you here. I've been thinking about doing this podcast with you for a long time and the time is right. So this is going to be so fun. So let me just introduce Stephanie, and then we'll get started with our conversation. So when people ask Stephanie to introduce herself, she says, I'm a mom, a partner, a grieving parent and a child. She's a baker, a writer, and a photographer. She's also a serial entrepreneur, always reinventing herself. And Stephanie grew up in a small town near Los Angeles, and then she moved to Montana in 2020 to be with her partner. She raised two sons and was a self employed photographer for 20 years. It's so cool. She launched the Fat Kid Cookie Company in the fall of 2021. And we're going to get into the why, and the whole business, the history, the journey of her business in our conversation.

Stephanie  5:16  
When I listen to how that introduction does, I sort of hold my breath and think, what on earth have I decided?

Sari  5:27  
What am I doing with my life? Well, you are making cookies right now. That's what you're doing.

Stephanie  5:33  
Yes, I am making cookies and I am learning how to be a business person.

Sari  5:39  
Well, let's just start kind of at the beginning. So you join Food Business Success in Spring of 2022. But you did launch prior to that. So just tell us a little bit about getting started and what prompted you to actually start Fat Kid Cookie company and launch the business.

Stephanie  6:00  
Okay, well, so I found you actually before the Spring of 2022, and had been listening to the podcast religiously, and just doing a lot of research. In the Spring of 2020, I was still living in Los Angeles, and lost my 18 year old son to fentanyl poisoning. It was a horrible situation. It's still something that I'm dealing with. But I had plans later that summer to move to Montana. So I went ahead with that plan. I knew that my, sort of my eye for photography, or my feeling for it, I just needed to switch gears and do something new. So I took about a year off, sort of contemplating life and trying to find a pivot. And I had been making these cookies for many years and people always loved them. And of course would ask for the recipe and very awkwardly, I would say, no, I might do something with it someday. And so basically, I just thought, what the heck, what do I have to lose? At this point, I'm just going to try to make cookies. So I started baking out of my kitchen and that was in the Fall of 2001. And here we are in the Spring of 23 and I am now in 20 something stores and it's been sort of a crazy ride, but very exciting and fun.

Sari  7:33  
So yeah, you really, I think out of a terrible tragedy. And thank you for sharing that. But I know that's a big why of why you even started the business. I mean, ultimately a big reinvention of yourself, right? Like, who am I now? And who do I want to be looking ahead to the future and deciding that you wanted to stop being the photographer, entrepreneur, and shift into something new? 

Stephanie  8:04  
Yes, and I knew that I needed to have a creative outlet. Cookies are just like, there's nothing serious about cookies. And it is really a great opportunity for me to just bring joy to people's lives, and it keeps me occupied. I just love that it can be very light harder than fun. Also, the business side of it is serious. But it's been a real challenge and I've just been learning so much. It's sort of crazy to learn this much at this point in life. I mean, I'm 54 and sort of just restarting but also I love that.

Sari  8:48  
I love that about you that you're like, okay, we're doing something new, right? We're going to learn some new things. Well, I have to ask you, how did you come up with the name? And what kind of reactions do you get from it? Because you and I've talked extensively, you know, a few times about, do we like the name, do we keep it? But curious, where did it come from? And what do you like about it?

Stephanie  9:15  
I really believe that everybody has an inner fat kid that can't resist something, whether it's a sweet or a salt or a drink or whatever it is. Everybody has that inside of them. At the beginning when I came up with the name, I was with some family and we were brainstorming and that came up. And I did have a couple of people say, you know, don't you think that that is going to offend people? They think that's very smart. And my comeback until today goes back to my why am I doing this, is that cookies aren't serious, cookies are fun. This is just a fun name and if this offends people, I'm very sorry about that, and I can't please everybody. And you know, the people that offend probably aren't the people that are going to buy the cookies, and I'm okay with that. I just can't be everything to everybody.

Sari  10:17  
Yeah, I love that. I mean, we talk a lot about brand identity and in some ways, I think a lot of people are like, I want my product to be for everyone. And then it's just so vanilla, and it just blands everything down. Instead, you're like, no, this is kind of a little in your face. It's fun. It's meant to be a little cheeky, right? And we've really shaped the whole brand identity in the new packaging, and you know, some of the fun things that you do with the brand, it gives it a real identity, and the people who resonate with it are going to be more of your raving fans and really, you know, committed. They're really, you know, those loyal customers, versus just trying to be like, you know, super bland and not offend anybody. So not that everybody needs to have a name that might be a little like, what, you know, but it does make people stop, and then you're going to have like your big fans that really connect with you.

Stephanie  11:17  
Yeah, definitely. And I think that most people sort of smirk when they hear the name, or they laugh out loud. Or they say, oh, my gosh, I can be your mascot. I get a lot of like, I'll be your mascot. And, you know, it's just joyful. And yes, part of the brand identity is cheeky, joyful, fun. And I just want it all to come across that way because life does have hard times, and I've experienced plenty. And also life is meant to be fun and we all need to find the joy. And it's one of those, both can be true.

Sari  12:00  
Yeah, absolutely. Both happen at the same time. And I love your tagline, right? When life gives you lemons, eat cookies. So it kind of helps capture exactly what this brand is all about. Let's go with it. I think you lean into it. And there are brands that are just going to have stronger messaging, and that's a good thing. I really want people to take that away. You know, like whatever your identity is, like lean hard into it and have something that sets yourself apart.

Stephanie  12:31  
Yes, absolutely. 

Sari  12:33  
Tell us about the cookies themselves because they are unique as well.

Stephanie  12:36  
So it's a cookie brittle. So this is never chewy, never gooey. It is a cookie brittle. So if people asked like is it peanut brittle? No, it's not peanut brittle. It's literally it's just a cookie, that's a brittle. So if you are the type of person who likes more of a crispy cookie than the big soft ones, this would definitely be for you. It's a little bit sweet. It is a little bit savory and a little bit salty. So it has chocolate chips. We have a few different flavors but the original has chocolate chips and dark chocolate and it has a little bit of spice in it. And it's sort of the perfect cookie for people who don't like the overly sweet. I have a lot of those people in my family and I have a total sweet tooth, but they all don't. And so this cookie is sort of for everybody and it can it can go with any food. It can go on a charcuterie board really well with wine, with coffee, with milk, ice cream. We've tried it with beer. We've seen people drinking it with our drinking whiskey with it. It's across the board all day. Yeah.

Sari  13:54  
It's kind of an adult, yeah, it's an adult cookie where you can indulge your inner fat kids. It's very good.

Stephanie  14:02  
Yes, exactly. And our target, yeah, we have seen kids like it. It does have a little spice. So really our target is adult.

Sari  14:14  
So you launched the business originally as Cottage Food and you got started, it was the first bag you sent me was, you know the craft paper bag with I think window, right, and some simple logo and home printed labels. So you got that started and what happened, how did you get the word out about that?

Stephanie  14:38  
So I just sort of put a blast out to friends and family when I first started it. I was baking out in my kitchen. I did it a little bit for a moment. While I had been thinking about it, I built a website and I decided to do it all within one week and in that same week had my first orders. So it was a little insane, I also didn't do a great job of researching things because turns out we are on propane. While propane, using an oven is not financially efficient. So I did do that for a couple of months and then with your guidance, I found a commercial kitchen that I've been baking out ever since. And in order to use the commercial kitchen, I went through the process to get my wholesale and manufacturing license. And then, you know, just decided the craft bags were great for the start. But when I went ahead and upgraded to the pre printed bags, it just really boosted everything.

Sari  15:52  
Yeah. And that's pretty recent. But yeah, you kept it up, you iterated and I mean, you did exactly what I recommend, like, go prove the concept and do it as cost efficiently as possible. Maybe the propane oven wasn't the best idea. But it still got it out there and you got the website out and you launched it and you got feedback. And you know, you were making a little sales here and there, and just getting people excited about the cookie. I think one of the things I remember from you is just people were like, oh, when you're ready to do wholesale, or when you're ready to do this, let me know. You know, people really do love the cookies. So you just kind of kept putting one foot in front of the other and like, okay, this is working, go to the next step, go to the next step. And so you got it launched. And then yeah, you came and joined Food Business Success. And the first time I talked to you, I was like, ah, I love her. She's going to be amazing. But I could also see how you were getting in your own way. And, you know, like you were putting it out there. But it was kind of like, two steps forward, one step back. I don't know, would you agree with that? 

Stephanie  17:06  
Oh, definitely. Because this is something that I have no experience in. I mean, I have never done anything to this scale in terms of selling a product. And also there are so many rules and regulations about everything involved. I mean, you know, the text size on the bag, and all the baking restrictions. And while I don't have a high risk product, there are still a lot of, you know, there are a lot of hoops to jump through. And honestly, I don't think, I think I probably could have figured this out by myself. But it would have taken me a couple of years. It's so worth it. It's just like what you always say is, it's not how, it's who, and I really believe in that because you can get ahead so much faster if you ask. And you find people that can help you and guide you.

Sari  17:08  
Thank you. And so yeah, you moved to the commercial kitchen, you got the license. And then I think that summer, like late summer you came, we had a call and you're like I'm ready to start doing one on one coaching. You had also gone through another kind of life shift with your parents and so I think, you know, life keeps happening, right? And all the while that we're still working on our businesses, and it's going to go faster and slower at certain times. But then I think what you did a really good job of is recognizing like, okay, I worked through some of that life stuff. And now I'm ready to like, really commit and go in.

Stephanie  18:49  
Yes, and I mean, last summer, I really took the whole summer off and I recognized that I needed to give thought to myself and not push myself because I'm the only one that getting myself is that blinds and it felt good to be able to just make a decision, to take a little bit of time off. I mean, in the last two years, I had lost all three, my son and then my mom and then my dad so it has been a rough couple of years. And I knew that I wasn't ready to really give this my all until I was actually really ready and that was last fall and I feel like the private coaching was very helpful because again, it just got me ahead much quicker than I would have been able to by myself.

Sari  19:41  
We had a couple big goals around, I think just looking at the financials, the profitability of it. We value engineered the cookies, they originally had nut so here we're like, do these need nuts? These are expensive. You know, is this a nut cookie or do people even care? And so we ended up taking the nuts out, which I think was a great move. And then we did the packaging, but just really working on the financial foundations of the business. And then you were also getting ready for a trade show.

Stephanie  20:15  
Yeah. So yes, the financial piece was, I feel so much better, just that I have, you know, a set time on my calendar. Every week, I look at the money. And I look at exactly where I am. And that just helps me feel so much more in control. Montana has a part of their commerce department. And they have a program called Made in Montana. So I have applied to be part of that and they have a trade show. So I applied to be in the trade show. This was in March. I mean, until this trade show, I had never done any shows. I went to that trade show with you in Vegas, the Fancy Food Show. And part of the reason I went to that I just wanted to know, what is it all about? What do I need, you know, just get a view on like, what is a trade show exactly? So I did this trade show in March and it was amazing. It was two days, one day was open to wholesale buyers. And then the next day was open to the public. And through that show I am now in I think I'm up to 22 or 23 stores here in Montana. And all of those but two came from that trade show, which was amazing. And even the days that it was open to the public, it was really great way to just get a sense of people's responses. I took like 2000 samples for those two days and sold a lot of cookies and just loved the feedback from people. And it was very encouraging. And I was really nervous about it. But I was so so glad that I did it. It was really great. Encouraged me that definitely I want to do it again. But also I've signed up for a couple of shows this summer. And so I'm excited about it.

Sari  22:13  
Yeah, so fun. I know, you know, we did have a wholesale strategy, we were talking about that as part of the, you know, you didn't really do a refresh on your brand but we got the new bags and just kind of really tightening all of that up. And so you had these great new pre printed beautiful bags. And we worked on like, okay, what's our pricing for wholesale? How do we present this? And you had two stores near where you live, which was awesome. But then, like 10x that in one day. You went big!

Stephanie  22:52  
Yes, it's a little crazy. And every time something happens, I'm realizing, oh, gosh, I have to learn a whole new thing. Which is also really great because it makes it a challenge and exciting. But so one of the other pieces that I have really loved about being part of your group is that I have now made some friends who, you know, are doing similar things and might have different products. But, you know, we're going through the same process. And it's been great to be able to bounce things off of people. And also just to not feel alone. Because now that I have all these stores, now I'm having to do the, you know, manage those relationships. It's like a whole job just by itself. Also, I'm excited about it. Yeah, I feel like the relationship piece I can do.

Sari  23:49  
Absolutely. I love that you said that because there are some really cool relationships that come out of this. I mean, it's not just about working with me but it's just an awesome group inside Fuel. And, you know, we went to Fancy Food. And that's the second year I've done that where I bring a group of clients and everybody ends up like connecting with each other and then having. You know, everybody has each other's numbers and texting and it's just so nice to have somebody be like, hey, Maggie, tell me about what you did in this situation, right? And what would you do? And it's so cool because this is, you know, you're a solopreneur. You're not in an area that's particularly, you know, booming with other entrepreneurs especially in the CPG space. So having access to, you know, a community and other people, I think is really important.

Stephanie  24:45  
I definitely agree. It's been really fun and it's been fun to be able to support one another and just like the check ins and you know, even just being in the Slack channel, I just think that all of it is beneficial when you're trying to do any sort of work but something new especially because when you're learning, it's helpful to be able to ask questions.

Sari  25:16  
Otherwise, we just get in our heads, we make things way too complicated. We go down rabbit holes and then we get overwhelmed. This is all, you know, this maybe hypothetically has happened to me. Where you just get overwhelmed, and then you're like, ah, screw it, and then you go into a funk. And then you get back motivated again, right? It's like, let's just, you know, we can actually stop that cycle, get support, not feel so alone, and then get back into it, it really speeds things up.

Stephanie  25:50  
Yeah, that is definitely true. And the other part of that is, you know, while I have been an entrepreneur, pretty much most of my adult life, this is the first time that I have really done something that requires me to know so many different areas. Because while photography, I was an entreprenuer, and it was there was business side to it, I wasn't really dealing with a lot of people at once. And so this is very different, the financial piece of it, like even just when we've gone through figuring out the roles and responsibilities, I mean, eventually, it would be so great to have employees, but I'm not there yet. But all of this to get it prepped so that when I do get there, I'm ready for it is going to be amazing.

Sari  26:45  
And what you recognized is there's the maker part of it where you're like, I make the most amazing cookies and everybody tells me how awesome they are. And people keep asking me for the recipe and I'm like, hmm, I think I'm going to start a business and you did, like you got it going, you got over the first hurdle of kind of being the maker and starting, tiptoeing into entrepreneurship. But I mean, ultimately, to go beyond a hobby business, you have to start learning the hats of being a manager and being the CEO of your business. And that's just not something, it's pretty rare that people will be like, really good at the making part. And then also really good at the business side of things. And that's okay, like, come to this loving your product, but get help with the other pieces.

Stephanie  26:45  
Yes, because it's definitely possible to learn all of the different areas. But I feel like it would be very unusual to come in knowing everything already and not needing the guidance and the help, you know, because again, it just helps you get a little bit further faster than you would otherwise.

Sari  28:05  
And so it was such a perfect timing because we were wrapping up our one-on-one coaching and I just kind of had this epiphany that like I need to start this Master Your Business Program in January. And so you join that program, which I think, you know, we did a lot of like the individual work and the bag and you know, your specific plan, but in Master Your Business, we really focused on kind of that bigger, broader business setup, and learning like you said, I need to be the CFO of my business. I need to put time on my calendar to do my cash flow and look at my numbers. And then you're so much more empowered, right? You understand what's going on in your business. What does that experience like now that you've made that a habit?

Stephanie  28:55  
It's so great, I love that I'm such a nerd, I love that I've made that a habit because it's just that like, I know that that's what I'm going to do on Mondays. And I now you know, the first couple of times, it took me a little bit of time to gather all the information and put it in the spreadsheet. But now that I've done it for, you know, multiple months, it's gotten easier, and it just feels like I'm doing things the right way. And that feels really good. I also want to incorporate, you know, the marketing onto Mondays and I really want to designate all of these different days for different things. And I'm also the type of person that needs to just do one thing at a time and then get it down and then move on to the next thing and so that it can all be a piece of my weekly calendar but as of right now that's like the most important piece of it for me and it's just really nice to know your numbers. It just feels like you're a real business when you know your number.

Right, and so many people resist. They're like, I don't know, I just want to make my product, I don't want to look at my numbers. But ultimately, it's that shift of going from a maker to being like, actually, I love my product and that's amazing. But I also love my business. And I love knowing my business and I love learning about business. I mean, that's really the shift that needs to happen for you, for anybody to create a long term business. One, that's not just a hobby. I mean, it's okay, if you're just like, I just want to, you know, pay for my vacation every year. That's awesome. But for you, you're like, no, I want this to be my business. I want this to be my income and I have big plans, right? I want to take this bigger than just a little hobby thing.

Yes. I mean, you know, it all sort of wraps into one another but like just the jump into the pre printed bags was a big sense. But I feel so much more confident with these new bags, and they look like, you know, what you would buy at the store. And I think that every step up you take into putting more into the business just makes it more likely that you can take it to where you want it to be. And as long as you're dedicated to doing the hard work, you know, there's no reason that you can't meet your goals, and achieve them.

Absolutely. And getting the support and the outside expertise. And just I love that you are always like, I'm always growing, I want to keep learning, I want to keep making it better. And, you know, this is all leading up to opening up Master Your Business for another group. But I loved, you really invested your time into that program, and I think you came away with so much that's changed your business for the better.

Definitely, I think it was definitely worthwhile. And I did, I learned so much. I mean, I felt like I was like going back to school. You know. I mean, I've been learning so much. And I also love that I'm using my brain so much. It's like I'm exercising my brain constantly. And I just appreciate that because as I get older, I don't want to slow down. I just want to keep moving forward. And the Master Your Business Course was fantastic for just the business basics, and even helping me to figure out, you know, how to approach wholesale buyers. And what do I need to have to approach wholesale buyers? And what do I need to have for my finances? And I mean, just all of it was really helpful.

You know, you mentioned setting up your org chart, like thinking about, okay, when my business is. Right now you're doing all the things but if you start thinking about your business, and in its series of functions, and titles, then you can be like, okay, what's the first thing I can outsource but I got to create processes around these things. I got to create standards, and I need to know it so I can actually train somebody else when I'm ready to let go of that piece. And even understanding the financials because what's the trigger for that place where you can outsource, right? Like sometimes people want to do it all at once or like just get this off my plate. And we abdicate responsibility but we don't even know how to do it ourselves. And then we get mad when that person doesn't do it "right". So we didn't even clarify what the right way was because we didn't take the time to do it. So I love that you're investing the time right now. And kind of this, not that you're going slow. I mean, you know, you've 10x your wholesale accounts but you are being methodical and strategic about setting up your business for that long term vision.

Yeah, I definitely am. I don't want to get to a place where, you know, I do make some decision that's going to shut down my business basically. I just feel like it's better to be a little bit for me, a little bit more on the cautious side and grow as I'm ready to grow.

Maybe not push too far out ahead like get too far. You know, I think that gets people in trouble when they make too many investments upfront and they over hire, they over invest and all these outside services, but they don't even have the base yet. But then sometimes, you know, people go way too slow where you're like, okay, we got to like, actually have to make some investments. I think you treaded a nice fine balance. 

Yes, there has to be a balance. 

You know, it's easy for us to be like, oh, everything's going amazing. But what's, you know, what are you struggling with? How do you handle the wind? You know, not every day is, is rainbows and unicorns, like to say?

No, definitely not. And it's a lot of hard work. And right now I am, like my current this week issue is I need to figure out a place to store the packaged cookies that is like cool because the chocolate melts. And in shipping, I'm working on solutions to keep the packaging cool. And I mean, there's just honestly, there's like a new challenge every time I turn around, there's something new. So it's definitely not all fun and games but it's been really worth it. I mean, the frustrations are there. But overall, when I look back at the last, you know, little more than a year, I am a little bit like, wow, I have learned a lot. And you know, a year ago, or two years ago this summer, this wasn't even a thing. So I'm doing pretty good considering, you know, I started from scratch.

Oh, you're doing amazing. And I told you before we started recording, I really want this podcast to be a just a celebration of you. I just think you're an incredible woman, incredible human. And I've had so much fun getting to know you and but yeah, it's not all, everyday is not just like, this is so fun. But it's the getting through it right and developing tools and being willing to be resilient and keep problem solving. Because we always say there's always 10 problems in your business all the time. Just the problems, they just change, the problems change, right?

Right. They're just new problems. Yeah, they're just new problems. But they're all problems you can solve.

Yes, they are. Every problem's figureable as Marie Forleo says that they're all solvable. And part of it's developing that mindset of like, okay, new problem. How are we going to solve this? And you mentioned the who not how strategy, right? Of just like, okay, who can I ask, who's done this before? Like you're not going to know everything. But you have a lot of who's in life that support you.

Well, and there's yeah, and there's no reason to, like start at zero when you do know people will offer you help if you ask, and they'll offer you, you know, suggestions for, you know, solving problems or, you know, resources. I mean, people are out there and they want to help. So it's really worth finding out who you can reach out to around you.

Yeah, and I'm so excited. We did a little mini mastermind after our first cohort for Master Your Business. So you're going to continue on, and we're going to do a monthly call and a mastermind. And I just, I know that big things are in store for you. And we've talked about like the 10x version of your business and then working from that future. And I love that you're willing to consider that and embrace that. And you're becoming the CEO that your business needs you to be.

Yeah, it's crazy. But it's great. It's really nice to challenge myself in this way. I took a step to do this and now here I am. And I think that, you know, through my life I have spent a lot of time just sort of accepting what comes my way. And just going along with no big master plan. And I am finally at the point where it's time for me to have a master plan and like go after what I want not just what comes to me.

I love that you said that. I think that's going to resonate with a lot of people that's part of that reinvention coaching, right, that we've talked about where it's like, no, I want to be the master of my life and I want to direct it and choose it and be intentional about it. So I love that.

I have recently been keeping that in mind sort of daily. And it's just a better mindset for me honestly because it's just the same as setting control over my numbers, you know, I'm doing that every Monday. Well why am I not doing that with my life and like the direction it's going? 

Yeah, you're driving the ship now. And you're like, I'm going to have this big business, and it's going to be my income and support me. And we had a call where we kind of talked about that big vision and getting clear on that and saying, okay, well, then what needs to happen to make that a reality? And then we just get to work.

Exactly. Yeah. And if I want to be somebody, and like you pointed out, if you want to be this person when you're 60, when are you going to start the process of being that person? You know, and when I started thinking of it in those terms, I thought, yeah, like I mean, I could have thought that at 40, saying, what do you want to be at 54? I mean, I just haven't had that mindset until now. And I'm very thankful to have that mindset now because it feels good to have direction.

Yeah, that's what we all want, right? I mean, that's usually the reason why people start businesses in the first place is they want more control and freedom and you know, just ability to choose their own destiny but then a lot of times we don't actually define that vision ahead of time. So then we're still kind of bumping around and then it gets hard and then a lot of people quit. And so having that longer term vision really helps keep you in the game, right? You have a very strong why of why you started. But I think we've developed or hopefully, you're going to keep developing an even stronger future vision as well. So you have both the push, right? The deep why but then also that future part that's like, pulling you towards it? So fun to watch and be a part of your journey. What has been, I mean, it's got to be so cool looking back over a little less than two years, what's been some of the biggest surprises for you along this journey?

Honestly, one of the big surprises is that, I mean, it's been a surprise that I've been able to get it this far in this amount of time. And when I look at the bags and stuff, and I think like, wow, that is something that I did, that it's surprising, because it's just so new. And when I started with the craft bag, you know, I didn't really know where it was going to go. I just didn't. But it's also been surprising to learn how, I don't know if it's surprising is a word, but it's been great to learn how to pivot through all of the challenges, honestly. Like I think I'm surprised to think that that has been great.

Yes, yeah. You're like, wait, resilience is actually cool. Not that it's not hard. But I mean, things that are really worthwhile, right ,are the things that are more challenging. And so you have so much to be proud of. And one thing we always love to do, and in all of my programs is celebrate the wins along the way. And I know I could go back and look at all of your wins, and just see how much you've changed and grown and progressed over the years.

Nice to have gotten this far into this. I mean, it's only a year and a half. But it's nice to have gotten this far into it and feel like I have a stable foundation that I can keep growing on. Because I think that without all of the knowledge, I would still be just sort of stumbling along and definitely in the craft bags, because I wouldn't have had any idea how to get out of that space.

Yeah, I mean, one of the things coaching does that I like to offer is this possibility drops and like, well, what if you could get into this store? What if you could do this and helping you see what's possible for you that more is available? And it's yeah, there's always risk and there's always going to be some fear. But you have been willing to say yes, like okay, let me take that risk. Let me take that next thing. Try that next step.

Yeah, I definitely think that it's been worth it. It has been risky, it just has. But it has been worth all of the risk and all that I've invested into it.

What I've seen is you know, we talked about standards and in Master Your Business, but you've raised your standards in a lot of ways since you started for sure. But honestly even in the last six months, your standards for just the fact that you're like looking at my finances and pre planning this and creating systems and I'm sure even in your personal life creating new standards. Because that's what a CEO does, right? And that's the beauty of entrepreneurship, is it grows you as a person, not just as in one area of your life.

One of the things I've really tried to do in the past couple of months, especially, is really dedicate time for business and time for personal. And so I have an office that's detached from the house. And so, you know, it depends on the day, but when I'm in my office working at 5:30 or 6, whatever time it is, or maybe even 4:30, I just go outside, I closed the door, and I turn it off for the night. Because that is why I wanted to work for myself, you know, I want to be able to still have a life and appreciate that I have a business side and the home side,

That is a beautiful evolution. Because at the beginning, we're just all in it and it's all consuming. Finding those balances and running the business, not letting it run you.

Running the business and not letting it run you is so important. And you can't do that every day, there are definitely times that definitely this business is running my life. And that's okay because there are other times that it's not. And those are the times that I started, take a breath and appreciate that moment that I'm in.

What are you most excited about, as you look ahead for the summer and into the yeah, the rest of 2023?

Well, I'm excited to just grow it more honestly. I'm excited for the two shows that I signed up for up here. I think that they're going to be a great way to get the cookies out there to more people. A lot of my business has been online sales, and so I am excited to get more of base of supporters closer by and I'm just excited about the whole thing. I'm excited to get into new stores. I'm also looking forward and excited and a little bit nervous to see how the cookies do in all of these stores that they are in now. Because you know, people don't know what they are. So along with the cookies, I have some samples. Because at least the people that work in the store, I'm hoping that, you know, they can give it praise if somebody seems to be wanting to buy the bag. And I just think like I'm excited about the future and the possibilities. And just watching it grow and being able to learn more and go back and you know, really fill out all of the forms that were in the Master Your Business class that I haven't gotten to yet. And so that I have a solid business plan and all the processes are recorded and everything.

I love it. Yeah, I mean, a 12 week course, you know, it's really hard to be like three months, you're going to have everything done as much as everybody would love that to happen. But reality is it takes time. And it's a layering on process. So it's always there for you to go back and you're just going to keep, you know, keep making progress and keep moving it along and layering it on. I'd love for you to tell people where they can find you. And then you have a special offer if people want to try the cookies, which I highly recommend everybody does seriously, they will be your new favorite go to indulgence. So yeah, tell us where they can find you.

I am online, it's fatkidcookiecompany.com, the same on Instagram and Facebook. So Fat Kid Cookie Company on both of those. I have a special code for 10% off your first order. And that code for this podcast is podcast10.

I'm using.

If anybody has questions or anything, you know, you can contact me through the website. I'm probably better at answering emails than DMS. But if you DM me, I will get around to it. It just might take a couple of days.

Fair enough. Sometimes those are hard to find. I'm like where are my DMs? Oh, whoops, that's been there.

Yeah, they get down the line so quickly that it's hard to keep track a little bit.

And Stephanie still joins us on Fuel on occasion and so yeah, she's in the community and just somebody that I love it that you know, you are willing to ask other people for help but you're also very available and want to help others. So it's a beautiful thing.

It's one of those payback things, right? I mean, you always want to pay it forward.

Absolutely. Love it. Well, what's that last piece of advice you would give somebody thinking about starting or growing their business?

My last piece of advice would be not to let the fear of change or the unknown hold you back in anything really, in life, in business. You can conquer those things. I try my hardest to not let fear guide me and that's how I got here. With you.

I love it. Oh, so glad you came on this journey. And you said yes. And didn't let the fear hold you back. Because change is going to happen one way or the other. Just what side do you want to be on? Do you want to be, you know, leading it and being kind of choosing it on purpose or letting it happen to you?

Yeah, change is inevitable. So embrace it.

Yes. I love it. Well, thank you so much for joining me today, Stephanie. This conversation flew by but I hope people go and check out your website, get on your email list. I know you're working on some fun emails and, you know, mastering that area of your business. I think people could learn from you there and go try the cookies and go follow her online and on all the socials because Fat Kid Cookie Company is going places. She's got a big goal, and we're getting after it.

Yeah, I would love it if people would follow. Follow us and sign up for the email list. And we're working on, we're just working on improving everything and the cookies really are delicious. I know, I'm biased, but they are delicious. And Sari, you've been a big part of this, and I just really appreciate your support.

Amazing, it's been an honor. Well have an amazing rest of your day and thanks again for being on the podcast.

You too, Sari, thank you.

I hope you're feeling inspired, that you are feeling motivated and know that this is possible for you. Stephanie is going places and I'm so honored to be part of her journey and I know it's possible for you. So if you want support, if you want help because you've never done this before. Come join Master Your Business. Either join us in May or get on the waitlist if you're listening to this at another time. The website is masteryourbiz.co and I would love to see you in that program. Until next time, have an amazing week!


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