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Full Transcript


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 journeys 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 back to the podcast. So glad you are here. Before we get started, I wanted to give you a little bit of context and that this podcast was recorded I think about three weeks ago. And so I refer to things like yesterday and last night or whatever, doesn't really matter. But I just wanted to let you know that in case you're confused, that's what happened. And I just decided B Minus Work, I'm not going to go back and try to fix those. But that might help it make a little bit more sense. All right, let's jump in to the episode, we are talking about feedback. Now when you hear the word feedback, most likely, you don't necessarily think of positive feedback. We tend to respond to feedback, we think it's probably going to be negative. When someone walks up to you at your farmers market booth and says, I have some feedback for you. Most likely, we start to brace ourselves for negative feedback. But the reality is, is that we need feedback to become better, to help us see our blind spots, to grow in our business. And ultimately, without feedback, we don't innovate, we don't get better. We don't serve the needs of our customers, and our business is probably not going to thrive and survive. If you think of like Blackberry, remember those? That is a great example of a company that did not take feedback, from their customers, from what was happening around them. And ultimately, they went the way of the dinosaurs, right? They were not able to respond. And while they were super cool for a while, and eventually everybody transitioned out of those. And so it's really important as an entrepreneur that we become more adept, more skilled, at asking for and receiving feedback. And I did an episode already 167, about how to get the best kind of feedback. And I referenced a book, I love Adam Grant. And he has a new book called Hidden Potential. And he talks more about the best ways to request feedback. And it's really important that we be asking for feedback frequently as entrepreneurs when you're getting up and "performing" whether you are sending emails, whether you are making offers at a farmers market booth, whether you're on social media, your website, all of these ways that you're putting yourself out there. And yes, you do need to be putting yourself out there if you are a business, and asking the right people, for one, for the right kind of feedback. And he offers a methodology which I love of asking people to rate something 1 to 10 and then asking for one specific piece of advice that they could give to improve that score. And he would call that your first score. And if you listen to that episode, I put out a request, I created a survey, really trying to follow his methodology and ask for better feedback, not just like, do you like it? Or tell me, you know, what you think about it, but like ask really good open ended questions and also ask for ratings. So that was part of 167 episode. And then today I want to talk about your second score. So when you actually receive that feedback, unsolicited or solicited, right? We often will receive feedback that we did not request, that we did not ask for from customers, from people in our world. The idea of the second score coming from Adam Grant is that it's the number that you would give yourself 1 through 10, your rating on how well you receive that feedback. And many of us when we think about receiving feedback, which again is usually, we brace ourselves, because we kind of expect that it's going to be negative feedback, think about how you start to get physically, what the reactions are in your body. I get kind of like a feeling of pressure, my throat gets a little closed, maybe your heart rate gets a little bit faster. And what actually happens physiologically is that our brains, it's like part of our, I don't know, fight or flight, some kind of survival response that is like, I am going to just filter out only, like, I'm going to filter in only the things that are like the worst things, and then obsess on that. Because somehow it's part of my survival. And so have you ever noticed that when somebody emails you, or maybe post a comment on a social media post, or you're at a farmers market, and somebody's like, hey, can I give you some feedback? And the first part might be like, glowing, might be like, really lovely things. But we like kind of get like tunnel vision, where we're looking for the negative thing. Sometimes people give us the, you know, the shit sandwich where it's like, the good, the not so good, and then a good thing. But even with that, our brains are like pulling out the bad thing. And then we obsess on that. And we ruminate, and get all worked up about it, right? What we can do as entrepreneurs is get better at receiving feedback and understanding that not all feedback is coming from the right kind of people, like your grandma giving you feedback about your logo. If she's not your target customer then we can say thank you, grandma. But you know, and we know you have to follow up with anything. Thank you for your feedback. And doesn't mean we have to apply that, right? Just because it's feedback doesn't mean it as applicable to you. That said, I'm a big believer of saying where can I see the truth in this? And usually the things that are the most triggering for you, the things that you have the biggest response to in your body are the things that you need to look at. They're probably true and you're having a reaction against it, trying to stuff it down. And so I like to ask myself, you know, how is this true? Where is there some truth in this? It's like when we are criticizing somebody else for being judgmental, it's often because we are feeling super judgmental ourselves, maybe judging our own selves or judging others. And then we're ironically criticizing somebody else for being judgmental. Same kind of thing happens here, whatever the feedback is, if it's triggering, and this, I work with my clients sometimes because they'll tell me stuff, and it's not triggering at all. I'm like, okay, you're fine, like a client, a customer, or somebody gives them feedback. And there's nothing that's totally neutral. And then sometimes, there's like a tiny little thing that someone will say, and there's a big response to it. And I'm like, let's go there. Let's talk about why that is so triggering for you, like, where's all this big emotion coming up from? And so it's really important to look at those things. I mean, you guys know, if you know me at all that I believe entrepreneurship is a vehicle for personal growth, to become a better person, and grow an amazing business that you love and is profitable along the way. But you have to grow, you have to change, you have to evolve, you have to innovate, and become a better version of yourself, become that CEO, the true entrepreneur. And so I think one of the first things that Adam Grant would say is, how to get a good score, is to just say thank you, right? Whether you agree with it or not, just thank you for your feedback, noted.

And I think a lot of times our first response, you can think about how you respond to feedback, especially when it's triggering is to say, I know that already or kind of come back very defensive, right? Our defenses go way up when we start to see the flags of feedback coming. And that's just a human thing. I don't know that we're ever going to be able to totally get rid of it. I still have when somebody responds in an email and wants to give me feedback on something I said or did even if it's the smallest thing, right? There's a misspelling, or a link doesn't work or something like that I'd like, I still have like that pain that quick like, oh, you know of like, oh, I don't want to look at this, I don't want to see it, I don't want to feel bad. And then, but I can move past it pretty quickly and say, okay, not a big deal. Or I can just let them have their opinion. And I don't even need to respond. Or I can just respond back and say, thank you for your feedback, noted. I don't have to tell people what I'm going to do. I can if I want. But I recommend that you start small. And notice how you, just start witnessing yourself, become the observer of how do you respond when people give you feedback, because I'm often on the other side where I am giving feedback to you, to people I meet at farmer's markets or out and about, to people inside Fuel, to my clients. And hopefully, if you've signed up, if you're in my programs, you want feedback, right? But I do notice that there are the people who, you know, just respond very defensively, I know, I know, or just kind of glare at me. And I do try to ask permission at a market and say, can I give you feedback? But I get it, we're not always in a great place to receive that especially if you've had a bad day. Think about, the context is very important, for sure. So in any case, I recommend, how can you start asking for feedback in small ways, and do it appropriately, do it the right way. Go listen to episode 167, on How to Get Better Feedback. And then just start like developing that skill, noticing how you respond, what your initial tendency is? And then, can you just come up with the word thank you? So that's a great way just to get a much higher score on receiving good feedback. And then how can you sitting with it and saying, what is true here? What do I want to know is? Is any of this like resonated with me? And even if I don't want to look at it, can I make some changes? Should I make some changes? Do I want to make some changes here? How can this make me better? And I want to tie this all back to I just yesterd reviewed the survey results more in depth and it was interesting. There was a few times I checked it and I was like, oh, I'm not in a good space to read this. And even though 80% of it was glowing, high praise, and thank yous and good things to say. There was 20% of it that was like, oh, this is hard to hear, you know, and some of my initial responses were kind of like, well, they don't know. And, you know, some of that defensiveness, and so I got myself into a good place. Because I was asking for feedback, right? I was soliciting it on purpose intentionally. Because I want to see what you guys are thinking. Ultimately, I do want to always get better, I want to create things that really serve you and help you and provide tons of value. And so I reviewed the feedback yesterday, and made some notes and just kind of sat with it for a little bit. And there was definitely a few things that felt a little triggering. And I had to say, okay, where's their truth in this and how can I make tiny little adjustments? So if you will indulge me, I want to just give you a couple of highlights in each of the areas and I want to let you know how I am going to be making some changes, some improvements, and there's going to be some things that it's just a no, it's like, thank you, for your opinion, noted. And it's so funny because you'll probably notice this too, is that, you know, let's say you have cookies, right? And somebody's going to be like, oh, these cookies are too soft and these cookies and then somebody else would be like these two cookies are too hard, too crispy. And you're like huh, same exact cookies. And it's totally that way as I looked over those surveys like one person would give me feedback in one direction and then the very next thing would be like the opposite. Like stop talking about yourself and just make it all about strategy and the tactics and then the next one would be like, open up more about yourself. We want to hear about your personal life. Oh, like huh, okay. All right. That's all right. So I think the trick is like finding what feels true for you, right? And how can we kind of let those things like what marinate and let the best things come to the top and be willing to make some changes but also not take it so personally and not make it mean anything about me as a person and my own self worth.

Master Your Business is now open. If you find yourself feeling the pain of being a solopreneur, having to wear all the hats, feeling a little chained to your business where you cannot leave it without it losing revenue, and that you have to do all of the work. If you don't work in your business, it does not make money. And this program is all about setting up proper financial foundations, really building up your financial literacy as a CEO, and then also creating systems and processes so that it becomes a self managing company, one that you can hire confidently and know that things will be done to your level of expectation, so that you can go on a vacation. So that you can actually enjoy your business and have fun. If you're feeling like your business is running you and you never have time to work on your business because you're so busy in your business, then Master Your Business is the program for you. It is ideal for brand founders and partners who already have a product launched and are in sales, or you are imminently about to launch your product. Set up the system, set up the foundations now before it gets too complex and untangling it is a mess. Here's what one recent participants said about the course. If you're like me and coming to this business without any past experience, working with Sari in MYB will be such a huge help. From actionable mindset exercises to concrete cashflow, and forecasting templates, and workshops where you will leave knowing what you need to do to actually be a CEO of your business, I would definitely recommend working with her to get your skills and knowledge up. And another participant said we signed up for MYB right before we launched our product and the course was instrumental in helping us feel confident in our ability to move forward. We started out a clueless overwhelmed mess, boom 12 weeks of MYB, and we now have systems in place, a business plan for the next year, and so many resources to reference back to when needed. So thankful for MYB. Over 30 people have gone through the Master Your Business program in 2023 and it has been dialed in, and it is proven to be very helpful for the people who have gone through it and start implementing the tools and the concepts that we talked about. So if you are feeling a little out of control, if you're wondering when this business is finally going to start making money, when you're finally going to have the fun and the freedom that you dreamed about when you actually started this business, I want to encourage you to go get signed up for Master Your Business. We start on February 6th, and it is 12 weeks long. And as a huge bonus, one of the things that members of the program say is that they love the community aspect. They love the cohort and the relationships that come out of it. So that is just an extra bonus. Plus you also get lifetime access to Food Business Success. And you get a three month membership inside Fuel VIP for even more support. This program only opens two times a year, it'll be February and it'll run again in September. So don't miss out on the opportunity to join me inside Master Your Business. It's time for you to become the CEO and start running a business with more intentionality, more insight and have better tools to make better decisions. I would love to see you inside, go to masteryourbiz.co for all the deets.

So the podcast. I would say overall everything received 7 to 10, was generally the average. As I asked for ratings 1 through 10. The podcast you guys asked for more early stage founder interviews, more concrete strategies, keep them short, more expert guests, and open up more about myself. So all of that is doable. And I have been having more interviews with folks, I feel energized again to do more interviews. So more of that is coming, more concrete strategies. So noted, thank you so much. YouTube channel, it was interesting, profitability and finances topic was like the big leader on things that you like to see videos about. I will just say that all of this way more in depth is inside the Food Business Success program. Keep in mind that YouTube is a marketing strategy, it is a top of the funnel as you start working in your business, your whole thing is how do you get people into your world, right? And we call the top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, bottom of the funnel. And the top of the funnel is the big net, right? We're trying to capture people with some interest to come learn more about you and your products. And so YouTube is that, is one of those vehicles for me. And I enjoy putting out those videos but they are extremely time consuming, take a lot of effort. And so you may have noticed I have not been doing YouTube very much, that's been strategic, just because I've focused elsewhere. But I do want to let you know, if you want more on profitability and finances, Food Business Success, there is an entire module with cashflow, cost of goods sold, forecasting, profit first. I mean, we do so much around finances and then we do even more in Master Your Business where we really get into that because I believe that for you to be successful as a business, for you to have longevity and actually like your business over time, you have to be set up financially, you have to understand the foundations of your business, and know profitability and finances. So come join, come get Food Business Success, that program exists, and more is in there. And then like I said, I'm just not putting a ton of energy into it right now, loved all of your topics, suggestions, something I'll definitely keep in mind potentially for future videos. Workshops and trainings, I offer a lot of free workshops, a lot of low cost workshops and trainings. These things do take time, they are very time consuming to put together. There's a whole back end that you guys don't need to know anything about. But definitely a lot of effort goes into those as well as creating the content and everything. Branding, sell sheets, food labeling, legal, and social media were all requested for more workshops and trainings. And I will just say that, again, everything are inside Food Business Success, and inside Fuel. Like on the day I'm recording this, Kayla King, who was on the podcast a couple of weeks ago, she is coming into Fuel VIP, and we are going to have our phones out and she's going to help us make our social media easier and better. And so when these topics come up, I've created a whole video just on cell sheets and what needs to be on it. That said, we are putting, I'm so excited Danny with Peak State, he is coming on this year inside Fuel. And he is super excited to coach more of you and to really support you. So he and I will be partnering up on some things and we are going to do a workshop this spring. And then he's going to put together a schedule of these, Get It Done workshops, where we just want to help you actually just get it done, leave with finished work, not just more information on all the stuff that you need to do. So he's putting together topics, it could be like your Shopify, could be Klaviyo, could be Google Analytics, things like that, where we are going to help you in small groups, and you will get support right then and you will leave with finished work. So not just more information that you then need to go do but actually finished work. So I'm super excited about that. You know, he has a food brand doing very well. And he said you know that is the number one thing I see is that brand founders just need more support on getting the thing done. There's no lack of information and things you should do. But there's not a whole lot of support in like helping you do it especially on the tech side and he is so good at that. So stay tuned for those. They will be paid. Danny's time is valuable, and they will be paid. But Fuel members will get a nice discount on those and you can bundle them or just do individual workshops. So stay tuned. All that is coming, which I'm really excited about.

Emails, I'm going to spend very little time on this. I'm trying not to go into a rant. This is probably the one that stings the most that I get a little probably, don't have the best score on. And part of it is because we know emails work, right? If you guys would all just sign up for the workshop on the day I put out the first announcement, then we would not have to send any more emails, but you don't. And the thing is by the time you get the third email, and I've done this too, I'm like, oh, yeah, I did want to go to that. I'm so glad that I got that reminder email. And that's just human nature, right? We put things off. And we need that, like it's always on the last day, right? Or the day before that. There's this urgency now. And people are like, oh, yeah, let me get registered. So unfortunately, emails are unnecessary. I don't even know if I call them evil. I know some of you all have very strong feelings about email, I would say if I could give you any feedback on email is to start to learn to love it. And almost look at it like an observer like, oh, what did I like about that email? What did I not like about it? You as a brand, if you're doing any kind of direct to consumer, need to get real, like get cozy up with emails, and sending more is better, even though the feedback I got, of course, was fewer emails. And I don't think I actually send that many emails, but it is what it is. I'm not going to stop sending emails because like I said, it does work and I want to reach out to you, I want to tell you what's going on, I want to support you. And if it's not for you just delete it, right? I get so many emails, and I don't take any of it personally, I'm not like why are they emailing me? I just delete it. And if it's really not for me, I just unsubscribe. Right? But no, I'm going to be missing out on things that could potentially help me in the future. You also did as I got a couple of requests for adding a direct link to the podcast. So that's easy. I will do that, we will add that going forward. And then I did get requests. It's funny, like keep them short and sweet. And then some are like add to them and keep them like more tips and what's working and things like that. And I will just say I just want you to remember I am in business, you are in business. And I give so much content away for free. That's what this podcast is, the YouTube channel, right? Even social media. There's so much I give away for free. But I really reserve a lot of the tips and tricks and really staying on things in the industry for Fuel members. And that's okay. All right, I get to do that as a business owner, I am not a philanthropist, I don't get to just do this for fun. I'm an entrepreneur working on creating a profitable business just like you. So that's what I'll say about that. And then Fuel, these are only members. So got some great, so many great comments. It's so funny. Once people are in Fuel, they gets generally so much value from it. Just a couple quick things, tangible examples to learn from and helped me to decide next steps, getting some information from members who have already solved some of the problems. So tapping into that collective knowledge is huge. And I know for me when I have joined communities and I'm joining a new program myself, that that collective knowledge, oh my gosh, it can speed things up. It can save you so much money. It can help you create more sales. It's pretty incredible. And this was all anonymous. I don't have names but someone else say I feel comfortable asking questions and getting professional answers that truly help and that I can trust. I love that. I love the accessibility to the hive mind and the calls, it gives a sense of community. Some of us only work with ourselves so having other people doing it in the same group is so nice. And then I did ask about the price for members and also non members. People in the program said I was skeptical at first but now that I'm in, I am hooked. Someone else said 60 bucks for five calls equals $12 per one hour call equals value, all uppercase. And I strive to give way more value than the cost of the program. That is always my goal. I'm always, you know, like we did the Strengths Finder, I'm trying to always find places where I can give and create. And I always give Fuel members, Master Your Business folks, the most, right? I want to give them the information, the knowledge, the tools, things to them first, because I recognize that they're paying for it, right? And I want to give them a ton of value. And for the future, what we can do better, what we can add. Someone said, so far, I've found each one valuable as mentioned above, having more tactical quick workshops once a month may be helpful. We can survey folks and find out what they want to focus on. And I love that. And then someone else said, this is so true of any groups, and I highly recommend if you're going to join a group, don't just join a group and then never go in and check it. And never put the calls on your calendar. Like if you're going to join it, go all in, right? And I've tried to make it very affordable. I know, affordability is very relative. And not everybody thinks that $57 a month is affordable, I totally get it. I just paid 12k for an annual program. And you better believe I had put every call on my calendar. There was one this week that I had to, I shifted a client call around because I was like, I am going to be there. I have invested a lot of money. And I want you to look at it as an investment. This isn't just giving somebody, giving me your money, this is an investment in you and in your business. And one of the things Danny and I have talked about is we want to save you or help you create at least as much. And really we want to like 10x that. My goal is that for every $57 you spend that you are finding ways to save $570 or to create $570, right? 10xing it. And the more I've invested in my business and my growth and invested in community groups, the faster my business has grown, and the better person that I have become. And so someone said, my experience with Fuel is what I put into it. When I attended,super valuable. When I'm slammed and can't attend, I really miss it. So it is when you join groups, go all in. And don't join too many, right? Choose ones that are in your lane that you feel like you're going to get the most support, and then go all in. Lastly, I'll just say, there were some comments about like, I don't think Fuel is for me. And I just want to say I want to clarify who it's for. If you do not have a product yet, and you're just thinking about it, if you're getting closer to launch, if you are in cottage food, and you want to get better at staying in cottage food and create more sales. Or if you want to move from cottage food into commercial production, or you are under about 300k in sales. Fuel is for you. And of course if you're more in the like, you've already had a business and you want to grow it, Master Your Business is definitely for you. But I would say the sweet spot is like pre revenue, just an idea, really helping you save time, save money, and sometimes helping you realize this is not for me. And that's a great investment in my opinion, rather than investing all of that into a business and then realizing it's not for you. But in any case, pre revenue all the way up to 300k. That is who my programs are for. That is my special niche. That is my customer. And if you are in there, I do want to invite you to come join us in Fuel. In my opinion is the best deal around. Danny was telling me how when he started for the first couple years, he was paying $500 a month for a program that did not have nearly as much coaching as what we offer and did not have all of the things that that we offer in our program. I was like wow, that is almost 10 times what Fuel is and you're willing to pay that and he's like, yeah, it really helped me go faster in my business and grow it and I'm like yeah, that's what I exactly want Fuel to be at a ninth of the cost.



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