.

Listen Now

Show Links 

Apply to see if Food Business Success® is a great fit for you! 

Looking for great resources to start your packaged food business? https://www.foodbizsuccess.com/resources

Join the free Private Food Business Success® Facebook Group

Follow us on Instagram

Want more help? Get 1:1 Business Coaching and full access to Food Business Success inside Sari Kimbell Coaching 

Check out my YouTube channel at www.foodbiz.tube for more helpful tips and strategies to start and grow a packaged food business. 

 

I have put together a great offer to help you this year - 90 minute work sessions to get this done together and ask me questions and get coaching. Learn more at https://www.foodbizsuccess.com/2024plan

 

Please take five minutes and answer the survey at foodbizsuccess.com/survey

 

Already have a business launched or need more information before you do launch? Fuel Membership is now open to everyone! https://www.foodbizsuccess.com/fuel

 

 

Full Transcript

 

Sari
Welcome back to the podcast. So glad you guys are here. This one is so good. It was such a pleasure to get to talk to with Scott Edwards of Elevated Gains. And this is podcast Episode 199, and he pointed out to me, after we stopped recording, that Tom Brady was draft pick number 199 and so he is feeling really good about this episode, and it was so fun for us to review everything that we've done in the last year, to get him to his business where he's at now, and to get some of those lessons learned. And he was telling me after we stopped recording, he's like, man, I forgot, like, how hard that was. We were in it. It was not easy when the business was making no money and it was on pods, having to do all this background stuff, and it was just a slog. But now to be on the other side of that, and to be celebrating every week the big wins that he's having and the tremendous response he's getting at farmer's markets, all because we did this really thoughtful, intentional work. And Scott showed up in Master Your Business, and did so much of the work there. He is doing his own learning. He's in my 10x mastermind, and really engaged in that. And so I just hope that you really get some good lessons. I actually recapped at the end, and I'm going to list them out for you now what those three things are so you can be listening for them. But number one is constraint that Scott is willing to say no to things, even though it might make him a little bit of money, even though it might be the right thing to do, he's willing to say no and lower the list of things that he has to do to be more successful in those couple of things that he chooses to do. He's got patience. He's got a real eye for the long game of this, and that it takes way longer than we think it will, and he's finally accepted that over all these years. And so I love that about him. And the third thing is, he's willing to hire. He's willing to make investments in people that are going to help him skip the line. He doesn't want to keep paying for this business with time like it's a blend. And, I mean, unless you have unlimited supply of cash, you're going to have to put some amount of time in. But he recognizes that he can pay for experience and get back some of his time, like get there faster. And so I really appreciate that about Scott. But he doesn't just do it carte blanche. He's very thoughtful about it. Lastly, I'll just add like he is somebody who's just always learning and growing about himself and really using entrepreneurship as a vehicle for self growth, which is so fun to see. All right, on to the episode. Scott!

Scott
Hey, Sari, how's it going?

Sari
Welcome to the podcast. I'm so excited.

Scott
I am excited to be on it too. Looking forward to it.

Sari
There's definitely guests where I'm like, you're going to be on the podcast. I can't wait. But we got a little ways to go. We got to do the work first. Here we are, a year later, basically since we met. So welcome to the podcast, Scott. You are with Elevated Gains, founder of Elevated Gains, and let's just hear a little bit about you and your story, and tell us about Elevated Gains until we started working together.

Scott
So Elevated Gains started six years ago now in my kitchen, in my first apartment when I moved to Denver, and it was basically born out of ignorance, which I think a lot of brands probably are, which is like you got to have to start with, which is great. Yeah, passion and ignorance. But so my main thing was, I started getting into working out. Was feeling very sore, didn't know much about my nutrition, and so I personally started to learn about that, and then got very frustrated. This is the most common thing ever. I hate saying this because it's so cliche, but there wasn't a good bar out there, so I made my own bar, but I wanted to put a different spin on it. I knew coming from being the small company, I wanted to have some sort of differentiator. So we started with CBD protein bars for workout recovery, and that was what we did for the first five years of business. For the first, like two years of that, it was pretty much just like me playing around with recipes, having no idea what's going on. And we started working with kind of a semi co packer for a couple years. Bounced around a couple places until we found our current spot, which we love. The guys at base camp. Shout out. Love them. Saw them today. Yeah, they're awesome. So yeah, the CBD business is an interesting place to be. I still believe in it from a medicinal and recovery perspective, but from the business perspective, the use case really didn't turn out to be there, or at least the I say this often, like at least the entrepreneur I was at that point wasn't able to execute on that product at that time. There was like, a ton of hoops to jump through and putting CBD on top of it just made things more difficult than even just starting a regular protein bar brand. Yeah, so was basically doing that for five years.

Sari
And that wasn't a full time job, right? Then he met me. Yes, sunshine and daisies and rainbows. Scott, I should just warn everybody listening. Scott and I are going to have some fun. He and I, we hung out together. We have a lot of things in common, and I call us buddies. So we're going to have some fun today. And yes, there'll probably be some swearing. We can't, because it's in your tagline, but if you've got kids around, we want to monitor that, and we're on video too. Or if you're listening to this on an audio platform, you can go check it out on video. But were you working? Let me ask you a couple other clarifying questions, just to get context of where you were. So was this a full time thing when you launched your business? Or more of a side hustle?

Scott
Definitely a side hustle when I started. Well, when I first started, I was in between jobs, and then it was a side hustle for the better part or three years. Then I had built up some capital and felt like I needed to spend more time on the business, so then took that and just basically lived off the money I've saved, went full time on the business for about two years, and ran out of money, so needed another job. So now I have a similar job but less mentally taxing, I guess, easier to manage at this point. So yes, now still a side hustle, although I kind of refer to my W2 as the side hustle, and I try to make this my main hustle. This is what my main focus is on, but not paying the bills yet.

Sari
At least mentally, this is like your main thing, but we all need a funding runway. Funding source for the business, for sure, always takes longer than we think. So do you mind, how old were youwhen you launched the first business?

Scott
I was 23 when I started it, as far as when we actually launched our first product, I think I would have been when I was 25 a couple years later.

Sari
Okay, and what made you think you could do this?

Scott
I'm arrogant, which I've now become a lot more humble through this process. But, yeah, definitely just some irrational confidence. But I think that's probably where a lot of people start. And you have, like if you knew the journey you were getting into when you were first starting, you might not start anyway. So it's a good you kind of got to have it to start.

Sari
You need a little bit of a mix of like some arrogance.

Scott
Knock you down a few pegs when you need it.

Sari
Yeah, for sure. I don't think any businesses would start if we really truly knew to go through. It's not just the overnight success that you hear about on somebody's Tiktok video.

Scott
Exactly, six years later, we're in our first farmers market. It's funny. People be like, oh, so you're just starting. And I'm like, no, no, no, no. It's been a while.

Sari
Been around the block, but in a way, we did a total, like, restart, right? We did it, let's, like, gear it back, and then make some decisions. So we met to the Colorado Food Works event, and I think I gave you a copy of my book, or maybe you'd already gotten it. And we chatted a little bit, and then we decided. So tell me where you were at at that point with the business.

Scott
So I would say, after like, three years, maybe, the thought of quitting is less often. So I wasn't necessarily, like, thinking about quitting, but it was more of a something needs to change one way or another, like, what I'm doing isn't working, whether it's how I'm doing things or it's probably a combination of lots of different things. So wanted to start working with some people who knew what they were talking about, and I'm sure we'll talk about Alex Hormozi a little bit. But one of my favorite guys is he says you can either pay down your ignorance debt with time or money. And I had been doing it with time for two years, and I was getting really tired of that, so started making money and started paying it down with a little more money. So that was kind of how I started with the coaching. As far as where I was at with the business, I don't know, probably 8 to 12 others CBD protein bars that had popped up while I've been doing it, and then gone away. And for good reason, I think, on a lot of different fronts. And so we had done a lot of customer surveys. I had done a bunch of events in person, so I had a lot of kind of feedback that was all in my head, did surveys on our actual customers, and we found out that people really liked that we had high 20 grams of protein. That's like basically my main constant as far as recipe development is the only thing that can change is like every bar we have will have 20 grams of protein. Everything else is up for debate, potentially, but they love that we have a clean ingredient label and it's not very much ingredients. And the CBD was kind of like, well, we could take it or leave it. There was a few people who really loved it, which is great, but you can't build a business on that. So trying to determine whether it was time to pivot. I'm not sure whether that was one of our first conversations or that was kind of, I think the headspace I was in was figuring out where, like the decision wasn't made yet. I remember distinctly, like we were having these conversations and like, pros and cons and what to think about, but yeah, that's kind of where I was at, not really knowing where to go, but knowing something needed to change.

Yeah. And just for people listening, they may not realize what CBD is. I mean, it's not THC, but it's like, it's still regulated, or more regulated than regular food products. And, I mean, it posed all sorts of issues with social media, advertising, banking transaction fees.

Everything you can imagine. Actually, farmers markets, stuff to say, like, we didn't get it in the last few years, and applied with the CBD where, like, maybe, I mean, we had a lot of growth too, but it could have been affecting that stuff to say on some things.

Sari
I remember going, probably about the time when you were starting, going to local trade shows. And, I mean, CBD was like, the IT thing, you know, and everybody was putting CBD in their products. And I remember going to one, like, local show, and everybody had CBD, and so you're, like, sampling all these products. And I know it's not supposed to do what THC does, but I'm driving home going, like.

Scott
Yeah, it affects everybody differently. And if you take a lot of it, you definitely might feel it for sure.

Sari
Coffee and chocolate, cracker, gummies. I mean, it was just everything. So it was definitely, I am not seeing, like people were guaranteeing, like, this is going to be the latest greatest thing. And, you know, most grocery stores still don't carry it, like Sprouts went big on it. But, you know, there's issues, legal issues there, so it adds a lot of complication. But yeah, we had that conversation, and I remember that, like you know, that was one of your questions, and you were so great. Like, you still come to our coaching calls. You're like, I have these lists of questions, I've done my thinking around it, and then let's check in and what questions am I not asking? What do I think? What we need to test? So it seemed like fairly quickly, complicated business, CBD, and complicated oftentimes means expensive, right?

Scott
Yes, yeah. I don't really want to run the numbers on what it would have all cost without CBD, but I'm sure it would have been maybe, like, 50% less, would have been a lot.

Sari
So you made the decision. Well, I mean, we did it together, but you ultimately decided to, we pulled out the CBD. So what else did we do? Because we had probably 6, 7, 8 months of, like, going through, and now you were working full time again, you're back on the clock, so managing the W2 as well, but what were some of the things if you can remember back seems like so long ago?

Scott
Yeah, I'll probably forget some of these. It's been a whirlwind. It was more or less a full rebrand or brand restart. I don't know what you want to call it, but it was. It's kind of a second business in a way with which now I understand a lot of times, why people say your first business isn't the one that's going to work, which even classified however you want. That was one of the young, arrogant things. I was like, I'll be different than that, whatever. But going through the second time, it's very apparent why that is the case. So we had to do a lot of things. Rebranding is probably where I was the, I would say I'm either the weakest or have the most to learn or need the most help. So talk to a bunch of different people about rebranding. Found some great partners out of Mari Creative. Free shout out, whatever. No free ads. They're awesome. So we had a rebrand. We had to redo our packaging, which the speed with which we were able to do things for the rebrand was all helped with, like, the previous five, six years. So, like, that's something I don't really talk about, but I think about very often, is, like, all those times. So I did the redesign for the packaging, which is the cheapest way to do it at this point, but took me, like, a long time to figure out how to get that. The recipes took a while. Talked with one of your friends, maybe. So talked with one of Sari'a friends, super helpful. Like, a half an hour conversation really helped. Just, I just had a few, like, pointed questions, and she was great. But the recipes always take a while. And it's a tricky thing, because it's really easy to use those to procrastinate because you can always do it better, and it's tough to know when it's right. But again, after making hundreds of different recipes, I have a much better idea than if I was just starting. So redo the recipe, rebrand, completely new website, moved away from we were on WooCommerce and WordPress before, because CBD stuff, though moved everything over to Shopify, which is epic. And one of the times I was thankful to not have a ton of sales because we did not have a ton of infrastructure to move. The subscribers we had, I just emailed or texted them all stuff like that. So applying to farmers markets, getting a farmers market booth set up. I mean, I don't know, the list is endless. Those are probably, like, the really big ones. Did trial run, added a new flavor, yeah, which was huge. I think having at least three SKUs was like, that's probably another huge change that I don't really think about that often, but having three flavors is really big.

Sari
It's an interesting mind shift. It's a game. It's a mind game with people, like pricing psychology and choice theory and decision fatigue. It's like there's studies that I was just listening to the other day, like, if you give people three options, that's good. If you give them four, it starts to become a little overwhelming. If you give them five, they often will walk away.

Scott
Interesting. Well, we're going to come out with a new flavor, so we'll test that. Maybe we will have all five of the market. I don't know. I haven't heard that before. We'll have to talk.

Sari
Yeah, I would say like four. You know, three to four is a nice sweet spot, but you could always be rotating in flavors, right? That's when you do, like, the seasonal thing. And, yeah, having three was really great, but you added the lemon, which was my favorite.

Scott
Yeah, was running the numbers today. It's like, very close with chocolate peanut butter, like indistinguishable. Like, which of them is selling the best, and then cinnamon is catching up. I think cinnamon is our top seller at the markets, maybe overall now. So still trying to figure out exactly what people are loving the most, but seems like all of them are doing well.

Sari
So yeah, you did the real like, we just stopped the business. We decided we're not going to try everything. You tried to do a little liquidation sale. Just like, all right, let's stop chasing our tail after on that. Like, just stop. And then we just paused and then start. Basically, yeah, redid a business, but you already had good bones, and you knew what you were doing when you're brand new going into copacking. You know, it takes a long time. It usually takes multiple runs, but you had already done multiple runs with co packers, so you knew the consistency and things that you were going for. So it's pretty likely that that first trial run was going to work, maybe a few tweaks.

Scott
And we did one of our CBD bars there too. So, like, we even had kind of a test run at the co packer to help out even more with that. So it wasn't like I had to go find a different one, because my other one was CBD. So that was helpful as well.

Sari
So then you did some brand refreshing. And then we had the big question of the tagline.

Scott
It's always interesting. I don't even know how to get into this. Thinking about branding is really interesting. I'm getting more confidence with it actually, like more recently, which is good, but I think that really comes from just like understanding how we're trying to sell it, which, again, understanding the last six years really helped me know what we need to go speak to. And the main thing that I heard all the time, and that everybody comes up with, is that protein bars don't taste good or they taste terrible. And so regardless of what's in them, taste is the most important thing. So we ended up going with 20 grams of protein. Doesn't taste like shit, because we don't taste like shit, and that's what really resonates with people, because it's if you have a high protein bar, there's generally not anyone's that don't taste good. And got some mixed feedback from my family, but that none of them have started a protein bar company, and pretty much everybody else loved it, so we ended up going with it. We've censored it a few different places with an exclamation, kind of censored it like, not really, but for kids, whatever. I don't know. We're still figuring things out, but probably 25% of the people maybe at the market are coming up after they see that. So it's starting to hit well and we got it everywhere.

Sari
Yeah, it's one of those. It's a little bit of a risk. You know, we talked about pros and cons and what, you know, what could be consequences, like we didn't want it to be front and center, like in a farmer's market application, you know. We'd like, and that's why you chose to do the exclamation point instead of the real word, and just because, yeah, you're going to have families and kids and things like that. But also, I mean, it's so ubiquitous, right? And as a small brand, you have a little more flexibility and adaptability and it resonates with people. And yeah, some people are going to be turned off, and that's okay, as long as we're like, I think, you know, most people want to just stay in the middle and like, let me appeal to everybody. And I'm not saying everybody should go run around and go out and put a cuss word in your tagline, but we all try to stay so middle of the road with who we are, because we want everybody to be okay with it, instead of saying, Actually, I want to turn half the people off and then the other half are going to be like, my raving fans were like, so bought in on this. Love it! Is that what you're seeing at the market?

Scott
Yeah, for sure, like how I'm seeing that at the market. One, people love the line, but we definitely are having some bigger fans. We sold. We had our we two people this week came and got 40 bars, like for themselves, which was sick. So we hadn't sold any of those the first two weeks, and these were people who had bought previously, and come back. So people are starting to come back, which is great. But yeah, there's even at the market, you get a really good feel of when people are coming up, like testing samples. You want to, like, it's like you're treating anybody badly, but you want to give everybody the same energy. But you can tell, like pretty quickly, is somebody actually interested? Are they not? If we push them, are they maybe interested? So yeah, it's an interesting game to kind of play for the four hours, especially when the booth gets busy and there's like, two or three or four people out there testing, and you're trying the bars, and you're trying to figure it out. So it's a similar thread on the doesn't taste like shit. It's you kind of gotta figure out who the people you're going to love are, because that's what we're trying to do. I don't like eventually, yeah, I want this thing to be huge. But for now, we don't need that many very loyal people who really love our product to like, make it a real business, I would say. And for me, "real business", I would say is, if I can pay myself to eat and run it, that's just like my personal view, like, right now, that's how I'm thinking about it.

Sari
Yeah, and I love that. I think one of the things I really appreciate about you, Scott, is that you have a really good sense of, like, who you are, what you can tolerate. I mean, you know, at this point in your life, you have flexibility. You know, you don't have a family, you don't have a ton of commitments. You're just like, I'm going all in on this business and I don't need extravagant like, this business doesn't need to fund an extravagant lifestyle for me to be successful right now.

Scott
Yep, my goal is for the private jet, like, in my 40s.

Sari
That said, you are ambitious. And this is not like, I'm just gonna have this small business forever. I think it's the combination of like, I think sometimes people have almost a little bit of entitlement or expectation that the business should be providing for them immediately, right? It's like, I birthed this baby and now why is it not doing its own laundry?

Scott
I think that's one thing that I think helped me kind of frame a little bit and just, like, honestly, like, just maturing and growing up. Like, I wouldn't say I kind of, was who I am today, until probably three or four years ago, really even, like, three years into the business. So there's been a lot of personal growth to get me there. But he always says he's like, if it's so black and white, if somebody's business is making more money than you, well, they're better at business than you. So like, go learn from them. Or if your business isn't making money then the work you're doing isn't good enough yet. So I try to look at it like that. And I, having said that I earlier, had arrogance to start the business, I tried to take a learning perspective as much as I can and like, know that I basically know nothing. Like, I'm just starting a company knowing nothing. It would be very arrogant to think that I was just going to figure it out right away with like having no clue how to do it. So talking to people like you, other coaches, I'm like, literally, even at base camp today, I was asking him what he thought about I like how to throttle my inventory. I'm just like anybody, I can ask how to do things and what their opinion is. And some opinions are good. Some opinions are not worth it. But just trying to learn at every stage get better, and eventually people will continue to vote with their wallets when we're good enough.

Sari
It's like when you start out some with something, you think that there's not that much for you to learn. There's a certain arrogance, yeah, it's natural, right? Of like, I just got to figure these things out. And it's fine. But then once you're, I think that's actually a true mark of a real entrepreneur, is knowing that you don't know what you don't know, and there's so much you don't know. You just can't know it all, but like, you're still going to try, and you're still going to keep learning, and you're still going to go and, you know, that's not a stop, but there's a switch that gets flipped that you go from like, I know it all, to like, oh crap.

Scott
I don't know what's the distributor, what's the MOQ, yeah.

Sari
And just kind of that humble, like, ignorance of like, yeah, and being willing to ask those questions, and, you know, tell me more about that and help me understand and I talk with people all the time who really need my support, but they talk way more than than they're listening, and they want to tell me all the things. And I'm like, okay, good luck. Come back to me when you're ready to be listen.

Scott
Never found someone who's much further ahead, if you ask them questions and they can see that you're really trying. Like, everyone's willing to help. And like, there are people who are just starting businesses, who are years behind me or whatever, and like, I will be happily go out of my way to explain anything and nothing's done. Because if someone has gotten there, they've been through all of the same stages that you are, or they wouldn't have gotten there.

Sari
Industry is pretty generous. You know, I think you got to be willing to give back. And so let's talk about, we've mentioned Alex Hermosi a couple times. You and I bonded early on over his book 100 Million Dollar Leads. But prior to that, he had a great book, has a great book called 100 Million Dollar Offers. So what do you love about that? How have you used it? And we highly recommend everybody go and grab that book, or there's a free podcast that you can listen to him read the book.

Scott
Yeah, he always says it's free on his podcast, but it's worth a hard copy. I think there's a lot of people that have good information. There are obviously some that are letters. But for me personally, like, the way he speaks just works for me. And so that like, I guess, the main thing why I gravitated to him, and when someone this is kind of the same thing, of not listening to people who haven't done it before, like he's got, like, a multi 100 Million Dollar Portfolio, he, like, knows what he's doing, and so he talks a lot about marketing and sales. Those are his zones of genius, I would say, or he would probably say, which are my biggest deficiencies, or biggest places that I like have lack of experience in. And so it really helped me just learn about how to think about even just like framing, like what are the different types of outreach you can do? Like, in a simple way, not pretentious, but from someone who probably knows it better than 90% of the people who are talking about it. And then he's got a value equation, which I don't have up, but that was really interesting to help think about how to frame and offer to people. And that was one thing that we were on the tail end when we start, or at the beginning, we started working together in the tail end of the CBD, we were selling at $5 a bar. So we were selling 12 bars for anywhere from like $60 to $70 with shipping, which is, like quite a big ask. And to be honest, like, if it was me and some random person, that'd be hard. So like, that offer wasn't good. And so working through how to try to get to an offer that people could like. And I wouldn't say we're a luxury product, but we're definitely on the higher end of protein bars. And so it's not a bad thing to charge more, but you have to be intentional about how you're explaining the value that you're giving to them, and then actually be trying to do that to get somebody to pay more that, because you can go buy $1 protein bars at Costco that are the same as a lot of them. So you have to be differentiated.

Sari
But all of these products on my shelf behind me like they're all more expensive. I think that's why you need that kind of value equation because you can't compete on price. If you're starting a business, you know, you're small scale like this. There's just no way.

Scott
There's literally no chance, and you'll probably still have terrible margins.

Sari
So, I mean, you at least have a shelf stable product that's, you know? I mean, it's not inexpensive, but they're not terrible margins. And you have, at least, you have access to a co packer that can do relatively small minimums, you know. So those things have really helped you to get started. But I think that's such an important piece because a lot of people listening, you know, and if they're thinking about, I want to start this business, they just think that, well, surely everybody's going to want to buy this, because it's amazing, it tastes great, all those things, but we can't really sell, we can't make it all on. Of course, it tastes amazing.

Scott
If you build it, they will not come. You have to make them come. It's like you got, yeah, you got to work for it.

Sari
So Alex Hermosa has something called Grand Slam offer. So we actually did this in our 10x Mastermind that Scott's part of, and Danny came in. And same thing with Danny, with Peak State Coffee, he's like, I read that book, changed my whole value equation on my website and all the things, and it's a really powerful thing. And I did that too, actually, with mine, right? And offered a guarantee and some of the things that he talks about. So if you're looking for a powerful way to, like frame up your offer and your your strategy around that value equation, because I promise you, you're going to have to charge more than what people can buy it for in the store.

Scott
If you build it, they will not come. You have to make them come. You gotta work for it.

Sari
So Alex Hermosa has something called Grand Slam offer. So we actually did this in our 10x mastermind that Scott's part of, and Danny came in. And same thing with Danny, with Peak State Coffee. He's like, I read that book, changed my whole value equation on my website and all the things, and it's, a really powerful thing. And I did that too, actually, with mine, right? And offered a guarantee and some of the things that he talks about. So if you're looking for a powerful way to like frame up your offer and your strategy around that value equation, because I promise you, you're going to have to charge more than what people can buy it for in the store.

Scott
For sure, it's like, it's got to be the best 20 bucks you could spend on that's, like, the hard copy too. Like, it's amazing. It's worth very a lot of paid courses.

Sari
He's so generous, he gives a lot for free. So definitely recommend everybody listening, go grab that. Not affiliates or anything.

Scott
That would be very cool who we were. So this is one thing I learned from him, of like, creating word of mouth, like he gave us so much value that we're just like, he isn't. He doesn't run ads on his stuff. It just completely sells out and continues to grow month over month. And so that's a really big thing I'm trying to do with, eg, at the front of things is, like, there are lots of things we do that are more time consuming than they need to be, or make it less profitable. And people are probably more familiar, like, you can kind of look at, I think of maybe like a career earnings pattern where you don't make as much money now, but you're going to make so much more money later, you could spend more amounts of type of thing. I try to really just do everything we can to, like, build that word of mouth. And we're starting but you have to have the product. And finally, we have a product that can start to go with that. And we're starting to see a little bit of people telling people not to Alex Hermosi's level, but, like, that's something I'm really trying to focus on, is how do we provide such a crazy good experience and product consistently that then people tell people, and then we don't have to pay for marketing basically.

Sari
Yeah, me too. I give away so much for green. Sometimes I'm like, maybe I give away too much.

Scott
No, that's what he says when it's scary. That's perfect.

Sari
It's scary sometimes, but good. So, yeah, love, love his stuff. And I think you like you, you alluded to already, like you have gone through some personal growth and mindset shifts and things like that. I mean, I always say entrepreneurship is just, it's a vehicle for personal growth, whether you succeed or fail.

Scott
I was going to say it earlier. It can sound like doomsday a little bit when, like, founders are talking about other businesses, but like, I would do it again in a heartbeat, especially back then, like the amount of this things you have to do, and changes that you have to make internally just to make it work. It'd be hard to force yourself to do it without having, like, a business to need to do it, at least for me. So, yeah, it's been very big personal growth. So yeah, whether EG succeeds or fails, like I am a significant amount better for whatever the next thing would be. And like, the last six years have built to this farmers market. Like, it's, it's definitely all building to whatever, hopefully a private jet with Elevated Gains, but we'll see.

Sari
Right. I mean, those guys who started quest, like, that's nothing special.

Scott
They had billion dollar company in five years. I'm a year past them. Yeah, no, I love Tom. I listen to him all the time. So gotta learn from these people, right? They're better at business than me. What can you learn from?

Sari
We can either despair. We can say, well, we know it's possible.

Scott
That was one of the big things of why I wanted to start. It was like stories like that.

Sari
Okay, so. So we you did the test run. The products came out great. I got some of the early samples. You know, I've been a huge fan you guys. If you watch my stories and stuff like, I'm just one of your first subscribers. So I tell all the people. I'm always looking for protein and Scott and I've worked out a couple times. I'm searching for protein in my strength workshop workout. So I love the product, but you got the product, you're like, okay, we can move forward with it. Did all we got all the ingredients in, the new packaging, all of that stuff, and then we got to work on the farmers market stuff. So you and I worked on your farmers market application. It was right about the same time Danny and I were doing the Increase Your Sales or Up Level Workshop. So I'll put the link for that in there, because I think Scott, you are a lovely testimonial of the principles, it's $197.

Scott
Cost more than that. Yes, very much. So probably in week one.

Sari
So we got you into some farmers markets first, so that, or got you into the one that you wanted, one of the ones you wanted to.

Scott
I mean, this was the third year we've applied to so, like, that was something we hadn't been able to do before. So that was huge to actually get into one. And we got into probably the perfect market for us. It's not the big. It's big, but it's not the biggest, and it's like a great demographic over in highlands, come see us right at the end of the street. So yeah, get getting in was huge. But yeah, there was, I mean, first we went through the application, which we looked at what we did last year, which was kind of sad to see what I had written last year, which could have been another reason why we didn't get in, but you helped me beat those up. And then there was a lot of work to do on getting the booth ready, which that was really helpful for both the workshop and just talking with you and Danny on what works, how much to do. And I think the main theme of the farmers market for us is just like, well, the main theme of, like, business at this point is it doesn't have to be perfect. Just get it done and then change it so just like, testing everything. So we wanted to get a basically to a point that we liked for week one, and then we've changed stuff the past two weeks. But just having kind of the shopping list was huge. It was so windy in week two. I haven't got to tell you this yet. This is a fantastic plug. I got the double sided tape. I was like, Sari says I needed, I don't know what the fuck I needed for. It was so windy, and it held out all my stuff. And I was like, she's going to be so high. It's like, $6 tape.

Sari
That tape is incredible. We with that stuff by the boatloads at Whole Foods when in the marketing department, because we use that tape on everything. And in the workshop, I give you my Sari's favorite things list, and all the links to my favorite things, that tape is seriously the bomb. I didn't even tell you the thing.

Scott
Shout out to your list. It worked.

Sari
Oh my gosh. I love that tape. So you could be, like, so in love with a product like that, but in any case, you have to get the workshop, find out the tape, but I love it. So, yeah, that wind was nuts.

Scott
It was.

Sari
Fortunately, you're tall, so you could, like, hold your tent down.

Scott
Yeah, try to get sand for the tent weights. We had these little bags of sand, and I was thinking about getting it from a golf course. And then I was like, that's I probably shouldn't be committing crimes for my business. So I didn't but I went to Walmart, tried to buy some I couldn't find anything, so I bought salt, and then that I didn't have enough weight, and then it was kind of wet, and so last week I got some sand, but, yeah, it was very windy that week. But yeah, I mean, talking to you guys, getting our set, yeah, getting our setup pretty dialed. I mean, doing all of the demos previously helped me feel comfortable in, like, the personal, like the in myself secure, but like, we had nothing for a farmers market booth, like we had a booth for one event earlier this year and a picture to you, it doesn't look good, and you told me, which is what a good coach to do. But so we had to turn around a lot of signs and things quickly. But it came together pretty good. I mean, there's so much variability in things, I'll probably still update, but yeah, it seems to be going well so far.

Sari
So fun. I love it seeing the very first booth where I was like, here's a few things. And now it's like, you're so dialed in. And we've worked on the pricing, and we made some really cool you know, I had some great suggestions. I'm just, I love doing this stuff. I'm such a marketing nerd, and I always have, like, I throw out lots of ideas. Some of them are really terrible, but you you tend to run with them. And I love it, like the big box at the stickers and like, yeah, like getting people to. I'm so glad we've had some big sales, the 40 bars.

Scott
I know. I didn't change my signage sheet yet, so I don't have the sign sitting next to it like we talked about yet. But yeah, I mean, and I think that, and the two people who came up were like, there was so many people this week who just walked right up and bought more bars, which is sick. So like, I hope we can continue to see growth in terms of all those repeat customers, and we have a subscription thing on the table. But now we'll have to start thinking early, because everything takes way longer than you think of how, for like, the last whatever couple months we're going to optimize and get people to come from the market and still continue through the winter with us until the next market season.

Sari
Absolutely. And you texted me and said, what's a range, like, if I did well or poorly or well, and I texted you a number for your first market, and you, like, blew it out of the water so and you keep hitting new milestones. And you also launched with subscriptions on the website itself when you first launched. So you had a, like, founders rate kind of thing to get friends and family and start. How was it when you finally started making money again?

Scott
Honestly, it hasn't been that long. It's really the first market when it started to, like, feel like it, it's great. I mean, it's like, I'm making money, to be clear for everybody listening, I'm not still paying myself anything. We're like, going to be close-ish to maybe cash flowing this run, which was one earlier than I thought, which like that, when we, if we do that, that'll be like, damn, all right, that was sweet, but I would say it really, none of this is really about the money, regardless of how much I talk about the private jet like, that's just more of a byproduct of what it would be. But it's really just helped me be able to, like, finally see that this has a chance at working. Like, I've just been, like, banging my head against the wall for six years, kind of, and it's finally allowing me to, like, open up my perspective and, like, actually see how this could work, like, and how this is going to jump over the next couple of years. So it's been really exciting. It's great.

Sari
So cool. Been fun to because, yeah, you had to take a backseat and just like, and there was some grind, right? It's like, you got the W2 job, it's demanding. It's got deadlines, and there's still work to be done. Fortunately, you got in the farmer's market, so you have that deadline. It's like, okay, we got to start selling.

Scott
Non self imposed deadlines are lovely.

Sari
There's definitely some rough moments of like, I don't have any energy for this, and I don't really want to do. When you don't, especially when you don't have the revenue coming in yet, right? It's hard to keep going sometimes do stuff that feels very thankless,

Scott
A 100% and I don't know whether having done that for like, four years straight helped me do it one last time, hopefully last but that part of it at least last time. I mean, the market is crazy draining, like I'm, I'm very much an introverted person, unless I'm like, close with you, or I'm talking about EG like, I'm very to myself and so for four hours just to be going as hard, like, on my emotional scale, like, the output is crazy. So it's crazy, how draining it is. But you're right, it's not difficult to get up and do it again the next week when you're like, all right, we're actually making revenue and we're getting product moving, which for us at this point is the biggest thing is, like, getting product out and getting more people, because it's just an awareness game still. Like you were saying, like, you think people are going to know about you, like, still and like, just really, like, relatively, nobody knows about us still. So there's the people who find out about us like us, and we gotta continue to get those people to then go tell other people.

Sari
Because you're purposely not building a wholesale game right now, that's not part of your main strategy, right?

Scott
Which was part of the other kind of pivot we did, and something that I've had to learn, where when you're first starting, there's so many voices to listen to, and you have no idea who's saying something that's right or wrong, or whether it's right or wrong for you, and I definitely, for a long time, was caught up chasing the shiny object. So we have intentionally pared down what we're focused on, so we're focused on only Instagram, on social like we used to do Tiktok just cut that, even though it's just reposting a video and it's just 15 minutes, like we're not doing it, we're not doing any wholesale. And then we did a lot of gyms last year trying to get in, but product just didn't move there. And so I was doing a ton of demos where I'd be there for like, three hours and maybe sample to 20 people, whereas now we're at a farmer's market one day a week for four hours, and we're sampling to like 300 or 400 people. So just trying to with the other job, be intentional about where to focus the time this time around, and knowing it's growing slower than it potentially could if we were doing lots of different things or taking on outside investment. But my goal has never been to, like, build this and then sell it five years from now. Like, I want to have a huge warehouse with, like, a massive gym for all our employees. Like, that's, that's the goal. The private jet is the fun thing to talk about. But, like, the real goal is, like, to have a huge warehouse where people can have a sick gym to work out in, and it's just, like a great company culture. I've worked for other companies that aren't that way and like, that would be that and making money for if, when we do a friends and family round, if, while I'm making myself money, I can make my close friends and supporters like more money. Those are like the two long term things that like actually matter. The private jet would just be sweet. Always been a dream.

Sari
Or the masters, the golf round at the Masters.

Scott
If we got a private jet, I'll have a connection to, I guess that's so somewhere, somehow, the Gulfstream guy knows somebody.

Sari
We are going to find a goal that was more emotionally salient than just money, right?

Scott
I have it. I don't know if we've talked about this, but if we hit 50,000 this year in revenue, which would be a huge jump for us, but like it could very well happen, I'm getting myself a new set of golf clubs. That's my emotional bet for the year, which I would be so sweet, because I wouldn't spend the money on that. So that would be a great reward for this. That's my short term one. We can figure out a different one later. I don't really need that much, like a nice dinner every now and then in a decent gym, and that's about and good food, I spend a lot more money on, like my food, like you were saying earlier, like on nice eggs and stuff like that. So people will spend money on things.

Sari
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I love that. I love that you attached a fun goal like that. I remember when I launched Food Business Success, and I said, when I get to remember, I think it was a couple grand in sales, like, sold the first program. I was going to buy myself this espresso machine that's going to be my gift to myself for all that hard work. I launched it. I got two people in the program. So ironically, I did not hit the goal I wanted. I mean, I did launch it, and then my brother and sister in law gifted me, and I didn't tell anybody, they gifted me that espresso machine. And I was like, I will take it. You know, I will take it. Thank you very much. Maybe those golf clubs will just show up.

Scott
Maybe, that would be crazy. That would be crazy. I will gladly take it as well.

Sari
All right, so we talked about quite a bit here and there. Where you heading? Like you talked about the money employees that you want your own business that you're running and operating. Do you want to own the manufacturing or anything?

Scott
I think eventually it'd be really cool too, because that's what I really jive with. Like, I would love to, first of all, hire somebody who knows way more about it than me, but then, like that, I would find that piece really interesting, if eventually I could get to a place where, like, I'm, like, sitting in on sales and marketing meetings and like, that would be ideal. So that's a ways down the road, like the the immediate future, hopefully, like, all like, so much focus is going into this market, crushing this market so that next year, when we go to applications, we have a stronger application, and we can expand this to three or four, because the cash flow at markets is just like crazy for a small business like I didn't understand, like, how much it was going to, like, unlock, I guess, and it's so that's not going to be probably, like, a long term, like, super long term thing. But I think if we can scale the farmers markets for the next, I don't know, three to five years, maybe, and like, build that up to where it's maybe, like, a half million and, like, just at markets, and we can just, like, can just like, bank that these are all just, like, completely random.

Sari
This is why Danny still does markets. The cash flow is huge.

Scott
And just the people that you can meet, yeah, it's like, so I don't think anybody is like above, starting at a farmers market. So that's where a ton of focus goes. We're going to go to, we're going to do Amazon, which, that'll be a, really, that's, it'll almost be like starting another little business. So, like, that's kind of a big project that will happen sometime this year, probably, and then really just trying to grow our subscriber base so we and, like, the more bars we sell and subscribers we get, like the cooler shit we're going to be able to do for them, which, like, that's going to be, that'll be one thing I'll task you with as we continue to grow, and like, we do have more revenue, like keeping the ethos of just like pouring it back into the customers so hard because, like, it truly, like, should matter for the next, like, 10 years. What our wrecked profit losses for me, like, I don't, I'm have such a long time horizon that, like, if we can just, like, become a company that is different from other ones, that's what we'll try to do. But we need more revenue to do that. That'll be, like, really fun. Those stuff will be fun to plan once we can get there.

Sari
Here's the two things that I hope you take away as we wrap up, that I get from this conversation with Scott, is your willingness to have constraint is really powerful, and that you recognize, like, I have a limited bandwidth, right? I have a W2 job. I have certain obligations. I want this business to be successful, and so you are willing to say no to things. And that's what a lot we do in Master Your Business, that CEO level work, and you do that a lot, just on your own, because the personal growth stuff that you like, but you're willing to say no to things. You know, even maybe it's just in the short term, but you just recognize, like, I can't do it all, so I'd rather do one thing really well and go all in, instead of trying to be like, I do all the things. I'm not doing any of them very well. So that is huge. And I really hope people heard that and take that away, and then your patience, that you're you're like, in it for the long game.

Scott
It kind of gave that to me a little bit. You kind of got to be, once you figure it out, you're like, oh, it's going to be a while, and it is hard. There's a lot of things you read on, like LinkedIn. Like LinkedIn, I think LinkedIn is, like, toxic for business people, so I like them not on it very at least for like, CPG, it's kind of like the Instagram for CPG, like, everybody's, like, pumping their wins. Like, you feel like shit because this company's got this much revenue in three years. So like, to be clear, that was, like, something I used to, like, struggle with all the time, of like, saying, no where to put my time and energy. So like, for if, though, if you're listening, and that's not you right now, like, it wasn't me, like, very recently too. So, but yeah, you just get to a point where you, like, some guy asked me, he's like, you want to go grab beers. And I was like, well, let's Sure. Let's meet up, but can we do a workout? I texted that to a different friend. He's like, That's classic. He I was like, Yeah, but like, I don't, I don't get beers with, like, my best friends. Like, if you want to get a workout and talk like, let's do it. But yeah, you kind of got to just know what's know what's right for you, and then stick to it, and then it feels great. And then you're like, wait, I'm just, like, doing the stuff I want to do, like, this is I'm not being pulled in directions I don't want to be which that used to give me, like, a ton of anxiety and stuff. So, and

Sari
the third thing, I think, is about it to wrap up, is you hire, who's but you don't hire, you have a good balance of like, I'm going to do some stuff myself, and this is what makes sense for me to DIY and to do myself, but then I'm also going to find who's and you worked with me, and you've worked with Jane, and you, you know there, you have definitely brought on contractors or coaches and different people to help you. So really sure. Those are the three things that, if you're listening to this, I hope that you take away from this conversation. And it's just so much fun to have, like, recount your journey, and I can't wait we can have a another episode in another three years and see where you're

Scott
at. It's been a while since I've talked about it, all that stuff, I've been so deep in the weeds. Yeah, it's fun. Yeah, we'll see another three years. Maybe we'll, I don't know. We'll at least have some warehouse space by then. Probably won't be doing our own manufacturing by then.

Sari
Well, tell everybody where they can find you. Follow you because you're a lot of fun too. You do some really fun stuff over on Instagram. And so everybody should at least go follow you and not like if you're in the Denver area, go say hi, or go, go buy some bars, because they they really are awesome. Yeah,

Scott
if you're in Denver, Colorado area, or at the highlands farmers market every Sunday, from nine to 11, nine to one, free samples, you don't have to buy anything. You talk to me, though, and just at elevated gains on Instagram and elevategains.com pretty, like, I said, pretty simple. We don't do it. We don't do it a ton of places, but do a lot of I try to keep it behind the scenes open and, like, actually, what, what we're doing, which I can definitely be better. I'm just posting on Instagram. It's just not my forte. Takes a lot of energy for me. And then we send, like, monthly, uh, monthly, like recaps of what's going on, the business, stuff like that, to

Sari
our email newsletter.

Scott
So shout out to Jane. We're working on some things. We're testing some things so

Sari
amazing, always learning, always growing.

Scott
Gotta be once I can hire these people who know way more than me. And then I can just be like, Yeah, you do it great.

Sari
You wouldn't know it was good work unless you had gone

Scott
through all those for sure, for sure. And I gotta still be know everything for like, what do they say? First 10 to 15 people. And then after that, you can really start to, like, go get the people who, like, just can take you to the next. Next level. So it's definitely, it's good to know everything but, uh, but yeah, we'll see where it goes. Who could say, hey,

Sari
so fun to talk to you. Thanks for your time today, Scott, it's really good.

Scott
Thanks for having me. It was blessed.

Sari
Bye. 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 foodbiz success.com to start your journey towards your own food business success you.

Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.