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Be the CEO Podcast by Andra Erickson 

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

Full Transcript

Sari 0:04
I'm Sari Kimbell and I've done just about everything in the food industry. I have helped hundreds of packaged food business entrepreneurs. And now, I want to help you make your delicious dream a reality. Whether you want to be successful at farmer's markets, online, or wholesale on the store shelves, Food Business Success is your secret ingredient. I will show you how to avoid an expensive hobby and instead run a profitable food business. Now let's jump in!

Sari 0:38
Alright, everyone, welcome back to the podcast. I am thrilled to have my guest on today, Andra Erickson. She's an amazing person, friend, coach. Andra helps female business owners unleash their inner CEO so she can enjoy freedom in her life and her business. And even if you're not a woman, this conversation is still for you.

Sari 0:38
Welcome, Andra. It's so great to have you here.

Andra 1:05
Thank you, I really appreciate you. It's fun to be here and to help share some of the things that I've learned on my business journey to help your Food Business Success people so that they can be successful in their food businesses.

Sari 1:20
I know well and just full disclosure, you're a great friend but you're also a coach, one of my coaches so and I just thought it'd be so great for all of my people to get a little bit of Andra, and some of your wisdom and tools. So we're going to talk about stepping into being the CEO of your business. And I am going to say this is not a term that probably most people use as founders of their business. It's something I pretty recently started identifying myself, is that right? Like probably like, four years, five years in the business, I'm like, wait, maybe I am a CEO. Like what does that mean? So tell us more.

Andra 2:11
You're not alone, everybody is the same way. And I just, I find that when we use that title. Here's the thing, in corporate America, it's a title. But with us entrepreneurs, it's a way of being, it's a mindset, it's the energy that we bring. It's the how we show up in our business. And if you start that at the very beginning of your business journey, it just allows your business journey to be more, have more flow, have more vision. It's just makes it easier. And so you're definitely not alone. And a lot of the business owners, I work primarily with female business owners but they don't identify it as either. It's either like, oh I'm just the stylist, or I run an MLM, or I'm the founder. But they don't call themselves a CEO. And they are doing themselves such a disservice by not calling yourself that, number one. But then it's a whole nother thing to actually do it. Because I've also found that there's a segment of the population of business owners that do call themselves the CEO. But aren't acting like it. They're not doing the things in their business that a CEO would do. And so it's this shift that we as entrepreneurs have to start implementing into our lives and business.

Sari 3:46
Yes. So good. So let's define it a little bit because I think, yeah, when we talk about titles, I think a lot of people starting a packaged food business would say they're an entrepreneur, maybe they would say, business owner, founder, then I have always a list of other hats that they wear, right? Janitor, cook, production,

Andra 4:08
You are, you're literally, you're doing all of the things, right? Especially when you are first starting out. You definitely wear all of the hats. And so I believe as the CEO, you have to have a couple of things. You have to have a CEO mindset so that's the mindset that will get you through anything because as entrepreneurs, you get thrown a ton of challenges, of trials, of failures. And if you don't wear that CEO mindset hat, you're going to burn out. You're going to do the world a disservice because you're not going to get your beautiful products out into the world. And so you definitely have to have a CEO mindset. You then have to have a CEO vision, like where do you want this company to go, right? I'm assuming that a lot of your people want to get into farmers markets, right?

Sari 4:09
Grocery stores, online,

Andra 4:09
Grocery stores and like Costco, right? Like a bigger, bigger audiences like, you have to have a vision of where you want to go. Because if you don't, you're just going to let the world take you wherever it wants to and normally that is not somewhere that you want to go, right? That's not why you created a business. You're not doing the things that will help you go through the things that create the business that you want to create. And so it's so important. And then we have to have CEO leadership, which people are saying, well, but wait, I'm a solopreneur or I don't have a team or whatever. You have to lead yourself, right? We don't always want to get up and record the podcast. We don't always want to get up and design the packaging. We don't always want to get up and do,

Sari 6:04
The social media post

Andra 6:05
Sales calls, the social media, like all of the things that is required. And so you have to be, you have to lead yourself, you have to have CEO leadership. And if you can't lead yourself, there's no chance that you're going to be able to lead a team effectively, right? You can try and there's going to be a lot of struggles and a lot of challenges along the way. So starting with yourself is really vital. So you gotta have those three components.

Sari 6:36
All right, we're gonna talk, we're gonna break each one of those downs. I love those so much. But let's just kind of backup and say, how would you define, I mean, in a corporate environment, its Chief Executive Officer, CEO, how do you kind of define it when you're a business owner? Like what makes it different or the same? Or, you know, if somebody doesn't even know like, well, what does that even mean? A business? How is that different from all the other things I do?

Andra 7:05
Well I think even with, it's similar to a corporate, right? The challenge with corporate is you typically have a team underneath you, right? You have a COO, you have a CIO, right? You have all of the the team members and so it's really comes down to, for entrepreneurs, CEO really does mean that you expertly and intricately. And I'm trying to, the word is intentionally create the business that you want to create, right? And so it's not, you are driving the company instead of letting the company just kind of carry you along and do the things that you want to do, right? I mean, I like to think of it more of like, are you an employee in your business? Or are you the CEO of your business, right? Are you just going through all of the motions and doing all the things? Or are you creating the business that you want to create in your life?

Sari 8:14
Yeah. So I know that was one of them was the CEO visions, maybe we can talk about that one first. It reminds me, I've been trying to think about ways to describe entrepreneurship because it's a vehicle to like learn about yourself, to grow as a human. And of course, people start a business for freedom, fun. They feel like, oh, I'm gonna finally like, I'm just gonna make my product and sell it. Yeah, it's just gonna be so fun. And I'm gonna like have all this freedom. And then we get into the car. We start it as an entrepreneur and then like the real work begins and we realize it's maybe like, the grind and the hustle and all of the things like it's what's required of a business at the beginning. But to me a CEO is the like, they've put in the navigation, they've put it in maps that says, here's where we're going and then they're leading all of the other people in the car, all the employees and when you start out, it's probably just you, but you wear all of it. So maybe talk a little bit more about vision, CEO vision and how do you describe that.

Andra 9:30
Yeah, you beautifully teed me up, right? You have to be the one that tells the business where you're going. And unfortunately, so many people do not take the time to even figure that out, right? They're just like, okay, I'm going to, I love this product. I love this thing that I create in my kitchen, and everybody else around me seems to love it so I'm going to package it and sell it to more people, and that's like the start. But like you have to understand the "why" behind what you're doing. Because like you said, when it gets hard, if you don't anchor yourself to why it is you're doing what you're doing, you're gonna fail, you're gonna stop, that's ultimately. You're not necessarily going to fail but you're going to stop doing the business like you're gonna fall short of creating it. And so having a vision of why it is that you're doing what you're doing, making that so crystal clear and so very compelling. Money is not the reason why you start a business. Everybody thinks it's like I'm gonna make a ton of money. It really isn't. Like that's not the reason why, the underneath reason why, and so you got to get all of the underneath layers deep down as to why it is that you're doing what you're doing. And then you need to have the capacity to expand the vision that you currently have, right? So taking it from your kitchen to a farmers market. Yeah, that's the start. And that's the beginning of the vision. But then sitting still which entrepreneurs really have a hard time doing. I am one of them. It's not the easiest work to do. I'm speaking from experience but sitting still and saying and just like being playful, and like I wonder what could happen. I wonder what I could create, I wonder, I wonder and like being open to receiving revelation and inspiration and like, the joy that could happen. And then remembering that every single day like that is what gets you up in the morning, not necessarily doing all of the hard things that it takes to grow a business. And so you have to know why and you have to really know where you're going and then you got to anchor yourself to that. And it's got to be crystal clear and very precise, right? Very like detail oriented so that you can start feeling it in your body and really like letting it control you instead of your toddler brain that sometimes does like I don't want to create a social media post or whatever it is, right? I don't want to feel like it, right? I don't want to. You let that the vision of what you're creating fuel you instead of, you know, a lack of vision holding you back.

Andra 9:35
Right. That's something when I do a consult for one on one clients, I always go that kind of I know, I've heard through Tony Robbins like the seven layers deep, right? So like why do you want to do it? And then they give me an answer. And then I say why is that important? Why is that important? So that's something if you're listening, you can do that exercise like sit still. Why is that? Why is that important to me? Why do I want to do this? Okay if I have money, if I'm creating, this is my full time job, why is that important, right? And just keep going with it. Because we do, it needs to emotionally resonate with us otherwise, and I can speak from experience starting a package food business that did not emotionally resonate with me. And after, you know, a month or two of trying, I was like, yeah.

Andra 13:39
Get it? Yeah. And it's good to note that humans are driven by pain and pleasure, right? So this vision of why is so powerful for the pleasure part. But then if you want to take it a step deeper and a layer deeper, understand the reasons why you need to, right? The consequences that are going to come if you don't create this vision and that can be really painful if you do that in a deep way. And yes, it's not fun and it flat out sucks but it will help you really anchor to your vision and why you're doing what you're doing.

Sari 14:20
Yeah, I found that like during the, you know, once we got past the initial crazy part of the lockdown and pandemic that a lot of people started coming to me and saying like, the pain of me not doing this business is too much, right? Like life is short. It kind of wakes you up to your priorities. And people were like, yeah, I need to do this for me, like it's too painful not to. That's a really powerful motivator.

Andra 14:28
That's a beautiful, beautiful thing to kind of go through and realize, and oftentimes we just don't take the time to think about it like that.

Sari 15:00
And I've been doing an exercise, I just did this last week with my one on one clients where I asked them to think about their like, you know, their five year business like, what is their vision? Like what business are they trying to create? Is it to just focus on the, you know, do they want to be the producer? Do they want to be the seller? Do they want to sell the business? I mean, there's lots of ways to design a business but like, do it on purpose like you said, and then we can make decisions as the CEO not as an employee just sort of bouncing around with whatever the stream takes us but like saying, okay, well, if this is what my vision is of my business then I can start making decisions from that place. But if you don't have a vision, you can't make decisions and then you just get bounced around.

Andra 15:53
Yeah, and you're just at the effect of life and at the effect of your business. And that feels terrible. Because then oftentimes what happens is we don't reach the goals, we don't do the things, we don't achieve whatever success, and then we beat ourselves up about it. Well but in reality, you didn't set yourself up for success like you didn't do the things that are necessary to be able to reach the goal and to do the things. So yeah, you definitely have to go through this a little bit.

Sari 16:22
Love it. So let's talk about CEO mindset because, you know, I really, on this podcast, people ask me sometimes like, you know, why do you do this podcast that you're doing? It's like well I have experts in the industry that gives you the how but the mindset is the other piece of the business. And I think it's often overlooked. People think, if I know how to do it, if I know the steps, the recipe, whatever. But yeah, shaking her head like, you and I both know, the mindset is as important, if not more important. So talk to us about CEO mindset.

Andra 17:02
So you spoke of Tony Robbins earlier, he has this fantastic quote that says, being or growing a business, being a business owner is 80% the inner game and 20% tactics and strategies. The challenge is everybody's out there telling you tactics and strategies. And then when you don't succeed, you think there's something wrong with you. Well there is, you haven't done the inner work, right? You haven't done that inner mindset work to allow yourself to be able to do the tactics and strategies effectively. I've created two businesses now. My first business, I did all the tactics and strategies. I did literally everything that everybody tells you to do. But I did it from the wrong mindset. And I struggled. It was hard. It was not fun. It was, frankly, I really did end up thinking something's wrong with me like other people can do this, why the heck can't I? And so when you really get the mindset, and so if it's 80-20, oftentimes, we need to be doing 80% mindset work and 20% tactics and strategies, right?

Sari 18:19
And that's like, most people are doing zero and then all their time on tactics and strategies, which is great. That's what I offer in Food Business Success but I give you the how, but how we do the how is just as important.

Andra 18:37
It matters. It really, really does. And so a CEO mindset. Number one is, well it encompasses a lot. But the biggest thing that I've seen is that you have to separate out yourself like who you are as a person and who's the business is, right? You are not your business. And when you can remember that, when things in the business fail, you can now remember that you're not a failure, right? You're good, you're fine. But too often people tie those, they link them together and then when things go wrong in the business, they really don't leave their business in a way to pull it back out of it. The struggle that they're in, right? And a CEO mindset is like you're anchored to your vision and then you take relentless action. It doesn't matter what happens like what goes on that day, or what happens that week, or how the last month went, or how the last farmers market went, or how that pitch to the grocery store went, you will not stop, right? You will keep persevering and keep going because you believe in your product and in your business so much because of the work that you've done. You don't question it. It doesn't matter what everybody else thinks and does or says or whatever. But you just, a CEO mindset allows you to fail forward like you just keep going. And you do it from a place of like love and kindness and compassion for yourself. And just the grit is so much easier and more fun actually too. I think oftentimes, I mean, this is an easy way to kind of describe it because a lot of people can identify with this but like I've lost a significant amount of weight. Thirty eights pounds. And I didn't do it from the place of I hate my body, right? Your body cannot take the physical abuse of exercising and restricting your food. And the mental and emotional abuse of your body is ugly, why can't you do this, you suck, like all of the negative chatter that sometimes goes along with weight loss. And so it's the same thing with your business, like you cannot build the business and have a negative mindset. You're gonna have to, like do one or the other. And it's so true. And so you have to build the business and have a positive mindset, an uplifting, beautiful mindset in order to fuel you to build the business. If it was between physically not eating a brownie and beating myself up, I would always eat the brownie. Like your survival brain always goes back to this survival mode that it's in. And that is to eat the food that's pleasurable, right? And so if it's between writing a social media post or sending an email out or whatever and you have a negative mindset, you're not going to do it. You're not going to do the things that will allow you to grow your business. And so mindset is huge. Unfortunately it's like this big trigger word in our society which I hate but it really is key. It is the key to building the business that you want to build. And unfortunately, too many people overlook that part.

Sari 22:33
Oh, my gosh, okay. Have so many things popping over me. I think and, you know, you and I had a coaching session last week and I told you this too. I really feel like this year is the first I mean, six years in business that I finally delink, detach the I'm worthy from my business, right? That the business is proving my worth. And so I just really want people to hear that if you can start a business or wherever you are at in your business, and right now just commit to like, my business means nothing about me as a human, as a worthy individual, as deserving. Any of it, right? Like enough. You are enough. And I just, I think so many people do get into it because they're like, perfectionist, performance, achievement, like let my business prove my worth in the world. And if I can just, if I could boil it down to one thing but whether you go into business or not, it's like, please, please detach that sooner than later.

Andra 23:45
Well, you have to. You have to because here's the thing, whether you build the business or you don't, your value does not increase.

Sari 23:54

Andra 23:55
Who you are as a human is just set, is just God, the universe, whatever. It is what it is. You cannot be more valuable. Like that's divine for you. And so, it doesn't make you anything more. It's just, I think I like to think of it as it's just the path that I want to take in this life. I just want to grow a business like it'll be fun.

Sari 24:25
The vehicle I want to get into.

Andra 24:27
Yeah, exactly. And so it does not have anything to do with your work. So yes, you have to detach from that and that can be really hard because that's not how we're programmed. That's not how we've been brought up. It's oh, if you get an A then I love you. If you do get a trophy then I'm going to show my love, then you're worthy, right? It's just so unfortunately that sometimes takes a lot of deprogramming with people and it's work that you have to do.

Sari 25:02
I just finished that. We all got books at the retreat we were at and I got the Bob Iger, I think it's I say his name, but he's this, the CEO of Walt Disney. And when I think about a CEO, right, like he's not using that job to prove his worth, he's just going in and like, everything's neutral, and we're just being a leader, and we're just tackling it. And I mean, that, I'm not saying that some CEOs don't use it to prove their worth but you know, the most successful ones are just like, okay, problems. Yep. There's always problems in my business, always, always always, right?

Andra 25:02
And they don't beat themselves up about it. It has nothing to do with them. Like it just, it is what it is. That's what an effective, highly effective CEO can do is just say, there's problems, let's solve them. I'm not tying my worth to them. This is not personal.

Sari 26:03
I know, I asked that question a lot in coaching. I know you do too. Like what are you making this mean, right? The story behind it and so detaching that. And then, you know, I think about the, I think a lot of times people like, what I see when they first start is they'll have like bursts of inspiration. While they'll be like, yes, I can do this, I can figure this out. It's so, you know, it's important to me and then we have like a burst and then quickly our negative self talk gets in the way. And so this is a practice and it's not a one time deal. Like how do you help people? Or what do you have to say about that around like, just the daily work that we have to do?

Andra 26:48
I think it's important just to know that it's normal for everyone to have to do this work, right? It's normal for you to have a high and then kind of a dip. Like that's just you being a human. And I think even that just releases the pressure of it, like when so that when you're in kind of a lower state, it's like, oh, this is just being a human. But I also think that having important practices and habits in place for when that does happen, right? And for me, a couple of the things that I like to do is just journal like get a piece of paper, even if it's just a scratch paper, and just write down all the things that I'm thinking. And then that just separates me a little bit from my thoughts. Because I am not my thoughts, and allows me to take a look at them and be like, okay, is this even true? Like, and you just can analyze it a little bit. The second thing is like, have more fun. We need to be having way more fun in our businesses. I'm constantly saying like, the more fun that you have in your business, the more money you're gonna make, because people are attracted to that. You then are energized to go and do all of the things, right? And so, every morning like I always just asked myself, how can I have more fun today? What are the things that I can do? And so I'm constantly having spontaneous dance parties. Like that is something that jazz's me up and so it doesn't matter if I'm home alone, which typically I am, the kids are normally in school and husband's gone to work and so I can just like crank up the music and just dance even if it's for 30 seconds before a call or before I hit record on the podcast or whatever, like having more fun. And then I also like having things that you say to yourself when times get hard that validates where you're at but propels you forward. So those are like "and" or "but" statements like this sucks "and" I'm gonna get through it "and" I've got this, or that was horrible "and" I will try again next time. Or whatever the case may be. Like have "and" and "but" more in your vocabulary because it just, I think validating where you're at to yourself then number one, you don't need everybody else around you validating but then also giving you that little like hook at the end to keep you propelled forward. Though doing those three things will be really, really, really helpful.

Sari 26:58
Yeah, I love the "and" statements and have my "and" poster. I've done a podcast on the "and".

Andra 29:01
Oh, I love that, yes. So good.

Sari 29:02
Yeah, so good. And yeah, it gives you more freedom for sure to like, be like, oh, I can. Yeah, here's where I am right now. But also "and" I can learn from this. I can grow from this. I've always figured it out. Yeah, there's some peace there for sure. When I think about mindset, I think maybe why it gets such a bad rap sometimes is because we think it's like this, you know, the daisies and rainbows and like, I'm good enough, I'm smart enough. I'm like, you know, mantras in front of a mirror. And it's just not true like that. And actually, that doesn't really work.

Andra 29:52
No, because you're typically lying to yourself, right? When you're like, I am powerful. And right now you don't feel powerful at all, your brain is on to you, it's too smart. And so you cannot say lies to yourself like it won't work. Now if there is just a teeny, tiny little seed inside of you that believes you're powerful. You can say something like, in this moment I don't feel powerful but there is power within me. Like you gotta say, you got to shift it to say something actually true to what is really true for you. The challenge is, is most of us haven't even done that work to really understand ourselves and connect with ourselves to be able to come up with those kinds of things in the moment. And so, yeah, if you cannot just affirmations even mantras like, they just don't work. They don't stick because you're not normally telling yourself the truth. And you're not definitely not telling yourself the truth in an empowering way, right? And so you definitely have to just shift that how you're speaking to yourself, how you're talking about others is a mindset. Like there's so many layers to mindset that, and I think that the other thing that why it gets a bad rap is because often we don't put in the work to figure it out. And so, and you don't really realize what your thoughts are, right?

Sari 32:06
There are about 60,000 thoughts spinning around all day long.

Andra 32:11
All day long. And so you can't read, like you can't understand them. And oftentimes, people just think they're thinking in facts and they're not. And so when you point out to them, hey, like there's another way of thinking about that like how you just said it, you think it's factual but it really isn't, would you be willing to explore that and be open to that? If they are, man, that is powerful, like being able to be coached is powerful. And so having that type of mindset of like I don't have to have everything right. Let me be open to other people's opinions, other people's views, other people's insights, is super, super powerful for us.

Sari 32:58
Yeah. I love that. And I want to offer another idea because I love your dance party. I know you, dancing around your house. You know, it's generosity month, that's April and this comes out. So when you know, for me fun has really come alive for me through generosity. So I just want to remind people of that like, there are lots of ways to, people might be like fun like, doing this social media post is not fun. So, or whatever it is, or making, you know, huge batches of product in the kitchen. But how can we like find moments of fun, whether it's dance party, generosity, like how can I serve somebody else? How can I help somebody else? That's been a really big one for me is loosening up, the fun.

Andra 33:50
Yes, yeah. And I want to offer also the ability to praise yourself and to celebrate yourself. That can be fun, even if it's just like a high five, or like personal hug, or just like he did such a good job with that. Like we need to be doing a whole lot more of that in all of our society like everybody needs to be doing a whole lot more of that. And so incorporating little ways that you can celebrate, not just the big things like the little things. I did record that podcast even though it was hard. Or I did make that sales call even though it was hard. Or I just did that sales call. Yey for me even if it wasn't easy, like I showed up. And we definitely need to be celebrating more and that can bring more fun and excitement. I mean, we're not suggesting that everything is going to be fun but bringing more elements of fun into your life even if it's just an "I did a good job". That is fun. Like celebrating yourself.

Sari 34:56
Because if it just sucks, sucks, sucks, sucks, sucks all the way to making money, like what's the point? Okay, five years from now you're, you know, you're having this successful business but you hated it. It sucked every moment like, what? No.

Andra 35:16
Money really cannot buy happiness, right? And the person that you are as you're growing the money is going to be the same person you are when you have the money. It's kind of a mind blowing idea unless you are training your mindset and growing your mind and your capacity as your money is growing. Like all of that baggage is just going to come along with you and it doesn't matter if you have a million dollars. And we know this because there are very, very successful people that take their own lives, right? That are very, very unhappy with their life. And so like, that's why you have to go back to your why like at the beginning when I said like, money is not the reason why you're gonna build this business. You really have to separate that out and understand that money just makes you more of who you are. And so if you're honoree in the journey of building this business, you're going to be honoree when you have the money. It doesn't matter.

Sari 36:25
Yes. Oh, my gosh.

Andra 36:27
So if that's not, you know, evidence and a kick your butt fire to get you to do your mindset, I don't know.

Sari 36:36
I know, right? Sounds pretty terrible to me to work, get your business that much and hate it. So let's talk about leadership because it's actually a good segue, right? Like, your business is not always gonna be fun. It's all gonna be like, wohoo! There are things, you know, I mean, for my clients, it's like, have you done your cash flow statement this week? Some people are listening like, oh, she knows!

Andra 36:36
I have to do that today.

Sari 36:45
You know, are you planning out your social media? Have you done your cost of goods sold? Like it's not always super fun, it's not the glamorous like, I just want to be out, you know, got my product on the store shelf and like, so cool. But it is daily work. And so how you, you know, talk to us about leadership and what that looks like when you're a business of one.

Andra 37:30
When you're a business of one, I love that. You definitely have to have just like when you have, you know, 10 employees or 100 employees, it doesn't matter. CEOs at every level need to have clear expectations, clear boundaries, and clear consequences, right? Just like, I mean, I like to think of it as with motherhood because I'm a mom, right? I have to have clear expectations, clear boundaries, and clear consequences. And then my home runs way more smooth. In fact, when it's not running smooth, I always look back to myself and say, okay, where have I not been clear? And how can I make it more clear? And where do the kids know the boundaries and all of that kind of stuff. And so, you know, you and I both like to start our day by saying five things that we're gonna get done that day. And they are non negotiable. Like they just happen, you make them happen. And as the CEO, leader, if you aren't holding yourself accountable, then ever again, how do you suggest that you're going to be able to hold others accountable, right? And so these are all skills and practices that you have to start with yourself. And that's why I'm constantly, I've gotten a lot of flack about the CEO as an entrepreneur. And the marketing like how I how I talk about it because they're like, well, but they don't have anybody underneath them. And CEOs, like they don't have a board of directors that they have to report to, and they don't have all the other Chief Executive Officers and all of that, all of that stuff. And I'm like, yeah, that's corporate. But bringing that into an entrepreneur, you have to create those skills within yourself so that then you can lead and if you don't, your business is going to be a hot mess and not fun. Like I'm constantly talking about freedom. You got to be a good leader if you want any sort of freedom, right? If you are chained to all of your tasks and all of the things that you have to do and there are no boundaries and there's no, you know, fun and rewards and time off, and because you're so not leading how you need to be leading. It won't matter like all of your business will literally fall apart. And you'll just be frustrated and resentful of your employees that aren't doing things or resentful of yourself that you didn't do what you said you're gonna do. And you start doing the, eroding your self worth, which again are separated. But oftentimes we tie that to it. And so you erode who you are in the trust that you have with yourself. And if you can't trust yourself and business, forget it. Forget it. So leadership is really all about creating the habits and the skills to be able to have a freedom in your business and build the business that you want to have.

Sari 38:16
So I think I and many people have a myth about entrepreneurship. And I totally did at the beginning, where it's like, being an entrepreneur means I'll just, I can do whatever I want whenever I want when I feel like it. And it really wasn't until last year where I really started saying, no, actually, freedom comes through discipline, it comes through habits. And I've talked about this, I just had a podcast about inspiration and motivation, right? And James Clear has a great quote about we don't rise to the level of our goals, we flow to the level of our systems. And CEOs, they understand that discipline is what is required that actually gives us freedom in our business. It gives us the freedom to take time off or, you know, to have more fun. But we got to first have those boundaries with ourselves, right? You and I are working on my boundaries around my like, when do I quit working because I don't have very good boundaries on that. But I do have good boundaries around, you know, I start every day like, you know, doing my morning routine, and I set timers, and I have my Power Five list, and I really do follow through on much of what most of what I say, but the quit quitting time.

Andra 41:01
We're working on her. She's gonna get it, I promise. She's gonna get it.

Sari 42:11
But I think that's a concept that is very, it's very tricky for people when they first started in entrepreneurship because it doesn't, they look at other entrepreneurs who maybe you know, it's easy to look at other people who are five years ahead of you, or two years ahead of you, or 20 years ahead of you and say that's how it should be. But if you actually really look at really successful entrepreneurs, it's through discipline, it's through habits, like good habits, it's through mindset, it's doing the hard thing.

Andra 42:42
Well, and through the stuff that we do daily like in private, is how we're going to be rewarded outwardly with other people, right? I mean, I'm thinking about your business, your food business owners and the things that they do secretly at home, they then get to take out into the world and be rewarded for it. And it's the same thing, right? And your leadership is the daily little things that you do for yourself. And if you have a team, with your team, that then when you go out into the world, you get rewarded for doing those hard things, those challenging leadership things. And that can be challenging for people to really grasp and understand especially when you're like but I have like a billion things to do. And my list is so long and I can't like I'm just a one man band right now. And like sometimes, I feel like people are flipping me off whenever I'm on a podcast saying this kind of stuff or like, F you like, how do you even know? But I do know because I've been there, I've done it, I get it. And yet, I'm still telling you that you have to do the leadership stuff. You just do.

Sari 43:57
Yeah, this is where we grow up, where we really step into that leadership role in our business, that is what being a CEO is. It's not just, I'm playing around I mean it's the easiest way to go slow is if you're not willing to step into this because otherwise you're just gonna start and stop at the whim of your feelings in the outside world and, you know, circumstances. Okay, it's a pandemic, or it's Ukraine, or you know, gas prices, supply chain, all of these things. But you need that vision. You need the mindset and you need the leadership of yourself first.

Andra 44:38
Yes, you cannot lead somebody that you don't know how to lead yourself. It's literally impossible.

Sari 44:44
Oh my gosh, so good. Is there anything else we, I felt like we probably didn't even really stick to our questions. We got to everything I think, but is there anything else you want to leave us with?

Andra 44:59
This is why I was really excited about this conversation because I was like, these are the conversations that we just have and everybody else gets to come and hang out with us for a little bit. I think this is a beautiful talk. I think, a beautiful chat, I think that as your Food Business Success individuals, the people that are really making the fun products for me to go and buy, like please keep going, I want your yummy homemade. I need your product so keep going. That is I guess my the last thing that I'm gonna say is I want you to succeed because I want your product!

Sari 44:59
Right. I know, I try to tell people all the time like we need you. But we need you to be willing to go on that full journey. Yes, people do succeed. Sometimes people just are in the right place, the right time, and the right resources. But I don't know, I don't think that's not the normal.

Andra 46:00
I guess I will offer this one other thing. You said at the beginning like you try to describe entrepreneurship to other people and like, what does that even like mean, and here's what I believe. We are here on earth to grow and evolve. And being an entrepreneur is like one of the most amazing vehicles for growth and development. And we have to grow and develop. Oprah talks about this, she's like, when I didn't learn the lesson the first time, it's like God just kicks me in the keister and gives me something even harder to learn the next time. And so if you're not going to grow and develop with being an entrepreneur, you're gonna get a different challenge to grow and develop in the ways that you need to grow and develop. And oftentimes unfortunately, that through lots of struggles and trials and challenges as well, right? That's how life is. And so I like to just choose like this is my path. And I get to impact a ton of people and help them. Like my purpose in life is to help other people live out the life that God has for them. And I do that through coaching female business owners to be the CEOs of their business, so that they can grow the business, so that they can impact the world. Like it's just, we all get to rise when we allow this process. Don't fight against it, lean into it, and go big, and go hard, and have so much fun, and have so much growth going through it.

Sari 47:42
Yes, I love that. So I'm gonna ask you to share where people can find you. But I wanted to say like, I have done some vision work with you, and it's been really powerful, and it's something I'm looking forward to continuing. But if you have trouble, like you said, like, it's hard for us to sit still, it's hard for us to take this time sometimes because we feel like, oh, I should be doing all these other things in my business, or you know, family and all the other things that we have going on. So, you know, working with a coach like Andra is a really powerful way to clarify that vision and to work on tools around mindset. But yeah, just giving yourself that gift of, you know, being still with somebody holding space for you and guiding those questions because sometimes I think we're like, okay, I'm gonna work on my vision right now and then we just, like get to draw blanks, right? It's like, I don't know, we get a couple lines in and then feel like we come to a blank.

Andra 48:43
That always happens when I'm trying to produce content and like, okay, it's content time. Oh, nothing's happening. But if I go on a walkor I go and do something then I get all these ideas, right? So it's the same way like when you go in sit down and do like coaching on yourself or trying to do mindset work on yourself, and you're like nothing's happening. I don't know what I'm doing.

Sari 49:05
I must be doing it wrong.

Andra 49:07
Having somebody to guide you through that is so powerful. Plus there's gaps that you're not gonna see even if you do manage to sit and do the work. You're going to miss stuff.

Sari 49:18
That is the value of a coach. Yeah, seeing the forest from the trees. What you don't see, what you can't see. Yeah, I need to start using the metaphor because it's perfect for me. Like you can't read the outside of the label when you're in inside the jar, right?

Andra 49:37
You can't. You don't know how to do it especially the recipe, right? You can't figure it out. So yeah, you definitely use that one.

Sari 49:48
Well, Andra, tell everyone where they can find you. You have a great podcast, your website, all of it.

Andra 49:53
Oh, yeah. My podcast is Be The CEO, right? So we're not I'm going to call ourselves a CEO, we're going to be the CEO. And you can find that on all the major, you know, podcasts outlets. And my website is andraericsson.com. The podcast is also there, come and find me. There's a free resource, the Three Things That You Need to Let Customers Line Up at the Door to Pay You. You want more customers, right? There's three steps. So come and get that free resource. And I look forward to having further connections with your listeners.

Sari 50:34
I love it. Well, we'll put those links in the show notes, of course. So thank you so much Andra, so fun to be able to just yeah, it's like we're just so what we do when we get together. Just have these conversations.

Andra 50:47
I love it. It's so, it's such a fun conversation. Thank you, Sari, for the pleasure, for bringing me on. I really appreciate you.

Sari 50:55
Absolutely. All right. Thanks, Andra. And until next time, have an amazing week!

Sari 51:06
Are you ready to start that delicious idea that you make in your home kitchen or grow your existing packaged food business and take it to the next level? The most successful food business entrepreneurs have support, guidance, focus, and accountability to help them make it happen quickly without wasting time or money. Plus, I think starting your packaged food business should actually be fun. Food Business Success is your secret ingredient to creating your food business dream. Please don't go this alone. Check out the private free Food Business Success Facebook Group to connect with other foodpreneurs. Get your questions answered quickly. Share your wins and receive special training and tools I only share inside the private community. Just search for Food Business Success on Facebook or get the link in the show notes. Curious about how Food Business Success can help you? Head over to foodbizsuccess.com and fill out the application to see if you're a great fit for the program. Together let's make your food business dream a reality!



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