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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!
Hey there, welcome back to the podcast. This one's going to be a good one and probably one you might need to come back to a different points in your business. Let's talk about when is it time to quit. This might seem like oh, this isn't a very positive topic, Sari, but I thought the whole thing you do is to help us get started and to keep going. And that's absolutely true. But I will say there's kind of the "q" quit those kind of daily like, should I just want to quit, this is hard. And then there's the "Q", quitting, right? Like, should I quit this business? And this came up yesterday and I'm actually recording this sort of impromptu. Going to move next week's podcast. So the week after about regret. And I'm going to talk about this topic today. Because it's really timely, yesterday we had a Power Hour inside Food Business Success. And I love these, these are times in our month where you can come and work on a result that you want. And you kind of have this energy of the group and the accountability to stay focused. Anyway, so one of our members, Nancy, who makes the most amazing, she does cakes and cake pops and things. But she also has been really focused on making this; it's like a, it's a liaise waffle with a donut glaze. We've lovingly called it the duffel. So Nancy is like a great model of somebody really taking full advantage of Food Business Success and what you should be doing in there. She's watching the modules, she's coming to a lot of the calls, she's doing things like this Power Hour, she did the Activator with me as well to really dig into her cost of goods sold and talk about the high level concept of her business. But she's been at it for a while, I can't remember exactly how long but she has been doing this part for at least, I don't know, four to six months, and she's under cottage food. So there's that piece of it. And she has the most amazing French accent, I love it. But I just love Nancy and I want her to be really successful. But yesterday in her Power Hour, she came with the result that she wanted to create was to write down and look at all of her expenses of the business as well as the income and really look at it and say, what is happening in this business. And so I really applaud her for being willing to do that. I think a lot of people even though I give you all the tools and like estimate your expenses and like get a forecast, that these are the things that aren't the fun part, right? And I get it like you're excited out of the gate, like I'm gonna make this work, it's gonna be awesome. And you're not necessarily looking at all the expenses ahead of time and just making decisions ahead of time. And so I'm going to talk about some of the things that I think will help set you up for success. So that you don't have quite all the drama of like months in and then you're like, this feels really hard, I really need to finally look at these numbers. And I just like to, when we do number work, it's like, this is just math, we can take all the drama out of it. And we can say, this doesn't mean anything about me as a person or a business owner. I don't need to make the math mean that I'm a failure and this is never gonna work and I'm not worthy. Who am I, right? All of that negative self talk that can come up when we, which is why we're so scared, I think to look at the real numbers of it. But it's really important work and so I do want to just applaud Nancy for being willing to do that work. So at the end she said, when we check in to say how to go, she said, I really like, I'm not making any money. This is very expensive, putting a lot of money out and not making much coming in. And she said, when do I know when it's time to quit? Or if it's time to quit? And so I went to, I went into our private Facebook group, and I kind of left some thoughts there. And I wanted to put it out on a podcast for everyone. And as I was thinking about kind of my answer to that question because it's a big question. And like I said, there's kind of the "q" quit of like, this is a little hard, I just, I don't want to do it, I'm having a rough day, maybe I should quit. But like, ultimately, you kind of get over it and you keep moving on and just recognize that something's hard, versus like, oh, I'm looking at the real numbers, I'm looking at the time and the investment that I've made. When do I know whether I should quit the whole thing?
And as I was thinking about this, I'm thinking about the book by Seth Godin called The Dip. And so I'll be referring to some of his concepts in this because I think he really spells it out nicely. So he talks about, first we need to look at, are you in a dip where like you said, you come in, you're excited, you're like, yeah, let's go and you're fired up. And then you're going to hit a dip where obstacles are going to come up, it's kind of like, you're over the honeymoon phase, right? Like, oh, this isn't as fun as I thought it would be. This is hard. I'm having to do hard things, and maybe having to do social media and put myself out there, I'm having to get control of my schedule, I'm having to focus my brain and get over procrastination. Just why I love that we're talking about productivity and doing a whole boot camp inside Food Business Success. But you're gonna hit dips, every business does, every business owner is going to hit a dip, many dips. Just expect that there will be many in your business. Nothing has gone wrong when there is a dip. So that's the first thing, is nothing's gone wrong when we have those moments. But sometimes, he uses a cul de sac as an example. But I almost think it's more like a roundabout, like sometimes we're like just repeating the same thing over and over and over again. And it's not working. It's not working. It's not working, like we're putting in the effort and we're doing the work. But there is a time to step back and be like, okay, let's look at the numbers. Let's look at the facts. And let's really evaluate it not from an emotional place. It's not going to mean anything about us. But let's evaluate it, you know, from a business standpoint, and really look and say, is this working? And Seth says winners quit all the time. And I think there's that notion that like, we never should quit, we never should quit anything. But winners know, what are the right things to quit. And a couple episodes in the happiness episode, I talked about putting everything out on the lawn. And maybe it doesn't mean that you quit the whole business. But you realize that certain parts of the business are no longer serving you or they just aren't getting you a result that you want. But you've committed, you know, you've been in it, you've tried it. And so you can actually measure results. It's not just like a one time thing. But there are times when we're like, ooh, I need to quit this, this is not working for me. And if I quit this then it'll open up space to do some other things. You know, in entrepreneurship, we call it failing fast, right? Let's like, let's get to the place where we're like, evaluating it and fail fast so we can make new decisions. And that might mean pivoting, it might mean trying new things. Like you could totally pivot the whole business and do something a little bit different, I mean, and it might be that you quit. But I think we need to quit strategically. And so how we do that, and here's a really important piece of it is if you're brandnew in your business, or if you have started but you're kind of questioning, is this working, should I quit?
We need to first step back and kind of non emotionally decide ahead of time what success looks like. And we need to give it a timeframe. So for example, you might say, success in my business, I'm going to launch my, I'm just gonna use Nancy's product, I'm gonna launch my waffle product. And I'm going to give it six months of like full out, all in investment. And I am willing to commit this amount of time and this amount of resources. So maybe you decide, I'm willing to invest $3,000, right? This is cottage food. So the investment levels pretty small upfront. A lot of that money is going to really be spent on, I mean, there will be some on your packaging, and obviously the ingredients, and going into the product. But a lot of it's probably going to be spent on like marketing and sales fees, maybe like farmers markets or things like that. So just decide ahead of time, make a plan, have your own back and say, in three months, I'm going to evaluate if this is working, and I might make some adjustments. And then in six months, if that's what you've committed to, I'm going to evaluate the whole thing, and say, let's just look at all the numbers, let's look at the facts. And then we're going to make some decisions. And again, those decisions might be that you're going to pivot, maybe you're just like this, this waffle thing is just not working, people don't understand it, I'm not, they're just not responding to it. And so you might pivot to a different product, you might decide to shut it all down, you might decide to make adjustments to your marketing strategy or sales strategy. But in any case, you need to just put a timeframe on it because if we don't, then it's really loose, and we're not making the best decisions. Because every decision, everything we have to, every problem we have to solve is like, we're redeciding if we should be doing this business, instead of just saying, I'm just gonna go all in, I'm gonna solve problems, I'm gonna make this investment. And then I'll reevaluate in the future at this specific time. So it's just going to set you up to really give it your all and go all in and not be so worried about the outcome at that particular time. So I like to do that first, right, define success and be realistic about it. I mean, I'm all for impossible goals and going after big things. But those are impossible for a reason, because most likely it's not possible. It means you're going to take big action to create the possibility potentially. So I'm all for impossible goals. But I also think we need, especially when you're just starting out a realistic goal. Because when you come to me and you say I haven't even started but in a year, I want to be making $100,000 in sales and I want to be in Costco. People have come to me and said that, right? That that's probably not realistic. I'm not saying that it hasn't happened for some people. But I want you to just manage those expectations. So if you're in cottage food, right, I mean, there's limited sales channels and limited scalability. And so, you know, let's just put out what is it to be realistic, and I want you to know, just have an expectation that you are probably going to lose money for your first year, at least. Do not expect that you're going to be like rolling in high profit. And even if you are breaking even, or you are making some profit, you're probably going to put a lot back into the business. And not to say that some cottage food businesses or other businesses are successful out of the gate, where they are making profit. But, you know, it might be, let's say, you know, cottage food, maybe you're making, you know, a $1,000 profit a month or something. And so you can define that for you, you know, that success in six months or success in a year is that I am making, I made, you know, $12,000 in profit or $1,000 a month in profit, that's fine to go after that. But I just want you to kind of manage your expectations depending on the product, how much you're going to invest to get it set up. And then your particular amount of energy, of time, and money, and what are the resources you have to devote to it. And even like where you live like are there markets? Is there demand? Can you sell wholesale or not? You know, is it only direct to consumer? So let's just kind of manage those expectations a little bit.
Okay, so you've defined success. And then I want to just offer a couple of questions or thoughts, some statements for you to think about. So the people who can get through the dip, and I look at that as how do you get through the dip, you create consistent action, you're taking massive action, you have discipline, like you're honoring your calendar, you are honoring your word of what you say you're going to do, you are creating a plan ahead of time, and you are actually following the plan. You are managing your calendar and your time, and you're overcoming negative self talk. You guys, that is why I do this podcast. That is why I am a coach first, I just happened to be an expert in the package food industry. But I have embraced coaching because I really think that the negative self talk is one of the biggest things that slows you down or makes you quit altogether. You can have the best idea in the world. And you can have the resources of time and money to do it. But if you can't overcome and work through and create new habits to get over your negative self talk, you're dead in the water. Like, I use the example in one of my talks that I do about accelerating your business of like, you're in the car, you've chosen to get in the car of entrepreneurship, this is your product, you're like, yay, let's go, let's hit the gas, you're excited. And then I have a picture of this car that is just overloaded. Like, it's twice the size, twice the height of the car. And I look at that as like your, your doubt and your confusion and your insecurity and your fear of judgment and your fear of failure, and all of that negative self talk. So it's gonna be really hard to get going and to keep going when you're weighed down by all of that negative self talk. So know that the people who ultimately succeed in a dip, they are embracing the challenge of the dip. They're not making it mean anything about them that they're a failure, that they're never gonna figure it out. Who do they think they are, right? They're working through all of that negative self talk. And they're saying, yes, this is going to make me better. This is a challenge that I am going to take on and it's worth my time. And I'm going to push through. And that's where success is, it's on the other side of those dips. And you're going to have lots of them along your journey. And each time you're gonna build up the muscle of doing hard things. And it's gonna get easier because I promise it will. I've been through many, many dips. Big and small. Definitely you guys have heard the story if you've listened the podcast about the big like, should I quit, and I almost took another job. And there was a legal thing against my business. And I really questioned at all, I was like, should I quit? And then I decided to go all in one last time. Again, I set up what does success look like? And I gave it a period of time. And I just went all in with my time and my energy and my money, right? So success is on the other side and oftentimes, I don't know if you guys have heard that story of like three feet from gold. But there's like this land that somebody buys. And you know, it's reported to have gold on it. And this person's like, digging and has all these this machinery and digging these holes and trying to find the gold and dah dah dah. And for years, they're doing this. I don't know if I'm getting the story right, but they're just like, they're digging, nothing, nothing, nothing for years and years. They finally, they give up, they sell the land. The next person that comes along, digs three feet further, and they strike gold. So three feet from gold. So oftentimes using as a metaphor for your business. We're so close. It's the getting through the dip and just going a little bit longer and a little bit further. We're like oftentimes we quit just before we get there. And how do we know if it's the big like we should quit, right? Like I said the beginning, winners quit all the time. They just quit the right things. That's where we do have to step back and evaluate from a business mind and look at it from the facts.
And ultimately, and here's what I put in the Facebook Group, I'll actually pull that up. Okay, a few other things I want you to consider that I wrote down in the post inside the private Facebook Group. So, again, looking at the numbers, as math, it's giving you information, not attaching all the drama. What's your definition of success for this business? And in what timeframe? And is it reasonable? Expect to put out more in investment than you're gonna get back for the first year or more. And then I said, is your WHY compelling? I've done a couple of podcasts on your why and your purpose. But it has to be big enough to help you get through the dips because if it's too small, you're just gonna quit, right? Think about all the things that you've wanted to do, those New Year's resolutions. If your WHY is not emotional to you, if it doesn't, like, get you kind of fired up, and I don't mean it needs to like, be like, wohooo, I'm so excited. But is there commitment behind it? Is there motivation, or discipline, or determination? Where you're just like, yes, I have to do this. So make it a little bit bigger, make it, you know, something that really is going to emotionally resonate with you, that's going to be bigger than those little dips in the road. So do you want the outcome of your big WHY more than you want to avoid discomfort because the dips are all about discomfort. It's not comfortable to be putting your energy and time out and to not be making money to cover those expenses. It's not comfortable to go and approach buyers. It's not comfortable to go to a brand new farmer's market, right? These are all things that can be really uncomfortable but is your WHY bigger than your desire to avoid discomfort?
And then I asked, are you enjoying the journey? This is a big one because I think entrepreneurship is way more than making a certain amount of money in the business. I just look at entrepreneurship as a particular vehicle that some people choose to get into to further their self-growth, to further their development. I really believe that us as humans are wired for growth, that we have this innate desire to grow and to contribute, and to develop ourselves and get better as humans out in the world. And entrepreneurship is one of the vehicles you can choose that I love because it will bring up all of your crap, that for you to deal with. So let's not look at entrepreneurship in our business as a way to get something to make us feel better and improve our self-esteem and confidence. Let's look at it as the vehicle for us to grow those things, to develop, to evolve. And so, in addition, yes, we need to be business people. But in addition, are you actually growing and evolving and changing and becoming somebody new in this process? And are you enjoying that? Yes, it's hard. But man, when you do something hard and you get through it, there is no better feeling in my book anyway. When I'm like, oh, I sent that uncomfortable email and I made that request. And I do it, and whether or not they say yes, I did something hard. And it builds my confidence and it helps me grow and expand as a person. And this is what I see my clients doing. And that's what fills me up. That's why I'm a coach because I want to help you get over all of that negative stuff. And really just embrace the journey of like how you are growing and developing. So there is the money aspect. Of course there is the business that needs to be making good business sound decisions, but there's also the journey, the entrepreneurial journey, and are you growing? Are you making progress? Are you celebrating your wins and the progress that you have already made? Most of the time, we don't look back at those wins. And so yeah, we're gonna feel like we're failing because you are failing a lot. You're going to fail more than you win. Then you get the big W, right, the big outcome. But you have to celebrate along the way. So be willing to look at the whole business and again, there may be things where you're like, that part isn't working, but make, do designated check-ins before you make big decisions, right? I'm gonna go all in on this particular plan, my business model for the next three months, and then I'm going to check in, or I'm going to evaluate in six months, but every three months, I'm going to evaluate as well. And then, finally, I just said, know that every business has to get the flywheel going at the beginning. Depending on your product, your resources of time and money and your desire, some things, some businesses are just going to take longer, it's going to be harder. Maybe there's more education with your product, maybe, you know, you just don't have a lot of time. So those businesses are going to take longer. So be careful again that we're not putting too high of expectations on your business to provide something for you.
If you think that by creating this business, you're going to be happy, you're going to create happiness, you're like, on the other side of this, I will finally be happy, I'll finally be confident. I have sad, sad news for you, that is just not the way it works. You're going to develop those things along the way and step into that but your business, I like to think of it as like a baby, your business cannot give you any of those things at the beginning. You are going to be putting so much nurture, and love, and commitment, and all in resources. You have to take care of your baby. Your baby is not going to give you anything. So let's just drop that expectation. It's only over time as we grow the business that it becomes a toddler and it's starting to walk on its own a little bit. And then we're developing a little bit more and more independence. But it's a long journey for your business to give back to you. And we just should drop all the expectations that your business will give you happiness, it's just not going to happen. It just won't. Think about everything you've ever invested in, your relationship, purchases. You know, if we think, oh, if I just buy that car, I'll finally be happy. And then like three weeks later, you're like, oh, I thought I would like have permanent happiness because of this car. No, it's not the way it works. Your business is not, you're not entitled to anything, your business is not going to give you anything. As far as happiness, you are growing as a person. You are the one who is getting through challenges and like deciding on your own happiness. You get to choose that. You get to choose those emotions, but your business doesn't give it to you.
So I can't tell you when it's time to quit. I just want you to know that there will be little, little dips along the way. And actually I am working with a client who did decide to shut down her business. It was, it was doing really well on paper in that there were a lot of accounts, and she was selling. But when we looked at the real numbers and her abilities and talents and resources of what it was going to take to actually scale up and really make it work and have the expenses, right? And she had been doing this for two or three years now. So there was definitely like she given it a lot of time and she had been expanding and growing. And I mean, all of those things were amazing. But when we really look at the expenses versus the income and what it would take to get to the next level. She ultimately said no, it's time. Right? It doesn't make sense and I don't want to keep going. And you just have to like your reason. Don't do it because you're scared. Don't do it. You know, just all of that negative self talk, don't quit because of that. That's not going to feel like strength and power. Again, winners quit, they just quit the right things. So when you check in with yourself and the reason that you want to quit, do you like your reason? Does it feel empowering? Does it feel like the right thing to do? Or is it just like, it'll give you some quick relief from that hardness, that discomfort that you're feeling right now.
All right, my friends, I hope that's helpful. Know that the dips are going to happen. Know that this is part of the journey, and they are making you stronger. So even if you decide to quit six months, a year, five years. I mean, I have worked with clients that you know, five years later, they decide to quit, there's nothing wrong with that. There is no shame in any of it. You are a better human because you went through this journey. And sometimes things are just complete, right? Sometimes we just feel like, this is just complete for me, I'm ready to move on to something else. And that's okay, you have permission to do that. But if you're still feeling the why strongly and deeply and you're like, yeah, like, we got to dig deep and get dig into our grit and our determination and our commitment and our why. And the best thing you can do is get support and help from somebody in the industry. When you're feeling like things get really, really hard. And you're spinning around in that roundabout. Please evaluate, do I have help? Who can help me get out of this because you only know a small sphere of what's possible. And you're only living inside yourself. You have to get out and get other people's perspective, understand the bigger picture, understand what's possible. Connect with community and what other entrepreneurs are doing.
So I just have to make a plug here because, you know, I love it that Nancy is doing all the right things, she has gotten help. She's shown up in her business, she's showing up on calls, she's doing the work. And she's getting outside input. And that's the best way to make these decisions on whether you should quit or not. So please, if you don't have any support before you give up, I'm going to implore you, invite you to come make a small investment and set a period of time, right? Say I'm going to join Food Business Success for three months. And then I'm going to reevaluate, but I'm going to go all in and I'm going to learn, I'm gonna show up on the calls, and I'm going to ask Sari all my questions. And we're going to figure this out. We're going to make wise rational non-emotional decisions. So please, please get support and accountability and expertise before you just decide to quit. All right, I know this is going to be so helpful for so many of you. And until next time, have an amazing week.
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.