Building a successful business is no easy task. This goes without saying, but often when an aspiring entrepreneur enters their career of choice, they find that it’s not what they thought it to be. Owning one’s own business means not only getting to call the shots and creative control, but also working long hours, making difficult decisions and having the weight of business problems squarely on your shoulders.
But the pay off when everything goes well, when your vision is rewarded from the hard work you put in, that can’t be beat. But there are a number of things first-time entrepreneurs must know before beginning a new business venture. This post will be the first in a series of blog posts about entrepreneurial success. In these posts, we’ll highlight local entrepreneurs who have graciously offered to share their experience with the Organik SEO team.
We’re shining a spotlight on one of our local favorites, GoodOnYa, owned and operated by Kristen (Kris) Buchanan. Here’s what she shared with our editorial team:
Know Your True Purpose
Sometimes one’s purpose is evident from the get-go, but often, it’s a discovered sense of purpose that leads people to a passionate existence. Kris Buchanan can attest to the latter. The combination of her experience working in an office park deli and her career as a field hockey olympian led her to her passion. And while she excelled in her athletic career, it wasn’t until after she hung up her cleats that she found her true calling: to heal and nourish people with healthy, delicious food.
Kris now owns the successful San Diego food bar and beverage manufacturer (and soon to be cafe) GoodOnYa. Kris has ‘You Matter’ imprinted on the back of each business card she hands out because her mission is to remind people that they, indeed, matter and should treat their bodies accordingly. Her line of healthy nutrition bars made from non-GMO ingredients and athlete-level Hydrate drinks speak to this mission. Your purpose, as Kris can attest to, is heavily dependent on what inspires you – what motivates you to act.
As a young athlete, Kris ate the typically prescribed diet of unhealthy high calorie foods to ‘fuel’ her olympian lifestyle. But she found that these foods made her ill and, on top of it, was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. Rather than succumb to that diagnosis, she took life by the reins and decided to truly understand the root of her illness and how she might affect it. She got a degree in nutrition and learned about the affects of stress, GMOs and nutrition. Our lives often lead us to a certain passion, and it’s that passion that will help drive any entrepreneurial effort.
Go With What You Know
During Kris’ field hockey career, she and her teammates gravitated toward certain foods. She recreated healthy versions of the foods for GoodOnYa. The name ‘GoodOnYa’ comes from the colloquial Australian phrase. Kris and her teammates spent a good amount of time in Australia and this inspired her business.
It’s OK to Be Picky
Passion alone doesn’t cut it. Creating a bar takes hard work and involves food science (did you know that discordant ratios of fat and sugar can cause a bar to melt?). Cultivate a team that has the right blend of industry-specific knowledge and a true desire to see the business succeed. When it comes to your business, it’s ok to be picky about choosing the team that’s going to help your business thrive!
Kris is just as picky about the ingredients she puts into her food and drinks. As she says, “Nutrition was an evolution of me learning. If I’m going to be selling something to someone, it’s not a sweater, it’s something you’re putting in your body. It’s a huge responsibility.” She’s providing GoodOnYa’s consumers with high quality products – that’s part of her special sauce.
Speak openly to people you meet. Tell them about yourself and your business, but never with a desire to sell and always with the goal of sharing your passion. Kris shared her trials and tribulations with us, told us how her business grew and where the desire to build it came from and told us about her favorite products. It was a conversation. We could tell that with her, it’s never a sales pitch. If you speak about your business honestly and with passion, those who align with those passions will be moved by what you tell them and you’ll create loyal customers and valuable relationships. Networking and friendliness goes a long way. Because of the relationships she builds, she’s even had a local competitor help her when she needed it.
Think Local and Use Your Resources
Kris was thinking local before thinking local was a thing. GoodOnYa sources ingredients from local farms and businesses, not because it’s cool or nice, but because it makes sense and she can vouch for their products. Kris builds organic relationships with people that become business relationships. Think of the existing resources you have and build upon those. Those are often the most real and the most fruitful opportunities you have to grow your business. Rather than a pie in the sky partnership, consider your current connections and how you can help them, and, in turn, how they might be able to help your business grow.
Are you, or do you know, a local entrepreneur with passion and purpose who has a great story to share? We’d love to hear more about it and maybe interview them for this blog series. At Organik SEO People & Planet First is one of our Core Values, so sharing the stories of those who have found success by giving back and simply being an amazing human being something that excites us. If this is you, or this hits the mark of someone you know, give us a shout and tell us about it!
If you enjoyed this post you might also want to take a peek at our Companies That Care Spotlight series which highlights companies that are taking their businesses a step further by giving back in some way, shape, or form.