It's early in our startup's existence and I'm still learning volumes daily. But there are a few key learnings that I'm confident in sharing for those of you whom may find themselves in a similar situation as mine just a few years back, comfortable in a corporate environment and only passively considering a change.
One, if it's really scary to think about, it might really be worth it to pursue.
I had dreamed about a coffee company for many years but never thought it rational, reasonable and thus, realistic. Other than being a rabid consumer of coffee, what did I really know about it? But the passing of loved ones has a way of magnifying the shortness of life, so what really is the point of affording fear and the unknown such weight? Rather than formidable barriers, they are just components that can be dispensed with action.
Fear stasis, not change.
Two, every individual has something to teach you.
And because of this, every single interaction holds meaning. I made a personal goal at the outset of my entrepreneurial journey to meet at least one new person each day. Any age, any background, through any situation etc. Because people are fascinating and simply listening to others opens eyes, changes perceptions and breathes life into your own creativity.
Savor every introduction and look forward to listening.
Three, stay flexible.
We began with a single, fresh roasted, beautifully packaged, personalized gift available online only. Now on- and offline, we retail a variety of personal, custom and corporate gifts, coffee for the home, equipment, operate a specialized delivery vehicle, wholesale and now our first Gifting Cafe inside a stunning Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Aston Martin Retailer. These pivots happened not because they were necessarily planned, but as a result of feedback, suggestions, experience, introspection and of course, a staunch willingness to adapt. To me, opportunities realized, then pursued provide much of the fun behind being an entrepreneur. Being closed minded at any stage would be a disservice to all that you may be dreaming.
Remaining open may surprise you with a new journey.
Four, fill your days with what makes you feel good.
Our model - at events, pop-ups and of course at our Gifting Cafe - entails always complimentary cups of SYPCOFFEE. We are extremely focused on earning your trust and confidence in gifting and the best way we have found to do this is by simply placing SYPCOFFEE in your hand, albeit with zero purchase expectations. Once taste is validated (it's really good), we believe all of it's other merits - attention to detail in design, personalization and service - will earn your serious consideration. What we did not anticipate is how good it feels for us to place this cup in your hand. In addition to fielding your honest response, it allows us to exchange stories - and yours are invariably fascinating. These types of connections, all day long, enrich our days as much as we hope to help enrich yours and your loved ones.
Feel good. Do good.
Five, and perhaps most importantly, just keep asking yourself what's the worst that can happen...
Because seriously, life is really short and you might just realize that everything you have experienced thus far is really a setup for transforming that dream you have always held.