It's been my intention for a while now to start a "founder's blog" and have a space to share what little knowledge I have acquired over the 3 years into my entrepreneurial journey. I sometimes get asked questions from others wanting to start something of their own. I often find it hard to verbalize the challenges of just a few months back, let alone last year. It's so easy to forget how hard something was when you were new at it.
But it's those little initial challenges (or unknowns) that matter to someone new in the game. That's why I want to make it a point to note down the little things that I might forget were hard a few months from now. When I started Tea Drops, my journey began in my apartment kitchen. At that time I had never heard the term "copacker" or even "commercial kitchen". I had NO experience in the food & beverage industry. I was fumbling as to how to design a packaged good, let alone obtain a product barcode. While I had many questions, I also sadly didn't know the questions to ask. There is no substitute for experience, but sometimes learning from someone else's will suffice.
There are many entrepreneurs I look up to who are very generous with their knowledge and sharing their experience. They typically regret that they did not have the bandwidth or space to pen their thoughts or lessons until "post" journey, after they reach our societal constructs of "success" -- millions in profit, an acquisition, or other exits out of the entrepreneur's seat. However, I think there is a ton of value to sharing lessons while in the seat. You're never as close to a problem or hurdle as the moment you are dealing with it.
I wanted a space to share some of my 'practical' learnings with others in real-time, covering the very basics of getting started with an idea, identifying what certifications you need, and what trade shows are actually worth your effort/time/money (a perpetual question everyone seems to have). This will be particularly helpful to aspiring food entrepreneurs, but I hope it is of value to anyone pursuing a dream.
Thanks for joining my journey and cheers to starting your own!