This may be the first blog topic that has come to me more out of frustration than inspiration. You guys know by now that aside from the occasional “I’ve had a crappy week” posting, typically I write about all the wonderful experiences and the progress I’ve made. This week I’m going to share with you one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in my short time as an entrepreneur:
Throw out the rule book.
A classic “rookie” mistake
My awareness of this concept began seven years ago when worked for Hilton Hotels and managed a team that sold for seven of their hotels in Boston. I was on the phone with a member of the management staff of one of my hotels…and truth be told, we were driving each other crazy arguing about how to handle something. I made a somewhat rookie mistake and said “but this is how all the other hotels are doing it”.
You can imagine what happened next… My colleague went through the roof.
And rightfully so. I unknowingly fell into a common trap in today’s world; assuming that the way that it’s been done in the past is the best way to do things in the future. I realized immediately that she was correct and (after a heartfelt apology) forever changed my approach problem solving.
This happened again when I was on the phone with a vendor from the Fancy Food Show yesterday. I was explaining my idea for packaging, or trying to anyways, and he kept steering me back to a traditional solution. Blah blah boring! After several minutes of listening to his very predictable suggestions, I finally snapped and said “yes, I know it’s never been done before…that’s the whole point!”
My way or the highway
There is no rule book or roadmap when you’re starting any new business. I guess that’s part of the challenge…umm…I mean appeal. People can tell you what may have worked (or not worked) for them, but at the end of the day, nobody knows Little City Kitchen Co. like I do, and it’s empowering to be able to make what I think are the best business decisions.
With that being said, I use every available resource! So many elements of this business are brand new to me, so I reach out to the industry experts, my business coach, other food entrepreneurs, etc… But I always consider their advice and ask myself “how can I make this work for me?” Sometimes I can’t, but almost always there is some nugget that is helpful to me.
So along those lines, I’ve decided to throw the ole rule book out the window and just keep doing my thing. And you know what…it feels pretty kick ass!
For those interested in a baby food cooking demonstration, join me on Sunday, March 6 from 1pm – 2pm at Tot Tank in Alameda, and I’ll show you how easy it is to make organic baby food in any home kitchen. Cost is only $20.00 and all participants get to take home the food we prepare during the demo. Click here for more information and to register.
The Spring cooking class schedule will be released next week, so stay tuned. Have fun until then!