So the little gnat on my shoulder that's been telling me this past year " YOU DON'T HAVE TIME TO BLOG IDIOT. .. GET SELLING. . .GET SOME CASH FLOW. . .DON'T BLOW THIS LAUNCH!", has finally up and died. And I've realized that sharing this story is half the fun of living it. In fact, I kinda need to do this for selfish reasons too. . .I realized this past year that I'm not as super chill as I thought. My ability to handle stress is not what I dreamed it to be and writing is dang cathartic. .. .as slack as my skills may be.
So back on the blog horse I go.
Over the next few weeks I'll attempt to do a bit of a catch up. .. There's definitely been some highs and some pretty nasty lows. . .and of course a whole lot of learning the hard way.
To those of you who are on this ride with me, thanks for the continued support while I took a break:)
GORP has officially launched and we are in the throws of finding our way in a very big and intimidating retail world. . .I am sure that I DON'T KNOW WHAT I DON'T KNOW. . .and there will be lots to walk through in the coming year.
I've been told many times to be careful what I share on this blog, that exposing too much will hurt my business. .. that people aren't as forgiving as I think. . .that people will steal ideas, use things I share against me. . .but I can't come to terms with that. For better or worse I decided a long time ago to relentlessly believe that people are mostly awesome(!), and that they are giving me the benefit of the doubt, and that's the shade of rose my glasses will be. I in turn, do the same.
This business will tell it's story. Not after we succeed. . .but before and along the way:) If we fail, so be it. . .there will be truth and lessons to look back on. . .so onward and upward. . .if a storm is gonna take me down, it better be ready for a fight!
Can you spot the GORP bar? (hint. . .look under her right hand;)
Lynn Angele, you are awesome, and hardcore and I can't tell you how tickled I am that you took this photo with a GORP bar strategiclaly propped up in the beautiful background. . .you rock:)
And Lisa, our office manager extrodinaire. . .this gal's support and enthusiasm keep me going on those days I slump into the farm office feeling a bit "challenged". . . I can't believe these two thought to take GORP photos on their vacations. . . .I am so lucky to have people like this in my life. . .
Plus. ..I got my very first (unsolicited, I might add) GORP bar testamonial from my hardworking cousin Sam who works as a paramedic. .. I've posted it below. Whenever people ask me how to use GORP, I always go into my "Puzzle piece" speech. . .in short, I want folks to use the bar like a puzzle piece to fit into their lives where they need healthy convenient food the most. . . whether it's used to stave off making bad food choices, or very strategically in a nourishment program for athletes. . .OR even as a meal replacement. . .there is no right or wrong way to use it. . .I just want it to contribute to a healthy lifestyle for the EATER:)
Here's Sam's testamonial:
"A little Gorp promo here, because I work a lot on-call (Late nights or all nighter call outs) I found that I was either eating too much or feeling starved after a late night call. Some of our calls can take anywhere from 3-5 hours depending on
patient condition. So when I get woken up by the pager I don't have time
to make a late night snack before the call and usually when I get back into
station I don't have the energy to even pour a bowl of cereal. So I
started grabbing a Gorp bar as we would go to a call, seeing as how it only
takes 5 seconds to a minute to eat (depending on chewing habits) I would have
something in my stomach fueling me with energy while doing my job. I
found that I felt full and energized while on the call, and wasn't hungry or
tempted to over eat when I would eventually get back into the station, giving
me the freedom to go straight back to sleep.
I must say that knowing I am eating something healthy, filling, and tasty
before heading out on a call makes doing this job a lot easier. I don't
have to worry about it making me sick or having that super heavy feeling in my
gut for a few hours. And it doesn't leave my breath all nasty and
disgusting when talking face to face with patients or their families.
Also not having to depend on greasy, heavy, unhealthy fast food during long
days where Mcdonalds is the only food choice, I sure am glad to have a few gorp
bars stashed in my go bag." - Sam Murray
Thanks Sam. . .this meant the world to me that you took the time to write this, thanks for letting me share it on my blog:)
Today I'm hitting Steinbach with GORP bars and pricelists. . .don't know why I get so nervous about this type of thing but I do. . .hopefully I'll have good news to report tomorrow and GORP will be available in Steinbach, then it will worth the trip for one more reason!! (heh heh)
This morning was the debut of GORP's first radio event ever. . .all thanks to Larry McIntosh from Peak of the Market. . .My palms were sweaty and there were some stutters, but it turned out way better than I thought. . .plus it was sort of a high(?). .. Larry had a way of putting us at ease. I'd never been inside a radio studio before and it was super neat to share the experience with my daughter, who sat quiet as a mouse in the corner:)
Her mother on the otherhand apparently kept clapping while she was talking. .. Grant kept giving me hand signals to quit. .. but it was just confusing since I had no idea I was nervously clapping in the first place. .. .Oh well. . .lessons to learn:)
. . .I've been crossing a lot of firsts off my Bad Business Etiquitte Bucket List this past week . . .
- inappropriate crying during a meeting. check.
- nervous clapping during radio interview. check.
Nice. Can't wait to see what's next. .. perhaps I'll accidentally sit on a baby or something. . .argh!
Anyways. . onwards hoooooooo.
Thanks again for inviting us to be on your show Larry. (Food & Friends hosted by Larry McIntosh airs every saturday morning from 8 to 9a.m.)
Next week it's go time for approaching retails in Winnipeg. .. so if you happen to loudly inquire as to where those GORP bars are at your local health food store or gym. .. that would be awesome!
Oh and if you missed the interview it will be online as a podcast ready to download and listen to at some point right here.
Happy Weekending all. . .
Once or twice a year I go STARK RAVING WILD in Indigo and buy 500 self help/business books.O.k. fine. .. it's more like 10 but it feels like 500 when I look at my visa bill. . he he oops! But I have to say. .. this one makes up for any duds that snuck their way into my cart. This fellow (Guy Kawasaki, former Apple guy who was one of the genius's behind the success of Macintosh) he had me at Hello.
His first words on the inside cover were: "A child is the ultimate start up, and I have three. This makes me rich."
I love it. This guy is a cut to the chase, no bull shit kinda writer. But with an encouraging wit and candor that doesn't make you feel bad about everything you aren't doing right, he's just downright motivating without an ounce of ego to leave a sour taste on your tongue and a furrow in your brow. I think I'm in love.
On page 1 of Chapter 1 I already know this book was worth every penny. He starts with stating and defining the 5 things anyone starting anything must accomplish, here they are:
1) MAKE MEANING
2) MAKE MANTRA
3) GET GOING
4) DEFINE YOUR BUSINESS MODEL
5) WEAVE A MAT (MILESTONES, ASSUMPTIONS AND TASKS)
I fell in love with this book at MAKE MEANING. It's that intangible sense in my brain that drives me. .. but I never knew how to define it. .. of course. . .it's the deep seeded desire for purpose, to make meaning.
I think we all have this desire. .. but it's not always defined in our own brains so effectively, and often gets confused or mislabeled resulting in a sense of deprivation because on some level we are unhappy or stressed about our life but don't know why. It's probably because we desire to MAKE MEANING but don't aim our decisions in a direction that will accomplish this because we don't realize that that's just what we want. .. MEANING. .. just a thought?
He throws in this quote which sums up the concept perfectly:
"I have never thought of writing for reputation and honor. What I have in my heart must come out; that is the reason why I compose."
- Ludwig van Beethoven
How awesome eh!? What is inside your heart that has to come out? Not for what other people will think of you. .. but simply because it was put in you, you were created for it to come out?
Such great thoughts. .. and all that was on the first page of this book. .. .there are a ton of other "dang this guy is smart" moments. . .I'm on page 106 and can't wait to start reading it over again the moment I turn the last page. He also wrote a book called "Rules for Revolutionaries" which I can't get to the store quick enough to snatch up.
In other news:) Listen to CJOB on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. to hear mine and Grant's interview with Larry McIntosh from Peak of the Market on his radio show called "Food and Friends with Peak of the Market's Larry McIntosh"!!!! So exciting. . . .ALTHOUGH. . .I have to say I'm a little nervous about hearing my own voice on radio. . especially my cackle which I was lucky enough to inherit from my dear old uncle Buck. .. hmmmm. . ..
Anyways. .. think about the MAKING MEANING thing in your own life. . .it's an awesome conversation to have with yourself:)
Maybe because lately I've been feeling like a 35 year old little girl. (The crying incident from my last post might have something to do with that;) But, in the last few months I've been having a lot of firsts, and maybe that's why I've been really feeling the void of my father. He was also a "serial" entrepreneur, (which I believe is a gene yet to be discovered). . .for better or worse, he passed that DNA down. He would just love to be a part of what I'm going through right now. .. .and funny enough I miss him the most when I'm standing in my shipping area packing boxes. We spent many hours together in the shipping department at Word Alive, the business I grew up watching and working in, and boy did we laugh. . .he was such a GIANT GOOF! Plus he had the best smile, also GIANT and contagious. . . .ahhhhhh. . . . . stink. . . I feel the tears welling up as I type. . .I've apparently also inherited the inappropriate crying gene. .. .;)
. . .I so want to talk to him right now.
Yesterday one of the guys that works with us on the farm was driving his father around the yard and we stopped and talked for a few minutes. . .and then it just smacked me in the face. How neat would it be to have a father alive when I'm in my 40's and 50's. . and even 60's?? A silly revelation that shouldn't have really hit me my surprise. .. but it did. It's kind of weird though. .. how God knows what you need before you've even consciously formed the thought. He seems to put some pretty cool people in my path. . .people that want to help me for no reason. . .people who in some small way provide the shot in the arm to me just when I need it. .. kinda like a father would do. . . He's such a good God.
Nobody will ever measure up in the goofy department though and that's o.k. . .I don't even want them too. . .that was his. . .and I want to keep missing him for that. . .he's not replaceable.
Well dad. . .I'll see ya on the other side. . .while I'm here I plan to swing for the fences and die trying!
. . .missing our laughs in shipping and uncontrollable fits of giggles in Costco. . .thinking of you today.
This week was a tough one. .. .and a great one. Not all at once. But eventually. I won't go into great detail. . .but let's just say I did one of the most embarassing, unprofessional things ever. . .something to stroke off the Dorky Bucket List. I cried. Not just any cry. The ugly cry. . .and not alone. Oh no. . I was not alone. I was at a business meeting. . . .and I was powerless against the force that are my emotions. There was mascara smearing, snot wiping, relentless tear pouring and what would all that be without the shaky voice quiver?? Yup. I played right into the "weak woman" sterotype. . .in spades.
Now, I am not a weak woman. I am also however not a person who puts up guards, and I tend to play my cards on the table, and wear my heart on my sleeve. I actually think one of my greatest strengths is that I know that I don't know. .. .WHAT I DON'T KNOW. There's no pride here. I am always trying to talk to people smarter and more experienced than myself because I'm acutely aware that I'm GREEN.
. . .but it really bothered me that I lost composure. .. especially in a professional setting. It was nobody's fault but my own. . and I was beating myself up over it, until I just had to stop, cause what's done is done. I think maybe it was just a build up. .. this has been a long and often lonely road getting this business going. .. and I've made more mistakes than I care to remember, it's also not just a business to me. . I want GORP to be responsible for some pretty amazing world changing, people helping things. There's more at stake to me than a healthy balance sheet. There is an idealistic angel on one shoulder and an even more idealistic entrepreneur on the other. . .it's how I'm wired. Is that o.k.? I don't know. . .
The first thing I thought after my breakdown was how can I make sure this never happens again. . .but then I thought, I might not like the person that I need to become, for it not to happen again. . .I don't know the answer. I can put on my hard ass hat if I have to. . .but I hate that hat. ..it tends to look better on people that aren't me. Plus, I'm pretty sure it makes me look fat;)
Looking forward, in the opposite direction of the saltwater flooding incident. The kids and Grant (who took time out of crazy harvest days) helped me put up my GORP field signs last night. . .I love them:) We put them on the fields where we grow ingredients that are in GORP bar. The honey we use comes right off our own canola fields. .. .I think that's pretty cool.
Another great announcement from yesterday was I delivered my very first WINNIPEG RETAIL ORDER!!! A big thankyou to Cramptons Market on Waverly for being so awesome and willing to work with a small gal like me. . .go check them out. .. they have amazing customer service and lots of beautiful local produce and products. .. like GORP BARS:)))
SO. I've dried my tears and I'll put one wet sock in front of the other till they dry out. . .I will persevere. I will sell these bars. I will not always be able to stop the tears. But I will not give up.
I will not apologize for this being my story. I've been told many times I shouldn't share so much, but I want to inspire real people,(maybe even people who cry at inappropriate times), not people who make everything look easy when it's not. For better or worse.
Gorp out. . .
I routinely buy gobs of competing bars just to keep an eye on what's going on in retail land....the kids already know to moan and try to escape when I start setting up the taste testing line....true to form...they seem to know exactly what faces will make
their momma smile....just hope they are being honest;)
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