#20 – My William Wallace impression

Doubt, I have a lot of doubt, some days more than others. Today I went pretty hard at doing some mostly cold calls, pitching my product, looking to get some placement in retail stores. From now on when I start such an endeavor, I need to remind myself to put light around me. Call it my armor for battle, because I know I’m going to take a lot of incoming fire and I cannot let it slow me down.

Today the fire was pretty heavy, about what I expected but none the less it left me feeling a bit down. Several of the people I spoke with today echoed the same concerns I’ve had as to why my product, a line of specialty frozen brownies is not viable. I heard from more than one buyer today some version of the following.

  • Who wants to buy frozen brownies when you can buy fresh?
  • Consumers don’t look to the freezer for baked goods.
  • The market for frozen baked goods is limited so we allocate very little shelf space for it.

As if those were not enough strikes against me, I took fire from another direction. Some pointed out that we did not have many of the monikers consumers are looking for, such as; gluten free, organic, fair trade, paleo, dairy free, and vegan.

Apparently people don’t buy things based on taste anymore, all that matters you have some trendy buzz word on your packaging. It may taste like dog shit and have no real health benefit, but if it is paleo or gluten free sign me up.

I don’t mean to totally gloss over the fact that some of these products have merit, but if all buyers are interested in is trendy buzzwords, I might be fucked, or maybe not.

Fads come and go but, good food, made by good people, with good ingredients does not.

I remember back in the early 2000’s when Kale became the all powerful and mighty super food. You could find kale in anything and everything, kale chips, kale bars, kale smoothies, kale ice cream, kale cereal.

The same can be said for gluten free. For the past five years all grocery retailers were interested in was finding the next great gluten free product.

Didn’t you catch that show, “The next great gluten free star” on the Food Network?

Gluten free was everywhere and Now?

Gluten free sales are falling. Gluten free is and will remain a very important segment in the marketplace, but despite what the doomsayers predicted food with gluten in it is still alive and thriving.

Why?

Fads come and go but, good food, made by good people, with good ingredients does not.

This is my battle cry. This is my William Wallace speech from Braveheart. You remember he is sitting atop his horse about to go into battle, “Aye, fight and you may die”, yadda, yadda, yadda. “And dying in your beds, many years from now”, yadda, yadda, yadday, “from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance”, yadda, yadda, yadda, don’t worry I won’t yadda, yadda, yadda over the best part, “to tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM!”

Every time I start to doubt our product does not have it takes, I repeat it over and over again to myself, “Fads come and go but, good food, made by good people, with good ingredients does not.”

We make a really good product, that taste really freaking good, frozen or fresh, our brownie is better than your brownie. Sure it may take some work to get people to notice us in the freezer and yeah maybe some of the buyers are right and people don’t look for baked goods in the freezer aisle, but once word spreads as to how fucking killer our brownies are, that will all change.

Every business has its challenges. There is absolutely no product I could come up with where there would be universal agreement it is a slam dunk.

What I realized is retailers are looking for reasons to say no, not yes. So chances are any product you see on the shelves at your favorite neighborhood grocery store, when first presented to the retailer they said no.

As my uncle would say, 7 no’s equal a yes.

So today I had my armor pierced a bit. I’ve dusted myself off and I’m ready to get back out there tomorrow. The one other piece of advice I should give myself is to practice non-attachment to the results.

People will say no, people will say the product is crappy and that there is no place in the market for something like it. If I’m attached to the results it will totally create more responses like that because I will be acting and selling from a place of defeat and failure.

If I don’t believe in what I’m selling why should the person I’m trying to sell to?

Not being attached to the results allows me to plant the seed the walk away. If it sprouts it sprouts if not, well fuck it, I got hundreds more seeds to plant.

I don’t slow down I keep going.

There was this quote from “The Artist Way”, I like and I keep writing it in my journal, it goes, “The universe falls in with worthy plans, especially festive and expansive ones.”

So I wrote this down several times this morning in my journal. In doing so I was inspired to write out a vision for my business. My plan is to build a business with the product I have now, to get it into the marketplace and for it to be a success. From that success I will look to launch new product or open the retail store or café I’ve always wanted.

The point being I don’t know what the road ahead looks like or what may come. I don’t know exactly what success will look like for me, I just know it exists. Part of the trick for me now is to be okay with not knowing. It may manifest in ways I’ve not even thought of. This is why I can’t be discouraged the naysayers. No’s for now that might yes’s later or maybe they are no’s now because they are keeping the space open for that big yes that is waiting to happen.

I believe all it takes is one phone call, one email and everything can change and I’m holding that space.

So did I take some enemy fire today? Did it feel pretty shitty and make me question everything I’m doing? Yes, but using this post as my punching bag I’ve got it out of my system and I’m ready to see what tomorrow brings.

I will sit on top my horse, look into my army’s eyes and speak to them about our foes that await, “that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM!”

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s