For better or worse, I have the propensity to be a bit of a contrarian.
Constantly asking questions as a child almost got me adopted out, but has served me well in entrepreneurship! (My parents persevered and kept me, thank goodness;)
When formulating GORP bars I had (some might say naïve) high ideals and a stubbornness that fueled me to stick to them in the face of industry advice from many well-meaning people pushing me to create a “cheaper” bar.
“You don’t really need to put that much hemp in there. . .do you?”
YES I DID.
“Flax is expensive, you could cut it in half and make more profit.”
NAH I WON’T.
“That re-sealable sticker is just making things complicated, cut it out and make things easier on yourself.”
WHAT FUN IS THERE IN THAT? GLUTTON FOR PUNISHMENT IS MY MIDDLE NAME!
These decisions were no brainers for my stubborn self, but there has been consequences I can’t ignore.
We have to CONSTANTLY defend our price point, and explain to both retailers and end consumers that we can’t compete with bars selling for a dollar or two. What “they” sell their bars for is often what it costs us to make ours.
We didn’t just sprinkle in the superstar ingredients, we dumped them in! Functional doses, for superior performance.
The re-sealable sticker is our way of going the extra mile for our customer and also helps cut down on food waste. How many dried out half eaten energy bars have we all found in the deep corners of our purses, backpacks or desk drawers!? That sticker is a small way to make our product features line up with our core value of honouring people and the planet.
Not every “zig” in the face of a “zag” has worked out for me, (I’ve made some very expensive mistakes), but I agree with the idea that if you follow the MASSES sometimes the “M” is silent! And that brings you further away from YOU.
I don’t want to wake up some day and not recognize myself or see my heart in what I’ve created or put out into the world. As I’m finding out, this can create certain challenges, but hopefully as we all make small departures from the collective “norm” it will allow us each to accomplish the unique mission and purpose for what we were created for. A mission only you can own, because you are YOU.
This is a freeing thought, and takes the culprit of comparing ourselves to others out of your brain traffic! So we can recognize that we are created to do what WE can do, not what Fred or Jack or Sally can do.
I like the sound of that! It helps me encourage my team as well, and we all know, teamwork makes the dream work;)