I will be blunt. I am “starting a health food business” rather prematurely. In January 2014, I developed The Route 6 Protein Bar, a food with a #FixFood mission. When I started receiving unprompted, rave reviews about my product from friends and co-workers, requests for individual orders and verbal agreements from health food store and gym owners to carry my product “once I was ready to go,” I decided to jump right in.
I mean who doesn't want to make a delicious almond butter fudge flavored protein bar that's raw and organic happen? Am I right?
Start-up Business 101: Self-starting and Self-funding
Self-starting (and self-funding), I started creating a buzz, fulfilling small individual orders (for friends!) and creating a demand before the supply.
My business-to-be thrived off of my passion in this “dubbed by a hashtag” #FixFood mission. I think a lot of you reading this have probably done your part in the #FixFood mission to some extent.
Have you purchased organic food recently? Then you're doing your part in the #FixFood mission.
Have you banned processed food from your diet (at least for the most part, we can't be perfect right)? Then you're doing your part in the #FixFood mission.
Have you shared a #FixFood or #CleanEating image on social media? Then you're doing your part in the #FixFood mission.
My main impetus to fix food comes from knowing not only the physical benefits clean eating has on the body, but its mental benefits. Who else felt a little crazy when toxins, chemicals and sugar were partying in their body? I know I did.
Living a Vision and a Mission
I grew up with an unhealthy relationship with food and I know for a fact that all that processed “nutrition” did a lot of harm to my already susceptible mind. Eating clean was the tangible step I could take in a longer more spiritual journey.
So wonderful! My business has a mission, and I believe in it with all my heart. I know I've got to do it.
But man, guys, starting a health food business is complicated stuff! A lot is required.
There are the FDA guidelines to labeling, barcode buying, packaging, co-packing, health food inspections, commercial kitchen space, websites, sourcing, wholesale prices, tax ID numbers, allergen warning statements, deciding on a business structure, etc. etc. etc.
There's a lot that goes into it before you can truly start, and honestly, that's fine. But what I started realizing was that I couldn't fund this myself, not even on a small-scale as I had hoped.
What do you do when self-funding is not an option?
So I started to wonder…
Is this the right time to start my business?
How am I ever going to raise the money?
Will my business even really make a difference?
And like it loves to do, wondering turns to doubt and doubt turns to fear.
It's only natural.
Any great start up will tell you about a time when they wondered, doubted, and feared. Little do we know, sometimes those wonderings, doubts and fears happened just yesterday! (Even the most successful entrepreneurs will admit it. The truth will surprise you.)
The Grestest Advice I ever got starting my own business
And that's when my greatest advice comes in. It's a quote that I found by Elizabeth Gilbert:
“You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your blessings.”
And during these pre-Route 6 Protein Bar days when I can't truly jump in to my business the way I think I'd like, I take it to mean that I must take any chance that I AM given and live it out as fully as possible. I don't have the funds yet to see this business through, but if I'm presented with opportunity, my policy is: participate relentlessly.
So if Dai Manuel says I can talk about The Route 6 Protein Bar on The Moose is Loose, I say YES!
You can help me with the click of a button
Luckily, The Route 6 Protein Bar has become a finalist in Martha Stewart's American Made Contest, and I'll tell ya, I am doing everything I can to participate relentlessly and get as many votes as possible. Then more doors will open and I can continue to participate even more and more relentlessly.
Want to help? The business with the most votes receives start-up capital, so I'd love it if you would. Click the button below to vote.
Why participate relentlessly?
Because I know that in business as in anything else, we each have a mission that's greater than us.
We entrepreneurs, we movers and shakers, we creators and makers (including all of you reading right now) are merely the vehicles in making missions happen. So if I'm wondering, or doubting or fearing, I remember it's not about me. It's about what a protein bar I created can do for the #FixFood mission and ultimately, people. So I put emotion aside and simply take action. I simply participate.
Bottom line: when it comes to anything in life, hold onto this quote.
Training for a triathlon? Participate relentlessly.
Working with client today who look to you to for guidance with her fitness goals? Participate relentlessly.
Getting up to face the day? Don't just live through it: Participate relentlessly.
How will you participate today?
Katelyn Collins, Creator of The Route 6 Protein Bar
Katelyn Collins is the creator of The Route 6 Protein Bar, a bar committed to doing its part in the #FixFood mission by providing the general public with a product that supports optimal health. In its quest to swapping out “broken food” for “fixed food,” Route 6 will always be unprocessed, unrefined, and will consist only of raw, organic ingredients.
Also be sure to vote for Katelyn's Route6 at Martha Stewart's “American Made” Contest