Entrepreneurship is a wild ride that can include long isolated stretches that are demanding and often-times lonely. Starting a business and managing a family and normal relationships is a delicate balancing act requiring dedication, focus, and the confidence to trust yourself in the process.
A 2016 study by Harvard found that self-confidence is one of the fundamental traits of successful entrepreneurs. When things look bleak or unclear, this self-confidence is what helps entrepreneurs fight through uncertainty and actively tackle problems as they arise.
For entrepreneur Lisa Jolly, her energy, enthusiasm, and trust in herself have helped her grow HoneyBunch Naturals into a global product. During the process, Jolly had to learn all aspects of running a business, sometimes from scratch with no one around to help. To learn more about her mentality and process, Jolly was nice enough to share some of her story and advice for all of the aspiring entrepreneurs out there.
1. As a family and women-owned business, what is the best piece of advice you can give to other entrepreneurs?
Personally I consider my business as a sport and I try to include my family in the wins and celebrations of the business whenever I can. However, the reality is that often losses, or as us passionate entrepreneurs call bumps in the road, are sometimes too much for one better half to handle.
On that note, I’ve learned to work silently and then do a show and tell when there is actually something concrete to share and understand that family will be your biggest support but often can’t handle the pressure of entrepreneurship. My advice is to find a kid, in my instance a grandson, and share your journeys with them. Personally, I’ve made a decision to teach and show him that anything is possible with a positive mindset and determination, using my business almost as a fantasy storytelling gig.
On the other side, respect and understand that having a 9-5 job and feeling secure for your spouse who cherishes security is just as important as leading your insanely wild entrepreneurial ride.
2. How big of a role did marketing play in your initial launch?
I’m completely self-taught and my ideas are really cool, albeit sometimes hard or too crazy to understand, which could possibly be my downfall.
My marketing consisted of cold calling, product in hand to get my original break into the US market and it’s only now that I’m learning and understanding the importance of marketing socially. Never underestimate the effort of face to face contact and picking up the phone.
Lucky for me my cold calling got product on the shelves and sales continued the upscale. Now I’m in the exciting position where marketing will be the vehicle to take the brand to the next level. Overall, marketing is very important and I’m excited to learn.
3. What has been the hardest part about launching the business?
The hardest part has been understanding other peoples’ processes and learning to be strategic (still not mastered), but I’m smart enough to engage successful people in my life who can help me with this. I work at a very quick pace and have had to learn to slow down to meet the processes of big businesses that have many employees on their team.
I’m not convinced still as I always question, ‘are we losing opportunity’, because everything takes so long.
4. Do you worry about competition or just focus on your tribe of customers and keeping them happy?
I don’t worry about the competition at the moment as I’m just a wee player, but I study them night and day to check out latest product trends.
However, I focus completely on my tribe with regards to brand culture, we are kiwis, and our ‘flight of the concords’ humor and lifestyle isn’t something easily hidden. So for me, my tribe will appreciate this or not, nothing in between.
I think it’s a big mistake to make out you are something you are not to your customers. We are proudly the naturally cool underdog risk takers taking on the competition, so jump on for a crazy ride and be part of our journey… this is our tribe!
5. What does 2020 have in store for the company?
I think 2020 will provide massive opportunity and with the Covid 19 situation, time to be better, create even cooler stuff for our brand, and learn as a team to look after each other through thick and thin. Our product is naturally awesome so I’m thinking 2020 will bring more naturally cool customers our way.