Tiffany Taylor, Blendtopia Founder
As I close in on another year in the startup world and celebrate birthday number two, I feel compelled to share my story. Honestly, someday I’ll write a book because I’ve got way too much to share for those budding entrepreneurs but for now I’ll stay focused and grounded, keep my head up, and celebrate my accomplishments both big and small.
My Story, In a Nutshell
If you had asked me 10 years ago what I’d be doing today there’s no way I’d reply by saying CEO of a food manufacturing company. What?! It’s crazy. I started out in advertising and marketing years ago working at big agencies in big cities like Chicago, London and San Francisco. I loved the hustle and bustle of the city life! Then life pivoted in a different direction and my role became mom to three amazing kids. An incredibly rewarding role (it still is) but I started to crave just a little bit more.
Enter the health and wellness world. I lived in northern California for over a decade and was immersed in the organic lifestyle. I saw life differently and my brain was constantly whirling with ideas. I began studying raw food and holistic nutrition and decided I needed to take things a step further. That lead to coursework and certifications and before I knew it I was a Certified Raw Food Nutritionist and Holistic Wellness Coach. I didn’t really want to consult, I wanted to create. I’ve always been more of a creative at heart and I needed to work with my hands. I found a niche in the industry and decided to jump in head first not knowing what I was getting myself into or where the path would lead me.
I’m living proof that the path you set out to take in life is not necessarily where you’ll end up. That’s the beauty of life. If everything were planned and predicted ahead of time what a boring world we’d live in. My story is still being written so I’m not sure what lies ahead for me but I know if I stay strong and focused good things will come.
Advice I Can Share To Budding Entrepreneurs
- Be yourself and the writer of your own story. We all face challenges but choose to do what makes you happy, not what makes someone else happy.
- Never give up on a dream. Let drive, determination, passion, confidence and fearlessness be your guide.
- Listen to your intuition. There’s a lot of clutter and background noise that can cause chaos and confusion but listen to your gut and don’t second guess it.
- Have someone you can talk to. You need a sounding board to share your thoughts, ideas and vision with. Operating all on your own can make you feel isolated and I can promise you that ideas flow better when there’s collaboration.
- Give yourself time. Nothing happens overnight, that’s a fact. One of the hardest parts of entrepreneurship is having patience. It’s a test of will and it’s often very frustrating but stay focused because good things come to those who wait.
- Don’t lose faith. There’s so much truth behind the saying, ‘When one door closes another door opens.’ It’s easy to let fear talk you down off that podium stand but stay strong and stand your ground.
- Find an outlet; a way to decompress. There will be times weekly if not daily that you need to just turn things off. Let your mind take that much needed break. Trust me, the work will still be there but YOU won’t mentally if you don’t give yourself some time off. Go for a run, take a yoga class, read a book, watch an episode on Netflix, listen to some music or just get outside and B-R-E-A-T-H-E.
- Lead by example. Believe it or not, people are watching and taking notes. They’re learning from you and often looking to you as a role model. It’s okay to show them that you’re human and that life’s not perfect but let you inner light shine. Be a leader.
- Be adaptable and open to change. This is a big one. The best entrepreneurs are those who listen. Where you start out will not necessarily be where you end up. I’ve seen this time and time again and it’s amazing to watch companies (and people) transform. Consumers are ultimately in the driver’s seat and it’s our job to listen and be able to pivot if necessary.
- Social media, friend or foe. I could go on for days but you already know exactly what I’m about to say. Take everything you see on SM with a grain of salt. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in what others are doing (bloggers, industry competitors, brand ambassadors, celebrities, etc). Take it for what it is. Allow yourself to draw inspiration and creativity from it but don’t let it bog you down. Resist the urge to compete or try to keep up. Let’s face it, what you’re seeing in those posts and stories are what they want you to see. Sometimes it’s real and sometimes it’s embellished. There’s a little bit of the ‘man behind the curtain’ action going on so don’t be fooled but certainly enjoy it for what it is. Let it be a platform for making connections and growing your business – it’s certainly a tool that you can play to your advantage but just have fun with it.
- Find balance. This one is key. So much so that it’s one of the first blog posts I ever wrote over a year ago. Link here. You started your business because you were driven and fueled by passion to do so which is awesome. However, don’t lose sight of that fact that you have a life outside of work. Find that balance and make time for yourself.
Today I Celebrate TWO
I’ve still got a long road ahead of me but today I’m celebrating all that I’ve accomplished so far. I’ve come a long way in two short years and although I feel like I’ve run an Ironman (x10), I’m still here and I’m excited for the future! I launched as Roots True Foods 24 months ago and stand here today as Blendtopia, a brand that’s going national and it’s crazy exciting! We’ll even be at Expo West in March featuring our organic product line in the Hot Products Pavilion, the largest natural trade show in the world. What?! I could never have imagined this in a million years.
Lastly, Why I Blog
The last thing I want to touch on is why I love blogging. For me, it’s a platform for sharing. I’ve learned so much in the health and wellness industry so for me, blogging is a creative outlet that allows me to share with others. I do wellness coaching as well for clients who want to get their health back on track and it’s just so rewarding. The most gratifying days are those when you’re told that you made a huge difference in someone’s life for the better. What a huge compliment and THIS is why I love what I do. It’s all about making change.
So with that I sign off and begin my day! If you want to connect with me please do so. I absolutely LOVE hearing from people. I’d also like to give a special thank you shout out to my amazing family who’s supported this crazy dream of mine. I love you all to the moon and back!