What was the inspiration for your business? What inspires you daily?
As parents of three young children, my wife and I care deeply about their health and well-being and like most parents, we want to feed them the most nutritious and wholesome food possible. To that end, we created our line of Way Better Snacks.
We believe that we make products that everyone can feel good about eating and sharing with others. The response that we have gotten from consumers has been overwhelming and incredibly inspiring. Now as a result, we also strive to be Way Better to live up to their expectations.
Critical success factors along the way?
- Knowing more than just a little about the business I was getting into.
- Taking the time to write a lengthy business plan (more of a business guide for myself) prior to starting.
- Having relevant industry experience, although it might be more fun to have a business relating to a favorite hobby, or passion. Sticking to what you know usually turns out better.
- Build courage and confidence by talking to other entrepreneurs. I spoke to a number of people both in and outside of the food industry and benefited from all of the conversations.
- Spend the most time on areas of your business that you are least knowledgeable about.
- Surround yourself with people who know more than you do about everything.
- Take advice from others, but if you've done your homework and know the industry and market, don’t let people scare you out of following your dream.
How has the natural products industry enabled your success?
Over the past 15 years, I have been fortunate to work closely with legendary brand builders in the natural products industry like Mo Siegel, Steve Hughes and Irwin Simon. Each of these people, as well as many others shaped my thinking. I can see a little bit of a lot of these people in who I am and how I work.
What do you wish you’d known early on in your business?
Even though you may have developed, founded and own the company, it becomes a part of everyone who participates. Every employee, investor, supplier and consumer is vested in your business in some way and you will have to listen to all of them to keep it growing.
What’s on your iPod right now?
Mostly country music, but I am also a sucker for 70’s music. Can you see my wife rolling her eyes right now?
How do you spend your free time?
My free time is mostly spent with my wife and three young children. I have a 6, 8 and 10 year old to keep up with. Anyone with children can reflect on their fond memories of free time gone by.
What’s a guilty pleasure of yours?
I love horse racing and try to get to a racetrack at least a couple of times each summer.
What’s a personal pet peeve?
When people don’t take responsibility for their actions. Step up, own it and move on.
What's the inside scoop on yourself?
I am an “old soul” and I might have been perfectly happy living in the 50’s.