Listen to What Your Audience Wants

Christy Harp, turned her catering business online and grew it all over Instagram. She is going to share some valuable tips today and give you a few things that you can implement right away. Christy harp has been a chef for over 15 years and has built her business online in the form of a membership site called TLC Foodies. Christy’s goal is to help women achieve their health and weight loss goals, have christy harpgreater understanding of food and nutrition without the use of restrictive diets, calorie counting or the elimination of carbohydrates so that they may educate the nest generation.

Tell us a little bit about you and your company and what you do.

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I have been a professional chef for 17 years. In addition to that, I’m a certified weight management specialist, a pilates pro, a busy wife and mom to a two year old, so I’m super busy. I was in local catering for a really long time and after the birth of my son I just really wanted to stay at home and focus on that. I started writing recipes, I created a few e-cookbooks and then formed TLC Foodies, my membership site, out of necessity of where to house my recipes. I had them written on scraps of paper and journals. I was actually doing a periscope broadcast one day and mentioned it. I got off the broadcast and I had tons of people asking how they could get my recipes. So it kind of hit me, I was like, “I could do the recipes but I’m going to combine it with my training as a weight management specialist. I’m gonna throw the food in there, I’m gonna throw the nutrition in there, they’re gonna have access to a ton of stuff so that’s how foodies kind of came to be, out of necessity for me.

How did you actually figure out how to take your local catering business online to reach more people?

I just started using Instagram for fun. I started posting recipes and people would ask about it. I kind of played around with it for a little while and after about a year, and not getting a lot of traction I decided to take a few courses. I took a business course and an Instagram course and from each of those courses I took great nuggets of information and I kind of concocted my own little strategy. In a year I took my following on Instagram from a few hundred to now I’m at about 7200.

What would you say your unique purpose is?

There’s always been 2 things that really spoken to me. I actually went to college to become a teacher and dropped out just about a semester before I would have graduated to go to culinary school. My purpose is to take those two things I am super passionate about: teaching and cooking and combine them. That’s how foodies was born and now through different courses that I teach I really get to use my love for teaching, helping and nurturing people.

My top 3 tips to grow your instagram:

1. Do not use the big hashtags. Let’s say you are a fitness coach and you see everyone using fitfam so you use that.  I want you to do is search fitfam and then scroll down the list and use the things that don’t have millions of tags. Why? Because your gonna stay in that tag longer and people are going to find you.

2. Colors. It’s all about colors.

3. Consistency. You need to be posting twice a day. I know with me having 7000 followers I know my followers are not on all the time. If your post twice a day, you’re doubling your chances of getting into their feed.

What would you say is has been the biggest game changer in your business?

The biggest game changer was listening to what my followers want as opposed to what I thought they wanted. I was busy creating meal plans and recipes. My Instagram course that I teach came about because people asked me to teach it. I think no matter what platform you’re on or how you’re advertising yourself it serves you well to either ask them directly what they want to see more from you or listen to the comments or the questions that your getting all the time. If this is the stuff that people are wanting to see from you then you should take the time to see if it’s worth it.

I think we always have so many ideas in our head and we’re trying to figure out how we can implement all of them. If you sit back and you listen and you ask questions you’re going to find what it is you’re suppose to be doing at that point in time.

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Christy Harp

Can you share a struggle in your business?

About 13 years ago, when I was cooking in restaurants,  I started to flip houses, I still kinda do that on the side, but  I wanted to start a soap company. I went to like Michael’s craft store and bought the fragrances and the soap molds and I packaged them all up nicely and I decided to name it Snooze, and quite frankly it was a total freaking snooze. It was horrible.

Tell us the most super high.

I think when I launched The Foodies website. I spent like days with very little sleep  creating the website and they loved it! It was such great validation.

Did you actually have business training when you launched your catering business and when you launched your online business?

I did not have formal training. My mother is actually a pretty well known entrepreneur here in Arizona so I always listen to her and picked up on tidbits. I never had formal training. I’ve always been the trial-and-error girl and I love to figure stuff out on my own.

What would you say to people who are looking to delegate them?

I knew that if I kept wasting so much time every day, messing with the back end of the site and putting in recipes and not doing what I’m good (creating the recipes or teaching people) I knew it was never going to go any further. I had to step away and let someone else do it so I could do what I am great at not what I’m good at.

Why did you end up choosing Instagram?

When I started Instagram wasn’t completely saturated yet and I just loved that it was pictures.

Do you have any tips for people who want to get started on Periscope but are a little bit hesitant?

Periscope it’s just all about becoming comfortable. Say what you have to say. Don’t really script it and maybe write down a few points. Be yourself and if you are yourself people will resonate with you.

What would you say to an entrepreneur who really is looking to get started?

My number one piece of advice would be to seek out someone who you admire.

Tell us one thing in your day that contributes to your success.

I always write down 10 things that I’m grateful for in ten different categories. I’m very diligent about how I use my time. Especially on Tuesday and Thursday when my two year old is home with me all day. When I have that hour and a half while he’s napping I’m very diligent about what I do. I think its precious time and I think it pays to really get your systems in order and be organized so you can do the most effective things in the least amount of time.

Share one thing that you want our listeners and your followers to know about you that you think they don’t know about.

I feel like I have a tendency that comes off as pretty serious but I am not. I am a crazy goofball who loves like 80’s band.

How can we find you and work with you?

Click to Listen to Christy Hard from Tiny Little Chef on the Blissful Bites Podcast in iTunes

NEW podcast giveaway! (2 Bags Blissful Eats granola, 5 Pack of Not Ketchup, sample pack the Granilla Bar and variety pack of mixes from Among Friends and Smart Cookies from Bitsy’s Brain Food) by filling out the form below AND/OR writing an iTunes review and sending a screen shot of it in an email to me!

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Go with your gut with Denise Pomaski

Denise Pomaski from the Granilla Bar has been cooking for most of her life! For the past 3 years, she has been working on exciting new denise pomaski Paleo recipes that infuse recipes from her Itailian heritage with the Paleo lifestyle! As well as being what we like to call our at home “Paleo chef”, Denise is a CrossFit athlete, as well as, Crossfit Level 1 certified and a certified Crossfit kids Coach.

Denise was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. However, she currently lives in Houston, Texas with her four children, loving husband, Kevin and her two Mastiffs Izzy and Odin.

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Tell us a little bit about you and the Granilla Bar.

I am a mother of 4. I have currently a 10-year-old, two 9-year-olds and a six year old. I am born and raised in Canada but I’ve been in the United states since I was 20, I’m currently 35. We moved to Texas from New Jersey under 10 years ago.

To rewind a little bit based on that. Basically for years I had been working on trying to do away with the traditional Quaker Chocolate chip granola bar that we would buy from Costco and my kids would eat the entire box in about 2 days. Why? Because you needed 4 of them to actually fill yourself up and they were full of crap. There was nothing nutritious in them, but my kids love them and I would just buy them. Not that I didn’t know any better but I just figured, ‘Whatever!’ Eventually I got tired of it and started trying to re-create it in the kitchen. Every time I would make a new batch I’d be pretty much the only one eating it because it was never really yummy enough for kids. At one point, they tried it and they were like, ‘yup, this is it, you got it. It’s better than the Quaker bars.’ So we stop buying those and they basically just started eating my bars instead. My 7-year old daughter said to me, ‘you know mommy why can’t you sell this in the stores?… Cause if you do, everyone would buy them and we would be rich.’

I was still very hesitant and not very confident about it. I would bring stuff in for Christmas, make these little baggies, and people were constantly asking me about the granolas, the granola, the granola. So, finally we decided to go ahead and try to see if we can make a couple of bucks here and there by selling it to people at my crossfit box.

Joshua Wiseman is the creator of Slim Palate Cookbook and I was invited to go to his book launch which was actually being held at our local farmer’s farm. My husband decide that it will be a great opportunity for me to bake a whole bunch of bars and bring them with me. It was just gonna be loaded with people that my husband thought would help me get the word out. We brought the bars there and basically that’s how the granola bar started. We called it, ‘The Granilla bar’ because the same 7-year-old who had thought that I should sell these things… she wasn’t calling it granola, she kept calling it ‘granilla’ so when we finally got to come up with a company name we just decided to call it whatever she was calling it.

What has been your most proud moment so far?

The very, very first time I saw someone take a bit of the bar and their eyes kind of just lit up and they said, ‘Oh my Gosh! This is the best granola bar I’ve ever eaten and it’s good for me.’ I can’t say that was exactly what they said that but it was along the lines and I have never had anyone react differently since. That is the most amazing feeling ever.

What is your biggest flop/disappointment?

Not being able to move forward due to lack of finances. The inability to just access money is probably been my biggest struggle.Whole Foods approached me a year ago and they wanted me in their store which was fabulous news. But we couldn’t do it because of our packaging.  We’re still waiting to do it because I need to change my wrappers so that they’re heat sealed. This takes a lot of money that I just don’t have until I can get a solid investor.

How did you come up with your sales strategy?

I just went with it. My husband helped me and we worked together on trying to just do everything we logically thought we would need to do. At the Slim Palate Cook book signing, I met quite a few people and one of them was April LeMaster. (April works for Diane Sanfilippo’s). She sat with me in that book signing and she gave me advice. She said ‘you need to be at Paleo FX this year, you need to make sure you have an Instagram account, you need to make sure that you need to have a Facebook account that’s not just your personal one, you need to have a Twitter account, you need to go home and set up a website that’s able to you to make money even if you have one order a week,’.  She kind of set my path that way and from that I kind of start posting things on Instagram.

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Tell us your biggest piece of advice to someone who is just starting out.

denise pomaski the granilla bar

 

Just go with your gut. You’ll never really be prepared enough. Just try and have all your ducks aligned, know your business plan. Figure out your goals right away so that you don’t end up in a bit of a rut when you’ve reached these milestones that you’re not ready to overcome.

Where do you see yourself and your company in 5 years?

I hope to have everyone in the nation know what The Granilla Bar is and I hope that everyone’s had a chance to eat one. With time and finances and with the proper crew we can get to all that.

What do you say to people when they say to you about the cost?

If it’s a straight up customer I’ll explain to them that the products are all, individually expensive. It’s a very expensive product to make. My ingredients are not cheap. I get the best ingredients I can find and if I go deeper with a conversation with you I’ll tell you that I don’t make as big of a profit as some people might imagine because my costs are so high at the moment. For the last 2 years all my bars have been handmade.

How do you stay balanced?

I go to crossfit everyday. If I happen to miss it then I’ll go for a run. Because running helps alleviate whatever stresses I have. I get to think about things and organize my brain.

Share one thing that you want your customers to know about you that you think they don’t know.

That I don’t have it altogether. I’m not this perfect mother. I’m not this perfect wife. I’m not this perfect women. I do the best i can with what i have. The biggest thing is people are like whats your secret? The only secret i have is that I just keep going. I don’t stop.

Where can we find you?

Click to Listen to Denise Pomaski from the Granilla Bar on the Blissful Bites Podcast in iTunes

NEW podcast giveaway! (2 Bags Blissful Eats granola, 5 Pack of Not Ketchup, sample pack the Granilla Bar and variety pack of mixes from Among Friends and Smart Cookies from Bitsy’s Brain Food) by filling out the form below AND/OR writing an iTunes review and sending a screen shot of it in an email to me!

Blissful Bites Podcast Giveaway

Find me on social media and let me know what you think!

No More Multi-tasking! Let’s get focused!

Back to talking about focus. I’ve been going on a bit of a tear about things that are really important to me and I hope they’re inspiring you. So far we’re talked about the power of no, priorities, stress…and today is more about focus. Focus is something that I’m really working on because in order to work better and be more successful, I need to improve my focus. If focus is something you need to work on then I have a few thing for you to try!

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Stop with Shiny Object Syndrome

As entrepreneurs, I think a lot of us have shiny object syndrome. We are always looking for the next best thing. We’re always kind of popping around from thing to thing and multi-tasking and doing a million things. My goal for myself and for you is to really get away from that. We need to stop the multi-tasking honestly, I want you to think about where do you need to focus. We need to stop being all over the place and we need to focus on one thing at a time. If you feel like you are doing so many things and you keep adding things in and you’re feeling overwhelmed because you’re doing too much, then we need to stop!  I’ve talked about figuring out your priorities and always going back to saying no. It’s all kind of in alignment. Have your priorities, say no to things that don’t fit with your priorities and  get focused. If you’re feeling stuck in your business and you feel like you’re doing too many things then let’s try out some of these exercises.

I love this quote from Chalene Johnson says, “When you don’t focus, you’re cheating yourself of success and the life you deserve and your life’s purpose.

Now what? We need to focus.

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How can we maximize our time?

We’ve really need to get to know ourselves. Do you work better in the morning? Are you a morning person? Are you a night owl? How does your brain work the best? For me, clearly I am a morning person. I’ve always been a morning person. At night, I’m exhausted, I’m wiped, I have been a business person and a mom all day and I just can’t think at night. I want you to think about it, when does your brain peak? Do you work better in the morning? Do you work better in the afternoon? Or do you work better at night?

The second thing that I want you to think about is your environment. Do you need to have absolute quiet? We talked about how distractions use energy. When you’re multi-tasking or you are in a room where your phone is going off or you hear things outside, you need to leave your work and focus on those people. Every time you get distracted, you are using energy and your brain is toggling back and forth and that is contributing to you being even more exhausted. Think about your environment, what do you need to do? Do you need to go to a quiet place? Can you actually get work done effectively if you’re sitting at Starbucks?

The third thing I want you to think about is alerting your friends and family when you are working. If you’re working and you’re getting texts, emails and phone calls from your friends and family,  I encourage you to just send a text message or an email or call them and say, “I’m working over the next few hours so I won’t be able to get back to you but as soon as I can I will. Really eliminate those distractions, figure out your work environment and find out when your brain is at your peak. 

You may be thinking, “No, I can multi-task,” or “No. It does work for me.” I want you to think about these questions.

Do you feel like any of these or all of these are you?

  • Do you feel like when you get a text message or you get an email or you see a Facebook notification that you need to respond right away? You need to get back to that person and you need to not let them wait. Is that you?
  • Do you pop around from thing to thing, answering emails, listening to podcasts, on Youtube and you are just kinda going back and forth?
  • Do you feel fuzzy, tired and unable to focus?
  • Do you get to the end of the day and say, “What did I do all day?”

I know I have those days where I will say to my husband, “I know I was busy all day but I don’t actually know what I’ve gotten accomplished.” Those days are super frustrating because you kinda spend all day going back and forth and just basically doing busy work. I know it can be overwhelming and not an easy habit to fix because we are so used to multi-tasking through different tasks throughout the day. I want you to stop because the more you get focused on one thing, the more you’re going to be able to get done.

Let’s go back over some things we can do to help us really focus and work as effectively as possible.

1. Turn-off your phone. Put your phone in another room or just put it in airplane mode. Make sure no one or nothing can possibly distract you.

2. Set work hours. Figure out what hours you can work best and then are you going to work for one hour? Two hours? Three hours? Just block it off. Then do a power hour. Work for 45-40 minutes and work on one thing that entire time. Focused on one task, NO multi-tasking. Work 45-50 minutes straight. Then get up and get a 15 min break, go have a snack, go outside, go for a short walk, do some squats, something that will rejuvenate you and give your brain back some energy.

Bottom line: Work on one thing at a time and don’t flip flop between tasks. It’s going to help you be more effective with your time. Successful people are present in what they’re doing. They don’t get distracted and they don’t worry about being people pleasers.

What are other things you can do to set you up for success?

get focused

Environment is a huge factor. For me, if my kitchen is a disaster or my house is a disaster, it’s really hard for me to clear the brain space for me to work effectively. I make sure that my house is in order the night before so I can make sure I can get right to work after my morning ritual. My workspace is in my guestroom/office so I made it a really nice and inviting space. It has nice light, I hung nice things on the wall, and it’s just a place that I actually really want to be. I used to be a laptop person and carried my laptop around. I was so guilty of sitting on the couch while my kids were playing and being out there with them. That was making me work 10 times slower maybe even 20 times slower. Set your environment up for success.

The next thing is get off the internet. If you have a million tabs open, you’re going to be distracted.  Keep only the tab you need open. If you don’t need the internet,  just Word, then turn the internet off and don’t let yourself be distracted.

Figure out your work flow or morning ritual. For me, my morning ritual is I wake up, I have some lemon water, I go work out, I shower and listen to a podcast and then I get right to work. That allows me to wake up kind of slowly. That’s how I love starting my morning. I encourage you to figure out what works for you.  I’m up before my entire family. I just love the quiet in the house. Get up early it takes a few days or a few weeks to get used to it but once you do it you will become obsessed.

Figure out that best hour of the day and don’t waste it. Plan to do your hardest, most important work that’s going to move your business forward when you work best. If you work best from 7-8 in the morning, then don’t waste that time answering emails. Work on creating content. Use that really good brain power. Find the sweet spot and it will help you get ahead. Shift your day around that hour that you’re really working the best. Don’t waste time in your inbox.

Get focused and you’re going to see how productive and focused you become.  Take a post-it note and just write down, “I’m going to focus on one thing and one thing only.”

Stick it on your computer. You don’t want to be someone who does a lot of things and doesn’t do any of them well. Quit it with the distractions, get focused, try out the power hour and if you haven’t checked it out yet download my cheat sheet from last week that is going to help you reduce stress and really figure out what you really need to focus on.

Click to listen to Fast Friday: Are You Still a Multi-tasker in iTunes!

What else can you do? If you want to dive even deeper into this get my CHEAT SHEET: Reduce Stress + Increase Your Focus Here!)

Ways to reduce stress and get focused!

I want to hear about how you are getting focused! 

Download: CHEAT SHEET: Ways to Reduce Stress and Get Focused! 

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Be Proactive not Reactive with Danielle Liss

Danielle Liss, Esq. is a partner and founder of Businessese. She is also the owner of Hashtag Legal, a law firm that focuses on social media law. Danielle is also the former Chief Marketing Officer of FitFluential, an influencer network concentrating on health and Danielle Lisswellness initiatives. She’s been blogging since 2004 at Kitten a Go-Go. Danielle lives in Las Vegas.
 Danielle and her partner started Businessese with one goal in mind, to make it easier for you to run your small business. Danielle is an attorney and experience business leader who has a lot of experience from running small businesses. Today we are going to talk to Danielle all about her specialty dealing with the fine print of business.

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What do you think is the most important thing for business owners to know?

Even though it seems overwhelming the legal side of the business is just as important as all other areas. If you look at any major company out there, there’s always going to be a legal team and a general counsel treat your own small business just like a big corporation would. Make sure that you’re covered there. It’s important to learn the basics. That doesn’t mean I want you to feel like you’ve got to know all of the legalese or all of the jargon. But find an attorney that you feel comfortable with or find resources that you’re comfortable with. One thing that I think is critical, every business is different. It’s important to make sure you find out what your business needs to protect itself and grow because my business and your business are probably very different. I’m not dealing with food products that could hurt someone. There’s a lot of different liabilities that a food entrepreneur may experience that a blogger may not have the same types of things. Just don’t be intimidated by the jargon a great lawyer is going to be able to translate that legalese for you and make sure you feel comfortable with the decisions that you are making. If you talk to an attorney and they make you feel intimidated its okay to shop around, it’s okay to do a consult visit with different attorney so that you find someone you feel comfortable with. Don’t just necessarily think that you’ve got to talk to your aunt or your uncle or whomever and say, “Who do you like?” They refer you to an old family friend and don’t feel like you’re stuck with that person. Find the right fit for you and your business.

When we go to Businessese, what are we gonna find?

Right now it’s very focused on bloggers and social media influencers but we’ll be expanding in the very near future. We will also be offering different types of consulting services, for example, how to price services. Our goal is to offer different types of legal templates, business forms, things that you need on a regular basis that you know we’re made for you.

What advice do you have to help people figure out how to price their services?

Pricing is based on more than reach. When you are talking about pricing you really want to make sure that you can, first of all, achieve success for your partner. Find out what their goals are and then second, make sure that its something that’s going to resonate with your audience. Never take it just because of the money. Make sure that you are going to keep your audience’s trust and that it’s going to engage. You want to see those shares and the comments. People are looking more at engagement rate and cost per engagement than they are just impressions.

What you need to know to operate your blog legally!

What should entrepreneurs know about trademarks?

Trademarks are such a nuanced area of law but it so important. The first thing we want is for people to know what our trademark is. I think that there sometimes is confusion between trademark and copyright. I’ve seen people say, “This person took my image online they’re violating my trademark…” If it’s just a picture that doesn’t have a logo or your name on it that’s about a copyright not necessarily a trademark. A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design or a combination of those things that identifies and distinguishes goods or services from others in the market place. It’s essentially designed to protect against consumer confusion. I can’t create another running sneaker that has the Nike swoosh on it. I can’t go out and create a granola that’s called like Blissful Beats and say it’s got a music theme cause I think that would be very confusing toward your product.

If you are just starting out and you’re thinking about your business name, go to the US Patent and Trade website to search and see if there’s anything comparable out there. Do your research prior to setting up your business and setting up your domain because it can save you so much time and money if there something similar already out there. For a physical product that you are going to be packaging (particularly for food entrepreneurs), make sure there’s absolutely nothing out there that you are potentially going to infringe upon.  You could also hire an attorney to do just a trademark search prior to all of that set up that way you can rest easy that what you are doing is going to be yours alone.

What is the most important thing that we need to know about copyright?

The most important thing to me is the most simple aspect of it: don’t steal other people’s content. I think if you are going to use someone else’s content make sure you have permission. If you’ve taken a photo and you’ve put it on your website, you’ve got to have the copyright. I think one of the myths about copyright is that you don’t have any rights to it unless you filed something with the government. If you have filed you’ve got a much easier time defending those rights. However, it’s not a requirement. If you publish it and it’s your work the copyright is there. The critical aspect is make sure if you are using someone else’s stuff that you have permission. If someone else wants to use your stuff give permission and if you don’t want it used make sure that they know. Let’s say someone comes to you and says, “We’d like to license this image that you’ve done.” Get the information you need to make a decision. Find out where they plan to distribute it. Find out if they are putting it in a magazine, if they are also planning to put it out on the website, find out what levels of attribution they are going to be giving you. Things like that can be extremely helpful in protecting your copyrights.

Additionally, when people say, “Inspired by…” I think it depends on just how close it is to the original. Recipes are not subject to copyright because it’s a series of steps unless it is something extremely unique in a way that you’ve written the steps. If you really put your personality into it that’s one way to look at it. I think it depends on just how closely you are using someone else’s mark. I’ve seen a lot of the copycat recipes and things like that, just be very cautious and make sure that you are saying, “This is not in any way, shape or form affiliated with them. We do not make any type of claims of ownership of this person’s mark…” Things along those lines can protect you.

What about Google Images?

Just don’t grab google images.  There’s this myththat if it’s on the internet its part of the public domain and public domain is something very different in the copyright world. The concept is fair use. Public domain means that copyright is no longer applicable. If you see the images of old newspapers that are like a hundred years old, you’ll often find those and they’ll say that they are public domain photos. That means you don’t have to worry about the copyright on those but just because it’s on the internet that still doesn’t mean it’s public domain.

Can you share the importance of having a privacy and disclosure page for your website?

The importance of the privacy policy and the disclosures are so that your audience knows what you’re doing and knows what they can expect as being a part of your audience. For some people that can mean a separate privacy, for some people they’ll have a site terms page that has all of their information in it. Let’s say somebody has a healthy living blog and they are giving dieting advice there it is important to have a medical disclaimer in your post that essentially says before making changes to your diet it’s important to go see a medical professional and if you are not a medical professional make sure people know that. It’s important to be honest with your audience. Now, in terms of privacy policies what I think is so important is if you’re collecting data about somebody they have the right to know and they have the right to not visit if they don’t agree with those terms. Just be honest about what you’re collecting. If you are collecting audience demographics through Google analytics make sure you are being clear about what’s being collected. If you are doing sponsored content through networks that use tracking pixels make sure that you are being honest that certain information may be tracked or that there may be cookies that are installed in the site that have to do with your ad networks. As long as you are honest and you have everything set forth in your privacy policy you should be set pretty comfortably there.

 

What do you think is the biggest legal mistake you see and how can you fix it?

I think that the biggest thing that I see is when people are reactive rather than proactive. What I mean by that is people would rather not get a contract because it is cost prohibitive. It might go okay one time but in another situation what if somebody breaks the contract, what if they don’t pay you and then you are reacting and it’s gonna cost you a lot more on the back end than if you had a contract in the first place. My advice there is don’t wait until you’re in trouble to seek legal help. Get it when you are setting up your business, always make sure you got written contracts even if it’s with your best friend. If you have everything set out in writing and you have all of those expectations set as to how profits are being split and what happens when somebody wants to leave the business.  I think it is important to just lay it out, get it in writing; a small investment upfront can save you so much heartache and money if something happens later on.

I think another area that I’ve seen that’s been so common recently is people purchasing content. It’s a really big trend right now. Even though they call themselves virtual assistant, it’s content that they’re creating and purchasing. It happens a lot in the recipe world and they’re not getting contracts. One example of something that’s come up recently is someone purchases a recipe from someone to put on a blog and then they find out that they sold the exact same thing to four different people. What do I do? First question I ask is, “what did your contract with that person say?” And they say, “Well it was just a really small transaction so I didn’t get a contract.” In those situations it’s really hard because you have to get it in writing to know what your rights are. I think that sometimes if the price is really low maybe it’s a little too good to be true. Make sure you are establishing what you have and what you’re getting from that before you enter into the transaction.

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How did you take the leap to get started?

The leap to get started honestly, it was really scary. I think that anytime you are ready to start a new company it starts with something you feel really passionate about and that’s what it was for Jaime and me. We really wanted to give people this option where they could access legal advice, business forms, consulting for a price that works with the type of businesses that they had. I was working with for a great company, I was CMO, I had a great position and I loved the people that I worked with. It was a really tough decision but it became almost a distraction where I felt like I have to see this through, I have to know what is going to come from this and I decided to make the leap. I couldn’t be happier with the decision because it really was terrifying and everybody toward the end, once I announced that I was leaving, everybody would say, “Are you excited?” And I have said, “Yes excited but slightly terrified…” That’s still a little bit how I feel. You want everybody to love your baby just as much as you do and so we’re constantly taking feedback, making tweaks things like that. For anybody who’s looking to make that leap, if you see a need in the market, trust your gut because it’s probably something that needs to be fulfilled. Talk to people, look at your potential audience, look at your competition if there is any with what you are planning to do, and really make a plan, make a good solid business plan. For anybody who’s terrified it’s going to be okay and just have that confidence and faith in yourself and its okay to be a little bit scared.

danielle liss

What is one thing you do in your day that contributes to your success?

To-do list. I have always been a list maker.

The other thing that we use in the business is Trello.com. It’s very similar to a Asana which is a task management type of thing and it allows you to assign people to task and you can make a calendar from it.  What I love about Trello is its extremely visual. You can make boards, add photos and we have so much content mapped out for probably the remainder of the year as far as our business plan goes. It’s just been so helpful to see it all. You can move things around, you can prioritize, it’s a fantastic tool.

The to-do list is the critical piece for me because it really helps me focus on what I’m gonna do that day. Trello is our bigger, overall business goal type of thing. My daily to-do list that is what I go to everyday. I number my tasks so I know this is what I’m doing first, second, third, fourth. Stuff always comes up but as long as I’m able to get back on track after those little interruptions it’s really helpful for me.

Tell us one thing you want the listeners and our followers to know about you that you think they don’t know.

The thing that I think people should know about me is I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about dessert.

Click to listen to Danielle Liss from Businessese on the Blissful Bites Podcast in iTunes

Where can we find you?

Blissful Bites Podcast Giveaway

NEW podcast giveaway! (2 Bags Blissful Eats granola, 5 Pack of Not Ketchup, sample pack the Granilla Bar and variety pack of mixes from Among Friends and Smart Cookies from Bitsy’s Brain Food) by filling out the form below AND/OR writing an iTunes review and sending a screen shot of it in an email to me!

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There’s Simplicity in Focusing with Nicole Chaszar

Nicole Chaszar founded Splendid Spoon to take the hard work out of eating well.  Like many women today, she is driven by living a full life, and she felt exasperated by all the conflicting messages in the wellness industry.  Diet programs were confusing, cooking every meal was time consuming and ready-to-eat ‘health’ foods were highly processed.  Splendid Spoon creates simple, plant-based plans and mindfulness exercises that are amazingly effective at establishing healthy eating habits.  Splendid Spoon is committed to making nicole chaszar splendid spoonwomen’s wellness goals a reality through the science of soup, the power of plants, and the art of mindfulness.  Nicole is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, a former media executive at Conde Nast’s WIRED and The New Yorker, and the author of the upcoming Soup Cleanse Cookbook, due August 2016.  She lives with her family in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

How did you get started with Splendid Spoon?

When I was pregnant with my first son in 2013, it was kind of a wake up call of like: ‘Oh my gosh! I just finished culinary school and I had been experimenting with starting a business and testing all sorts of recipes. Ironically, the food and the habits around my food were really not so great. It was kind of manic with a lot of really intense restaurant style cooking. Exercising a lot on the weekends and not a lot of balance and I thought that was something needed to be fixed. I created the business and developed a really peaceful program around it to help ease anxiety. It was the genesis of Splendid Spoon.

What does your company embody and what does health mean to you?

Health to me is being really connected to your food choices so that you don’t feel that they are separate from you. I really believe food is joy and we are what we eat. I really think that you should embrace food for nourishing you and that is what Splendid Spoon is about. We started with soup because everyone has really nice memories of people cooking for them and it’s also really unique and helps stay fuller longer. It’s really easy to get more vegetables into a serving of soup because you are cooking them down, so you’re getting a really concentrated hit of pure vegetable ingredients while also having something that slows you down a little bit. That is what also really helps you connect your actions and sitting down and feeding yourself to what’s going on in your mind and reminding yourself that this is something that is taking care of you.

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What is your proud moment so far?

Having my two kids while running the business. I try to be focused on just what I’m doing and to know what my boundaries are. I really don’t try to do everything all at once and I really accept that I can’t do everything perfectly. When I’m work, I’m at work and I try to be pretty disciplined about my schedule and then when I’m home, I’m home.

nicole chaszar, splendid spoon

There's simplicity in focusing with Nicole Chaszar from @splendidspoonny #blissfulbitespodcast Click To Tweet

What is your biggest disappointment?

The biggest mistake that I have made in the past was thinking that I needed someone more senior than me, someone more experienced than me to guide me or help me make decisions and that really derailed me for a period of time. It was a really good learning experience because it made me realize that especially in the early stages when you’re a boot strapped company and you’re doing whatever you can to stay afloat its grit, its intuition and  years aren’t going to give someone those two qualities.

Tell us that moment when it went from hobby to business.

Right before I launched Splendid Spoon, I was working at Conde Nast and cooking in the early morning hours for a soup company that became Splendid Spoon. It became too much for me to handle; the cooking, the selling on the weekends and I started bringing the soup to co-workers. I had a spreadsheet and I worked off with that on my lunch hour and delivered soup. At a certain point I was starting to burnout doing both. I decided if I’m gonna do this, then I’m want to do it really well and I want to launch it as a real business not as a hobby.

What is your biggest piece of advice to someone who is just starting out?

Whatever you are doing make sure that you are really connected to it personally. If you really are connected to it and you really care and it really comes from something inside of you that needs to be heard or expressed then it’s a really beautiful amazing way to live your life.

Do you have a company or business owner you look up to?

I work with a Buddhist meditation coach and I would say she is definitely the person that I looked up to most and she‘s an entrepreneur. She put herself to school and she is trained in Buddhist meditation, is also a mom and is self employed. She’s someone who is truly connected to what she’s doing and gains a lot of joy from sharing her knowledge with her clients. I really looked up to her in that way.

 Where do you see yourself and your company in 5 years?

I really think we are just at the very very edge of what will be a really big movement with connecting the mind and body connection. I think food is a really good medium that makes the connection stronger.  I’m really excited to see how not only the rest of the world will start to become aware of this and invite it into their daily rituals and practices with food, but how our product beyond soup will evolve.

What do you do to make your day more successful?

I really try to prioritize myself as much as possible. But the other element that is really, really important is making sure that you dedicate time to your own emotional and physical health.

nicole chaszar

What is your secret online tool?

The whole team uses Slack which is amazing. You can upload files for review, you can do some longer posts and chat. We use it to edit all of our labels and to give feedback on blog posts.

What is your business book that you recommend?

Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith. I haven’t finished it but he’s an executive coach and he’s worked on a lot of huge corporations. I like it not only for myself as a business person and a leader, but also for an understanding of habits and habit formation. It’s all about how a lot of us want to evolve or change or adopt new behaviors that will get us closer to where we want to go or keep us on the path where we want to be going but it always seems so difficult. It’s also about identifying the different triggers and environmental elements that are going on around you that will either keep you in one place or derail you. It also has really practical advice for recognizing triggers and shifting your personal perception or reaction to them so that you can stay to your path towards your goal.

Share one thing about you that your customers don’t know.

I bet my customers don’t know that I’m not vegan.

Click to listen to Nicole Chaszar from Splendid Spoon on the Blissful Bites podcast! 

Where can we find you?

 

Blissful Bites Podcast Giveaway

Monday March 7th is the last day to enter this month’s podcast giveaway! (2 jars of Wild Friends Nut Butter, Variety pack of 7 soups from Splendid Spoon, 1 bag of Blissful Eats granola and Thinner in 30 by Jenna Wolfe) by filling out the form below AND/OR writing an iTunes review and sending a screen shot of it in an email to me!

Find me on social media and let me know what you think!