- HUNGRY Feast
- Are you an Emo founder or a Toddler founder? (I bet you’re an emo)
Are you an Emo founder or a Toddler founder? (I bet you’re an emo)
Are you an Emo founder or a Toddler founder? (I bet you’re an emo)
I bet you’re more Emo than you think.
Boy, oh bloody boy I was *cream-like-thick welsh accent*
I made it so bladdy difficult for bladdy myself, I tells ya
Why be an Emo? When you can be a toddler.
But, first, what’s the difference between the Emo and the Toddler
Walks around angry, scared, anxious.
Hunkered down in Costa, Staines.
Snotty-sodding rains spits outside.
Scoffing yoghurt covered raisins.
Quaffing acrid filter coffee, filtering their acrimonious thoughts on a WHSmith notepad.
Thinking of names for their goth-band, whilst picking boggies out their nose and wiping under the table.
“Teenage Nihilistic Turdles”
The anthesis to the Emo.
Bowls around curious, enchanted, fun loving, happy.
Last week, I had coffee with my mentor, Lou, and her little kid, Grace, who is nearly 2.
Grave is curious, enchanted, excited about everything and anything.
There’s two types of founders
But first… the Rollercoaster
Also, last week, I interviewed the wonderful Reneé Elliot, founder Planet Organic.
Reneé taught me a gorgeous lesson:
“the founders journey is a roller coaster, but, you get to choose how to ride the roller coaster”.
Starting a food and drink brand is a roller coaster.
Down. Happy. Sad.
Scared. Worried. Jubilant. Anxious.
Is this going anywhere?
This is going to be the biggest food and drink brand in the world?
I can’t do this
A fucking WILD rollercoaster.
side note Imagine a store called Planet Beige - only sells Chicken nuggets, waffles, chips, crisps, sausage rolls, biscuits (without chocolate). #Innovation #Pioneer #Paneer
The Good news?
You choose how you ride your rollercoaster
Fear-based founder (Emo)
Surrender-based founder (Toddler)
Option one: Fear-based founder - Emo
fuck me…. how are we going to drive the rate of sale in CoOp????
Gareth, Waitrose didn’t accept our CPI
The Fear based founder (aka Emo) is constantly stressed, angry, dissatisfied, constantly thinking this isn’t enough.
The fear base founder rides the rollercoaster like this -
Face scrunched like a mangled packet of Walkers Salt and Vinegar crisps.
Hanging on for dear life.
Anxiety whirling around their head like crazed whooping sirens.
Stress steaming out every orifice like a Fireman’s hose (easyyyyy now… not like that).
Hanging on for dear life is constantly worrying about the future, the next board meeting and budget forecast.
Hanging on for dear life is constantly being anxious are we going to secure that gondola space in JS - what if our competitor gets it?
Hanging on for dear life - what if TESCO don’t want that NPD, we’ve forecasted a huge chunk of our budget towards?
Hanging on for dear life - what if that new hire doesn’t land and we waste all our money?
Hanging on for dear life makes the roller coaster totally miserable.
Hanging on for dear life makes the journey totally miserable.
Hanging on for dear life makes building your brand totally miserable.
Many times this year, I was riding the rollercoaster but not enjoying the roller coaster.
For many parts of this year, I was the Emo, worrying about everything.
Am I saying don’t worry?
OF COURSE NOT.
But, so many founders, including me.
Literally destroy themselves. Turning their imagination into worry.
Option Two - surrender based founder - Toddler
Surrender based founder (aka Toddler) rides the rollercoaster like this -
Hands in the air.
Letting the wind thrash against their face.
Loving the thrill.
Embracing the day to day.
Screaming, laughing, wailing, enjoying. Being.
Hands in the air is - removing the word “should“ and “what if” from your mind - I should be doing this, what if this doesn’t work?
Hands in the air is - going into each day expecting things to break and having a lighter sense of humour about them
Hands in the air is - looking after yourself and seeing the brand is not the be all in the grand scheme of things.
Hands in the air is - focusing on just TODAY. Just today.
Surrendering is like being a Toddler.
Toddlers are curious and excited.
Toddlers aren’t thinking about tomorrow.
Toddlers live in the now.
My conversation with Renee had a huge shit in my thinking.
I am going to ride this rollercoaster.
Be a toddler.
Embrace each day as it comes.
the advert bit… Introducing our WONDERFUL partner Unleashed (Espressos)
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You may be thinking -
“Yeh fair enough mate, but £56,780 rests on that JS gondola end”
“Yeah, but that new hire from Mondelez is incredibly expensive, and has to have a step change to our business”
“Yeah cool mate, but if I don’t worry…nothing will get done”.
Surrender doesn’t mean saying:
“Fuck it, I can’t do anything about this… I’m just gunna get a Dominoes Texas BBQ and sit in my bokkies watching Match of The Day 2.”
Not at all.
If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re Type A, super ambitious over-achiever.
Surrender is the medicine for founders who are so goal orientated it makes them sick.
Surrender means accepting so much is out of your control.
As Renée says: “You’ll never get everything done. So just have some fun” - Renee Elliot
How to enjoy your journey like a Toddler in a state of surrender?
1. Read Amor Fati - Stoicism
'It is why amor fati is the Stoic mindset that you take on for making the best out of anything that happens: Treating each and every moment—no matter how challenging—as something to be embraced, not avoided. To not only be okay with it, but love it and be better for it. So that like oxygen to a fire, obstacles and adversity become fuel for your potential.
2. Stop when you’re going good - Ernest Hemingway
“Always stop while you are going good and don’t think about it or worry about it until you start to write the next day. That way your subconscious will work on it all the time. But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start.”
The easiest way to not burn out?
And to ride the rollercoaster with your hands-in-the-air?
Toddlers go to sleep early. Stop when you’re going good. Stop early.
This builds momentum, momentum compounds. Compounding is a 7th Wonder of the World.
3. Zoom out
I’ve been zooming out lately and it’s allowing me to enjoy the rollercoaster hands-in-the-air style.
Zooming out = “Mate, it’s just a little shitty podcast… no one will remember any of this in 150 years time”.
Zooming out = accepting that so much is out of my control - focusing relentlessly on what’s in my control
Zooming out = Create space to actually laugh at everything. Be more like a toddler.
Please help me make this newsletter and podcast INSANELY valuable?
Thank you so, so much for reading this. Honestly, deeply grateful.
Really want to make the poddy and newsletter as valuable as possible for foodie founders.
We’ve got some SICK guests coming up soon. Would love to know what you’d love to hear more of?
What is one pain point that you’re currently struggling with?
What is the biggest stress in your head/business right now?
What’s one thing you’d love to me to explore with future guests?
Would so love to hear from you xxx
Have a lovely weekend,
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