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Going in Blind & Scaling Your Business
Episode 41 of The Vendor's Daughter
Lauren left her career in solar energy and started a plant-based cookie company when she noticed a hole in the marketplace.
Listen to find out how she strategically made some key decisions in order to scale her business and how she blocks her schedule in order to prioritize her time and clear her thoughts.
WITH LAUREN CHEW FOUNDER OF COMPLETEATS
Finding a Hole in the Market
Lauren has been a vegetarian most of her adult life. About 5 years ago, her stepmom introduced her to the plant-based diet. It was her stepmom who taught Lauren how to make a cookie without butter or milk as an emulsifier.
When Lauren started looking on grocery store shelves for a vegan cookie, she couldn't find anything that was completely plant based.
It was then that she started research and development and not too long after that, that she left a career in solar energy to pursue Completeats full time.
Vegetarian Doesn't Necessarily Mean Healthy
Lauren chose to live a plant-based diet out of her love for animals, the environment and her health. She believes there is a misconception that vegetarians/vegans automatically have a healthy diet when in reality there are a lot of junk foods that fit into these categories. As Completeats began to evolve, it was really important to Lauren that the cookie tasted good and was good for you.
Going in Blind
Lauren comes from entrepreneurial roots; both her grandfather and her mom had businesses of their own and Lauren always knew that desire was in her as well. When she left her job in corporate America, Lauren admits that she didn't really know much about launching a packaged food business and ultimately believes going in blind and following her passion was the best thing she could have done.
Scaling the Business
Lauren spent a year on R&D and decided rather than starting in a commissary she would start immediately with a co-packer, knowing that in order for the business to scale she would need to end up there anyway.
Managing the Day to Day
These day Lauren outsources as much as possible, and strategically hires based on her weaknesses. Some other key points of advice include:
Time block your day and only allow yourself to answer email twice a day (Lauren allows one hour of email in the morning and one hour of email in the afternoon
Start the day with 10 minutes of meditation (she uses the app Headspace)
Silence your inner critic by taking some time to appreciate how far you've come, rather than only focusing on how far you have to go