Five years ago, while doing a juice cleanse challenge with a friend, Tracy Miller had a great idea. A health enthusiast, outdoor lover, and soon-to-be entrepreneur, she struggled with the inconvenience of plastic bottles, which failed to preserve the nutrients and freshness of her juice. It was then that she saw the opportunity to create a unique product that pumps air out of the juice to keep it fresher, longer. And that’s how Sans Bottle was born.
While the bottle doesn’t have a genie, it certainly does magic. With an innovative vacuum pump, it prevents the oxidation that diminishes the freshness of smoothies and juices. Tracy knew she had a great idea and looked for a way to make it happen. When she launched Sans Bottle on Kickstarter, it got an immediate response from people looking for convenient and on-the-go products. In just the first week of the 45-day campaign, Tracy exceeded her goal of $20,000 and amassed over 275 backers.
Now, five years later, Tracy shares with us the biggest lessons of her entrepreneurial journey.
1. Keep going and keep your head up.
Though there will be plenty of occasions when you might be tempted to give up, take heart and persevere. When you face your first bad review, for example, but remember that feedback is good: it helps you grow and improves your product, either from the design, production, marketing or customer service point of view.
The “Leave your review” world that we live in has empowered people to speak up even more, and word-of-mouth can either be a great tool or a roadblock to your brand if you don’t find a way to channel the negative feedback.
2. Have fun with it.
Despite the challenges, focus on growth and turn the negative energy into a positive force. The entrepreneurial journey is not easy, but if it’s your dream, you can make it possible. Expect multitasking to be a part of your daily routine, and learn to live with that hustle by letting it energize you. Remember to remain resilient and be able to pivot in order to overcome challenges.
3. Own it!
You are the only one who lived your journey, so own it. Not everyone has the ability to put themselves in their customer’s shoes and identify unmet needs. If you have that skill, don’t underestimate it—strengthen it and combine it with your background, experiences, and connections. If you do that, you’ll discover great tools to guide you through the entrepreneurial journey and successfully scale your idea.
4. Don’t lost sight of your financial security.
Tracy strongly recommends finding ways to support yourself financially before quitting your current full-time job to pursue your dream. There are many accessible and available ways you can do so: side jobs, freelancing, crowdfunding, network funding, connections, other markets, grants, angel investors. Then start small, test, learn, and go.
Get to know more about Tracy and her insights in the full episode of Empowered Women Series and tell us your thoughts in the comments section. Don’t forget to give it a thumbs up and share with your friends!