Thanks to all of you we had a great time kicking off our MEET ATX Speaker Series on Tuesday, January 29th! We had a full house and full hearts as Alissa Bayer from milk + honey shared her founder story. Below are some key points and highlights from our conversation with her.

We’ll be continuing the MEET ATX Series with our next speaker Mason Arnold, founder of Cece’s Veggie Noodle Co. on Tue, Feb 19th. We also listened to your great feedback and will have a more substantial hors d’oeuvre offering and more dedicated networking time before the discussion portion of the evening begins.

Below are our speaker notes from Tuesday night for everyone that wasn’t able to attend.

Notes from Meet ATX with Alissa Bayer

When building your vision…

  • It is important to note that entrepreneurs are not the ‘risk takers’ that they are stereotyped to be. They do not have the “jump first look later” mentality. Rather, they take calculated risks that they’ve thought through and assessed from multiple angles to determine what outcomes are possible.
  • Listening to your friends is not always the best course of action when it comes to decision-making – trust your gut first and foremost!
  • Don’t be attached to anything right off the bat. Business ideas, partners, and opportunities will come and go – let life experiences shape the direction of your business plan until you can see things with a clear vision. For example, it wasn’t until Alissa graduated from her MBA program that it really solidified in her mind that she was going to pursue opening a spa.
  • Imagine worst-case scenario – what’s the worst that could happen if this doesn’t all pan out? Sure, your financial stability could take a hit – but you’ll still have your support system, your family and peers, the love of your dog. At the end of the day, worst-case scenarios often aren’t all that bad.
  • Abandon perfectionism. Your idea will never seem perfect enough.

When asking for funding….

  • Have TENACITY. Don’t take no for an answer unless you can see the no opening up a new door or direction for you in a positive way.
  • Treat loans from friends and family as you would treat bank loans. Pay them back – with interest.
  • It’s all about timing. Have patience. Don’t accept funding too early or you could dig yourself into a deep hole with investors. Thing about the long-term first, not just what you need now.

When getting your business off the ground…

  • Building a business is not a linear process, but rather the juggling of many balls with thorough precision (or at least, as much precision as is possible).
  • Have a back-up plan for when things don’t go as planned.
  • Do not let money be your motivating driver as an entrepreneur. You will not succeed.
  • Market your business or product through ways that connect with your consumer. Direct mail, influencer marketing, radio and podcasts to put a voice and personality to the brand – utilize any way you can to truly touch your audience. Always take into consideration the Lifetime Value of your consumers.
  • Hire people who know more than you do.
  • Hire people who are genuine, kind, and who thoroughly align with your company’s values and believe in your mission.
  • Strive to create a brand culture with a culture that has the potential to positively impact society.

When maintaining and growing your business…

  • Continuously invest cash flow into the back-end of the business to allow growth to continue
  • Take CARE of your employees. Treat them as humans and make sure they know they are valued. Keep them happy, and they will keep your customers happy.
  • Join a supportive group of like-minded individuals who can relate to what you’re going through!
  • Strive to differentiate yourself from competitors not through price, but through doing things incrementally (or exponentially) better than them. Constantly work to improve your brand culture, your processes, your connection with your customers.

Lead with passion…

  • For an entrepreneur, everything starts with passion. Throughout the entire evening, we could feel the passion that Alissa has for milk + honey each time she spoke and shared pieces of her journey.

As for what’s next for milk + honey? Alissa shared she is focusing on expanding their curated line of clean beauty products, while they open new locations across the country.

Thank you to all who were part of such a special night, and to Alissa for opening up to all of the like-minded, passionate and inquisitive individuals in the crowd.

We look forward to seeing you at our future MEET ATX events! See you next time! And if you have any feedback or comments, send them to haley@abilitie.com.