When I jumped on board with MySuperFoods, I had no idea what I was getting into. I’ve always had a love/love relationship with food—I can make a mean grilled cheese, and I will always try something new on a menu (disclaimer: If I find a dish that I absolutely love, I will specifically go to that restaurant to eat the same thing over, and over, again.) Needless to say, a “snack brand” instantly caught my attention. Then, Katie and Silvia won me over—with their story, with their kids, and with their ideas. They helped me truly understand why they had this desire to feed their own kids better food—food that will nourish them, not just fill them. Enter my favorite colleagues. I find such a respect for each of their kids. They are intuitive, curious, question asking, and demanding tiny humans. They are full of inspiration! They’re polite and dramatic—just like me. I wanted to be surrounded by all of these energies: the positivity of these two women, the unconditional support of their husbands, and the excitement that their kids bring . I wanted to be part of a change that they spoke of. I wanted to learn, and I knew they would teach. So, with some time to adjust into my position with MySuperFoods, a few things started to become clear:
- My bosses are extremely smart—Together they are fierce and insightful—driven with passion and a determination like I’ve never seen. Silvia and Katie each took their own role seriously, yet there was a collaboration and teamwork that surprised me. I will never forget a certain phone call, which put us in a position that we needed to make a big decision in a short period of time. They deliberately voiced pros and cons. They respectfully agreed and disagreed. They both knew there was no right answer, and they sincerely trusted each other’s gut and opinion. They taught me more about being in a partnership over that single lunch break, than I had learned throughout my entire life.
- The “Start-Up” industry is where I want to be. Prior to starting with MSF, I was working for Via-Games Inc.—a tech startup in NYC that was developing a web based HR game. It was a seed-stage venture, and I was able to learn about the necessary moving parts it took to bring a business to life. I worked directly beside the founder, as a tech-savvy, millennial who wanted to build a bridge between a generation gap. We created a web based management-training tool that would help boomers and millennials give feedback to one another more effectively. I pitched her brand to angel investors, start up incubators, and fortune 500 leadership executives. From there, I gained communication tactics and confidence that I did not have before.
- It won’t be easy, but it will be rewarding—early on, I learned that the start up world is not for everyone. We share responsibilities. We pick up when someone puts down. It’s definitely one of those environments that requires many hats—in different shapes, colors, and sizes. My first few sales calls were less than 30 seconds, and I took no as a definitive answer. I was so discouraged. I was convinced that I’d never make a single sale. Silvia and Katie understood with compassion—and, they encouraged me keep trying. We work out of a house. We sit side by side. They hear me on the phone—they laugh at my strengths, and help me tweak my weaknesses. They invested time into helping me develop skills that I wasn’t sure I’d achieve. My first (semi-big) sale came just a few months ago—and I was so excited, proud, and humbled by this new skill I put to work.
So, it’s been one exciting year working for this glamorous company—and I couldn’t picture my experience any differently. There will be many more brain storming lunches, celebratory dinners, and trade show booths to design. There will be last minute demo cancellations (ugh.), impromptu buyer meetings (yes!), and packaging options to consider. We will debate over the color of our new t-shirts and flavor profiles for new products. Although each day brings something new, one thing is for sure: I’m more excited today than I was yesterday, and tomorrow will undoubtedly be a ton of fun.