[MUSIC PLAYING] I've been through some tough times, personally and professionally. People see me now, and think I'm an overnight success. But they haven't seen all the times I felt like quitting or was too exhausted to keep going. It happens to the best of us. If you're feeling that right now, I understand how you feel. I want to encourage you and also provide some tips to help you when the business gets tough. Here are two ways I deal with the tough times and pivot instead of quit.
My first tip is to stay true to the focus of your product. You've heard me say that in this course before. And I want to repeat it to make sure it sticks. Sometimes in business, we try different things and experiment and lose the core of what people loved about your product and business at the beginning. An example for me is my business is selling sauces and rubs. When I had to pivot from direct to consumer to start adding in wholesale to start doing other things, I was still staying true to what I was trying to accomplish my business, which is selling sauces and rubs.
I had people telling me, no, no, no-- you don't need to do that. You need to go over here, and teach people how to barbecue. You need to go over here, and start a restaurant. Those are all great things. And maybe I'll get to those things eventually. But that takes me away from the focus of what my business is. People know Mike D's BBQ for their sources and rubs, not for teaching people how to barbecue. That's something that's fun that I'm going to do.
But I'm not going to shift my business focus that far away from my core focus as a company. I can make videos about how to use our products to make great food. That is still at the core of the business of selling sauces and rubs. But opening a restaurant or simply pivoting completely to teaching people how to barbecue takes me away from that. That is what my focus always needs to be on to get us through the tough times.
My second tip is to put yourself in a position to succeed. Reflecting on my experience, when you're struggling, it's about putting yourself in a position so when the opportunity is there, you're ready to act on it. There's been times when I was ready to shut the business down because it just wasn't working out, and I didn't know if I could keep putting that time, effort, and money into making it work. But still, even as I was thinking about maybe I need to close this down, I was still making sure that I was in a position that if tomorrow, I needed 1,000 cases of sauce, that I was in a position to be able to act on that.
And I was building relationships with my co-packer, so if that happened, I could be ready to act on it even if I necessarily wasn't 100% ready. I just think if you're struggling and you feel like you can't go anymore, Instead of necessarily shutting all the way down, figure out how you can maybe scale back while you're doing something else but still be in a position to where if something does happen that you're ready to act on it.
This can mean building and maintaining relationships with companies that can help. For me, it was my co-packer for producing my sauces and rubs. For you, it may be a different type of manufacturer or facility of some sort. You can continue to work these other relationships while you work or find other ways to sustain yourself. But make sure if that opportunity comes knocking, you have the relationships in place to capitalize on it. To wrap up this lesson, my top two tips are to stay true to the core of your business.
And even if things aren't working now, put yourself in a position to succeed. Now join me in the next lesson on accountability partners, which also help give you extra support if times get tough.