Living Your Philosophy

 

It is safe to say that standing up for something is as au courant in business as it is in life. We certainly want our kids to believe in something – anything – even if it means swimming up stream. Maybe especially if it means they are swimming up stream. Prepares them for life. Gives them grit.

When I became a mum, I sought wisdom from just about everyone in my life. And some of the most important advice I was given was “to start as you mean to go”. In motherhood, that translated into not making impulsive decisions around care if I had zero intention of making said decision part of every day life. Case in point: I wasn’t about to start driving around the neighborhood to settle my crying baby at 1 am UNLESS it was going to become my go-to settling technique.

Why not apply the same MO to a start-up?

Guiding principles can help motivate and direct business decisions and keep messaging on task. Here are mine:

Ingredients

If it isn’t from the earth, it isn’t on my ingredient list. Full stop. We don’t need genetically modified organisms in our systems or processed foods, for that matter. Additives, preservatives and all of the other –ives add things to our food that keep them from spoiling. Guess what? Everything we eat should have a shelf life.

Packaging

The plastic situation on our planet is dire. For my first print run and my itty bitty budget, it wasn’t in the cards to go bio-degradable. But it will be going forward. It costs more – just like organic costs more and gluten free costs more. Consumerism is backwards! But it is a commitment I am making to Mother Earth.

Advertising

Zero print advertising. Social media is my jam. Besides, I would rather advertise through sponsorship of events and causes near to my heart than a full page spread anywhere, anytime.

Staffing Up

I went to a fundraiser for Autism in the fall and was inspired to think differently about the way I would staff SisBoomBah when the time was right. It reminded me that there were opportunities to create jobs for people who may not otherwise have them. I pursued a couple of avenues – including working with a Women’s Shelter to employ women entering the workforce for the first time. It fell flat – I thought it would be such a great fit but maybe I didn’t approach it in the right way, maybe they didn’t get it, maybe I underestimated what was involved with working with women who had undergone so much. Fast forward and I will be working with Ready, Willing and Able – an organization that finds meaningful employment for adults living with intellectual disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorder.

 
Michele Parent