His organisation the farm animal rights movement: http://www.farmusa.org/
Watch this clip where a man is outraged that vegan activists are focusing on animal cruelty while there’s so much oppression of and discrimination against marginalized groups of people.
While he’s totally right on this one, the whole spectrum is way much bigger than it meets the eye. An insightful wakeup call worth watching and listening.
When you choose to become vegan you face many challenges and obstacles but with time you learn to overcome them you learn how to find vegan options and local shops you learn how to eat out he learned the recipes and he discovered new foods and new experiences he learned how to explain veganism to friends and family and you learn how to share the message with the world you do your best with the time and skills you have but somehow he doesn’t feel like enough the hardest challenge your face will be to look into the eyes of the animals being exploited knowing you can’t undo the damage and knowing that however hard we try billions of animals will still be tortured and killed in industries that destroying the planet and ruining our health there is an urgency that can’t be ignored and despite our actions most people still don’t understand we do everything we can but still we see animal products everywhere the media ignores and insults us and adverts continue to lie we protest and we speak up but the world seems to stay the same the stagnation makes us impatient and we slowly start to lose hope again when we watch the videos again we remember the feelings we first have that broke us inside we remember how angry we were and how determined we were to end things but as time goes by it’s easy to lose hope people who were once vegan decide to change those who are passionate turn against the community almost left just confusion and doubt we know things are changing but it will never be enough in a world where our actions affect the lives of so many but sometimes in life you have to have patience you have to realize that selfless actions don’t always give us a reward you don’t need a reward to change the world for the better we’ve been taught in society to focus on our goals so we never allow ourselves to enjoy the fruits of our simple actions we may not see complete animal liberation in our lifetime but we can be a part of the change that moves towards earth every day every time we choose to do the right thing your individual actions do make a difference and your passion doesn’t go unnoticed when we fight for what we believe in the world changes around us as we plant the seeds of compassion and mindfulness in places the desperately need oh it’s not our fault that so much suffering exists versus species will have the choice to live in harmony as best we can there are industries that care only about money so with education and empowerment we can help each other avoid the lives if we want change we must live the change with patience and courage and in each moment there is always an opportunity to help the world when you truly do your best you might not change the whole world but for the individuals you inspire you change their whole world and for the beings whose lives are saved you do make a difference there are people in the world who are alive thanks to the power of plant-based nutrition and there are animals living free on sanctuaries because a handful of people chose to protect them for those individuals life is so beautiful so do your best don’t compare yourself to others and disempower yourself realize the good you do by being vegan and by sharing it with others life is a collection of moments and we can fill them with wherever we choose so I hope you can fill yours with empowered mindful actions thank you for watching this video please share this message with people who need to hear I’ll see you in the next video bye for now
Oh my gosh I have passed figs Wow being robbed vegan on a budget is definitely doable I have now been raw almost ten years and honestly I don’t make that much money so I’m gonna share some of my tips with you today and of course not everything is gonna be applicable to everybody but I’m sure if you stay through the video that you can find at least one takeaway tip for yourself look at your budget I know it sounds like cliche almost annoying advice to hear in the past I’ve looked into raw retreats and they’re like thousands of dollars and the response that I get from the people who are putting it on is like well what’s the cost of your health really cat and it’s almost a trick question because of course your health is priceless but we also have to be smart about our money and if getting in debt it’s gonna stress you in the long run like mental health is something you have to care about as well so of course I believe your health is priceless but I’m also not here to tell you to buy that $12 pint of blueberries because they’re healthy for you if you’re asking how much it costs to be raw you know very likely it will cost more than a processed diet so it might be worthwhile to reevaluate your expenses and see if there’s any reworking you can do when it comes to your spending really look at where your money is going and decide if it’s important to you make your staple foods cheap ones bananas are a great example buy in bulk in order to get case discounts and this is gonna work for fresh fruit it works for coconut water or juices anything that you want to buy in bulk you should be able to get the wholesale price for something like a 10 to 15% case discount at any grocery store don’t be shy to talk to the staff at grocery stores and farmers markets as well research your nearest wholesaler some of them even do delivery get creative I found a really good grocery store one time because I was talking to a restaurant owner about where he got his produce shop locally and in season because of its natural abundance in season fruit is likely going to be less expensive than something that’s been shipped in is it being shipped in right now [Music] and of course this also helps support your local farmers find aesthetically challenged fruit or veggies at your grocery store or farmers market sometimes they have a rack where it’s already marked down to scale fruit sometimes you can even just talk to them one-on-one and say hey this is kind of funky it’s probably headed for the trash but I’ll take it off your hands for you you just want to mark it down for me I did go over this in my other video and I’ll link that below don’t waste your coin there are quite a few on this topic so I’ll start with one which would be low calorie fruit something like out of season fresh raspberries for example those are gonna be so expensive I would consider them definitely as a luxury item and maybe use some more as like enhancements to your meals if you really want to go for that flavor so adding a few into your smoothie just to get that raspberry flavor or adding them as little toppings to your desserts instead of trying to make like a whole monomial out of them I’d say to think before you buy superfoods these can be quite pricy and not always worth it don’t waste your point on smoothies from restaurants I think once in a while it’s great to treat yourself but most of the time you’ll be able to make that same meal at home for a fraction of the price lastly don’t waste your money on the pre-cut prepackaged fruits and veggies in the like quick grab fridge sections of grocery stores I know it seems convenient but it’s just their way of squeezing dollars out of you while making use of their moldy fruit that’s what they do they’re cutting off the bad sections and it’s great I think as far as like sustainability and using all the parts of the fruit but they’re quite overpriced at the end of the day nobody’s getting a deal walking out a Whole Foods with like a little twelve dollar cup of watermelon and that touches on that low calorie point from the beginning is really understand how many calories you’re getting out of each dollar you’re spending watermelons on that note be prepared for outings if you know you’re someone who’s likely to get peckish so bring food with you or simply know where you can access cheap fruit while you’re out and if you’re asking what is cheap fruit like how if I’m getting a deal that’s a great question and I’m gonna encourage you to shop around there’s definitely a learning curve to this if you’re someone who’s new to buying fresh produce something I do and would definitely recommend with regard to shopping around is I keep a digital note on my phone and as I go to the different grocery stores and farmers markets in my neighborhood I have a list of my staple foods that I kind of always buy my favorite items and I will write the different costs for each store of course costs are gonna very subtly but I start to get an idea of trends of the cost of each fruit or vegetable how that changes throughout the year and how that differs from store to store in terms of like which ones are the more fancy grocery stores that are just charging work if they can and which ones are more like budget-friendly I’d also recommend exploring Asian markets if you have access my experience is that they have pretty good prices generally and a selection of exotic fruits that are hard to find anywhere else talk to other raw vegans and vegans especially the ones in your area you can do this in person or online like Instagram or 30 bananas a day pick their brain ask where they get their cheapest stuff the raw vegan and making community is amazing and I’ve had such a phenomenal time at every gathering that I’ve been to but I would never want anyone to get this idea that they have to blow the bank on an expensive raw vegan retreat just to maintain this lifestyle cuz that’s not the case of course you have the online community for support but there’s nothing better than in real life connection and there’s definitely budget-friendly ways to do that free options include pot Luck’s in your area or a lot of gatherings are free more like one-day events that are just hosted in a park or something as for longer-term events look into your volunteer options retreats need staff festivals needs that I’ve been to at least four festivals now and I have volunteer to every single one of them and of course it’s going to be a different experience because you’re working a lot of the time but it made it possible for me actually attend on the topic of travel think about how to factor your diet into your travel plans for example it’s gonna be tremendously cheaper to be a fruitarian in Thailand then it would be in Japan it’s gonna be cheaper to travel as a fruitarian in the tropics than it would be in Alaska in wintertime for example of course your diet is not here to rule your life but it’s something to take into consideration if it’s important to you and you’re on a budget as another option maybe consider combining whooping into your travel experience if that makes sense for you you know finding a farm you can stay on work on and eat from I do have a video on this topic and I’ll link that below as well there are a lot of guerilla farming that’s happening and just natural seed spreading that’s happening so there are wild plants that you can eat from foraging is gonna be location dependent and see them dependent but definitely consider it as an option the more and more that I learned about fruit and fruit trees the more as I’m driving around I can spy them in neighborhoods so get educated on what fruit trees look like you can also access different maps online I know when I was staying in California I just googled like fruit neighborhood map or something with these keywords and I was able to find so many fig trees in my area that were just public like on the side of the road that nobody else was accessing oh my gosh I have to pass to fig Wow so there are fruit maps available there’s also Craigslist some homeowners have fruit trees in their backyard that are really just a nuisance to them and they put ads like can somebody please come pick my oranges or have free oranges that may be also accessible on Facebook groups for your neighborhood you can also put an ad on Craigslist like will come pick your fruit if I can eat it I will soon be a full-on glowing orb as the Sun that’s right here Oh better so check out your map options Craigslist and heck I wouldn’t be surprised if there were even apps nowadays that facilitate foraging consider working or volunteering even a couple times a month at your local farmers market grocery store farm or co-op I say this because employees will often read the benefit of partial discounts or extra free food plus the networking opportunities of countless I know organic can be so expensive so maybe you can’t buy it right now and that’s okay and it doesn’t have to be all or nothing maybe you can just buy some and not others get educated if you’re sensitive on which produce is most susceptible to chemicals consider secondary options so of course fresh fruits and vegetables are gonna be ideal most of the time for a digestion and nutrition etc but there’s still some really great healthy secondary options that might be worth including cuz they’re a little easier on the budget most of the time in my mind this includes dried fruit and vege frozen fruit and vege fruit and veggie juice like bottled and maybe it’s even pasteurized and that’s okay with you you know we really have to find what works best for us and at the end of the day that’s gonna be healthy or no doubt and buying like soda bah minimize eating out I say this because restaurant meals will likely not fill up the stomach of a raw vegan if being honest and maybe there’s raw vegan gourmet on offer but I find that’s not worth it for me it ends up costing me my gut with too many refined and fatty ingredients I end up just healing you’ll grow your own simple things like herbs or scallion can be really expensive in the store and practically effortless to grow at home even something like kale does pretty well a lot of places because it’s so hard me so research in your area talk to your local farmers or research online you can figure it out shop online to find the best deals for particular items so your favorite superfoods powder is flavoring supplements even kitchen equipment using powders or supplements might be helpful for you from one person to the next we’re gonna have different deficiencies or lifestyle based need if you’re lacking in particular minerals for example it might require like a whole box of mixed greens to supplement you for that those boxes can be like six to nine dollars and if you have to have that every day that’s gonna add up as an alternative you could simply add a scoop of green powder to your movie so that way you get your nutrient requirements without breaking the bank learn how to prepare healthy satisfying raw vegan meals at home this was huge for me on my journey not only did it help save me money from going to restaurants but also helped me develop my relationship with my body and food and you too and that will find your personal way that become more efficient and cost effective with meal prep so to help you with this I have my four recipe books if you’re interested in low-fat raw vegan cuisine I like to focus on Whole Foods so there’s no processed ingredients like salt or oil nothing like now let’s show you or maple syrup or agave my priority still is on the texture and taste so you’ll be feeling really satisfied and if you want to go for all four books there’s a 15% off discount just so you know those are my 20 tips I hope you enjoyed watching this video and now it was helpful for you if you would like to support me and support the vegan message give it a blank i’m sending so much love your way and support on your raw vegan journey you can do it and thanks so much bearing with me as I shift it around to accommodate this son what do you think the world are all around you
You’re listening to the listen up show doorknob entrepreneur pocket I’m Mitchell Chad row your host today on show 0 for 3 today we’re here with David Penzer Quinn founder of plant-based solutions a degen food business strategist brand management and marketing agency for plant-based consumer product companies headquartered in New York we are a brand management and marketing agency acting as an outsourced chief marketing officer for consumer products that are plant-based friend is your business it’s your families your life let’s get started David started out in the business working for an animal protection nonprofit and as a natural products broker but in 2012 he founded the plant based business the company offers a range of services for pre market startups through two huge global brands including opportunity assessments business planning and forecasting new product development marketing research brand creation and a full range of marketing planning and execution in this show will discuss branding product development finance and operations push marketing versus pull marketing berroco versus agency models and scaling revenue overhead and expenses the pros and cons of working with distribution companies and brokers digital marketing social marketing in-store samplings an event packaging design and using employees versus outside contractors and much more we sign up to my email list for the latest special offers exclusive for our listen up show startup entrepreneur podcast audience at Mitchell Chad road calm / sign up I have been providing business advice resources in hell to entrepreneurs for over 20 years and i’m looking forward to helping all of you sign up for my email list again at mitchell chad road calm / sign up I will provide you with full transcript for each interview my ebaugh 30 tools to start up the startup checklist and many other education and training materials all back at mitchell chad road calm / sign up now enjoy the show hey David welcome to the show thank you so much for having me Mitch so I’m excited to be here no that’s great David what is the one thing that contributes most to your success so it’s really about landing where I want to go and then working backwards you out how to get there I have been my career wanting to influence through the word the world and make it better for people’s health the environment animal protection and by figuring out how people come to come to eat come to experience those behaviors I’ve been able to map out what areas in my career to enter and that’s been more exciting for me than anything has been to figure out where I can make the biggest difference so how did you actually come up with this idea how did you tell any idea yeah so I worked for nearly a decade in the animal protection nonprofit world and I was very passionate about that work I felt that the people I was working with were incredibly impactful and compassionate and hard-working but I realized that everybody who was working in the space was using the same approaches to solving the problem of how our eating behaviors affect the world and it was also through a method of push marketing rather than pull marketing we were so tell us a little bit about the difference between the two and how that accurately helped you you know come up with the idea sure so push marketing involves educating somebody about what they should do and whether its buying a product or changing a behavior and then hoping they’ll do it and unfortunately education has been proven in consumer psychology research to be one of the least effective ways to change behavior on the converse pull marketing is where you make something that is attractive and desirable and put it in front of somebody and allowed them to embrace it in an empowering way through their own free will so by leaving the world where I was educating people by the problems with our food system and moving to a place where I’m making delicious better options accessible and desirable through marketing and branding I’m able to attract people to try these things and be excited about it on their own and they’re much more likely to change the behavior our startup round for all your hosting needs head on over to Mitchell Chad Road calm / hosting Mitchell Chad road calm flash hosting for all your web hosting need who do you use to host this website so now you started the business back in 2012 and so we’re almost five years into it in June and so how do you actually make money selling what is your business model sure so we work in three ways we offer hourly consulting for early-stage entrepreneurs who aren’t quite ready to jump into the plunge of a bigger commitment we do project-based work where we will have a flat fee for a certain amount of work like putting together a business plan or packaging design or something of that nature and then for our larger clients we will work on a retainer where we are acting as a significant member of the executive team helping to plan their strategy and manage all of their marketing in the world so who are your typical customers or your end or their end users who would be your typical person that would approach you for work to give us an idea in terms of you know how that looks sure so our typical client can range anywhere from a brand new entrepreneur who’s looking to start a business with a plant-based food products or or supplement product to something of that nature or it could be somebody who has a very established business we’ve worked with some of the largest food companies in the world to develop new product areas in the plant-based space and we can work with them at any stage to help them get ready for market or to be successful in their execution yeah can you give us an example of one successful brand that you’ve been able to help that may be readily known to the audience sure so one brand that we worked with for a long time is called garden and they are a plant based protein company that makes over 30 different meal options for eating more plant-based protein from plan chicken and beef and pork and fish alternatives in the frozen aisle of your supermarket and we helped with them with field marketing with social media marketing PR and events and all that kind of thing so you don’t actually have your own product you actually help other entrepreneurs get their product to market it would that be accurate that’s true for the for most of our business we actually do have some companies that we become so involved in that we become significant shareholders and then metis the businesses with them so one company that I’m thinking of is called ocean hugger foods and the flagship product is tomatoes sushi we met the founder who is an incredible chef and he was looking for business partners who could help with the business side of his work and he wanted to focus on the innovation so we now partner with him to manage his business but primarily we are consulting and supporting other entrepreneurs with their products so talk to us a little bit about your revenue that you’re bringing in I don’t know if you have partners or not I don’t know how many employees you have but talk to us a little bit about the actual company and the structure and and and what your if you can talk to it what what the the revenue base is so I’d rather not speak about exact numbers but we are a small company we started in 2012 and we have focused on keeping our overhead low in order to bring the most efficient and effect and viable prices to early-stage entrepreneurs the traditional marketing agency model is one where there are so many employees to be able to provide the variety of services that a company will need and the newer model which is embraced by many startups is to keep overhead low by having a small internal staff and find the best resources in the market to be able to contract with on a per case basis and that’s the model we have internally my colleague Mary McGovern and I’ve on the business Mary comes from 25 years managing brands for the largest food companies in the world like Kraft and she and I set all the strategy for our clients and then if they need in social media marketing or digital marketing or in-store samplings or something of that nature we work with partners who can execute that I don’t get it yeah so at any given time clients are coming to you for a one type type project engagement or do you have other clients obviously that are retaining you on an ongoing basis if you can’t give actual revenue numbers can you talk to us a little bit about at what an average customer engagement is like and what that looks like so that the audience has a better understanding about this niche sure so I can tell you that on an hourly basis for example my rate is 250 dollars an hour if that’s helpful and when we’re doing a project a retainer based work we are calculating how many hours each person on our team would be devoting to something and discounting it for a bigger commitment and then that becomes the fee associated with that project or retainer our client you know what what it costs to work with us ranges so much based on what a client is doing we’ve had clients for them we’ve done projects for you know a few thousand dollars total and we’ve had clients for them we are a retainer for many times that so let’s talk about the one that provides the highest retainer how did you actually help them from their distribution strategy get into the various whether it be retail markets or distribute their product out into the into the you know the world so with those clients for whom we are on retainer in a significant way it is primarily a situation where as I mentioned earlier we are outsourced chief marketing officer so rather than there needing to hire on a very large staff very senior people that could help them with expertise in advertising and in every kind of marketing and then branding our team can come in at a significantly lower cost than it would be to bring in all of those people at a senior level and manage all of that we also can bring in the best resources in the market more efficiently not just because they’re not on our payroll but because as an agency we are able to negotiate exclusive rates with other agencies or other freelancers that a client could not do directly and our markup is very low so if I am working with John and John will have to hire me for branding or packaging design I think go get packaging design from one of our great creative designers at a fraction of the cost that they were charging directly and she ends up paying less to work with me and them with my project management institute integration then he would just to get the design work directly from them so how are these customers actually getting to you how are you getting the word out I mean obviously you’re doing interviews like this I’ve I’ve listened to you on other podcasts and I’ve read some articles but how do you get the word out about your company and how do the client actually come to you so primarily it’s been through word of mouth I do a lot of networking it’s just my nature to go to a lot of events and conferences and meet everybody I can I just love doing that but primarily our clients come through word of mouth we work very very hard to ensure that every client leaves happy and you know inevitably things you know road bumps can happen and when they do I am always committed to making sure that they are solved and that nobody these unhappy so that route that allows us a great reputation where people are constantly referring us business and we’ve been very fortunate for that in fact as we’ve grown I’m having to turn down a lot of work so that we can focus on projects that are not only more lucrative salsa more more impactful in the world and so we are trying to focus ourselves on doing more outbound marketing to go after the projects that we’re most excited about but the work just keeps on coming in to keep us busy well tell me a little bit about that business model because you know there are other entrepreneurs out there that want to scale up and you know it sounds as if there’s too much business how do you make the determination as to when to either hire more people or to basically limit it because you know in terms of growth businesses there’s a lot of people that obviously do want to grow considerably and they do want to Gail up so how do you how do you balance that when do you make the determination as to when to do that or just stick to you know where you’re at and that was another reason for me asking about the revenue numbers because i think that people are curious not just because of you talking about the numbers itself but to get an idea in terms of you know if they want to either go into this niche or if they were thinking about growing their own businesses you know what that actually looks like short so i think that to be honest the agency world can be a very difficult one to scale part of the challenge is that when one is early and is working with a lot of contractors their margins are very thin and that means that the more work you can keep in-house the more money you can make however if you’re early and you don’t have the revenue to be able to hire a big staff internally you have to use outside contractors so that balance between finding which people to bring in house so that you have efficiencies on individual work and which people to keep out so that you don’t have to carry a payroll as a very hard very hard balance to strike and it’s something that we’ve been learning as we’ve been going early on in my business we had a large internal team that was earlier stage in their careers and focused on a lot of executional marketing so we did social media in house we had a staff of 15 or 20 people who are going into stores and things samplings or events and that was a challenge because in order to comply with the law we’ve had a huge payroll tax and a lot of benefits we had to carry and we had to deal with managing a large team and all the complications that come with that but because the work wasn’t very highly valued our margins were extremely thin as an example I believe very strongly in honoring the people I work with so I was paying my teen twenty dollars an hour most of them were part-timers who were students or cater waiters or actors in their other career and I was paying them twenty dollars an hour which was significantly more than they were making elsewhere but it’s because I believe in doing that and our margins were so small that we were only charging about twenty five or twenty seven dollars an hour which after payroll taxes and benefit meted out to almost nothing so so where were you where are you at now in terms of the number of employees that you have internally versus let’s say contractors on the outside and then to follow up on that I know that earlier in your career before this company you were a broker in this particular area and you had mentioned about the agency model so maybe talk to us a little bit about you know how you’ve evolved over these last several years and where you’re going into the future where do you see the business and the niche yeah so as we changed our model to focus more on strategic work where we could provide greater value to our clients and create greater greater margins for ourselves at the same time we have we have through attrition allowed the team to dwindle down we moved away from doing all the execution work and focus entirely on the strategic work and now my company internally is Marion and I and the two of us bring a lot of experience and are able to provide a lot of high-level value to our clients at a significantly reduced payroll costs and it would have been if we had all those people we had previously and we’ve been doing that model for about three years now in terms of the evolution of our business and and it’s in and as your is she a co-founder or is she in terms of just your structure because we talked a little bit about partnerships and you know bringing in people that maybe complement our own strengths to to sort of help us in other areas so what does she bring and how is it structured versus maybe were your strengths life sure so Mary is an employee and she is involved like a partner and something someday that takes that that I consider extremely essential to the business she brings 25 years and experience managing us in the largest company so she started at General Foods which later became craft and she worked at Ocean Spray and Duracell in extremely senior positions managing bransworth literally billions of dollars and when I started this business I didn’t have the traditional background that many people in marketing and branding have and so in order to cut my teeth and proved that we had the chops to do this work bringing somebody with such brilliant and such experience was really helpful to establish ourselves and show people that we were serious about what we do so at any given time how many clients realistically given the fact that it’s just you and her on the inside and you rely on let’s say outside contractors or other people to help you realistically a business that’s obviously scaling up versus a you know a solo practitioner if you will how how many clients can you you know can you handle at one given time or in a year’s time at their own retainer sure so we tend to have between two and three significant retainer clients at a time and then three or so project basis works that are you know two three month projects and then a couple one-offs order things at a time and so can you give us an idea in terms of I know that you had talked to just generally about some of the numbers in terms of your hourly rate and but you know I’m a company I want to go into this niche which is obviously you know the vegan market and i’m looking to sort of bring my product to market get it in supermarkets etc what can i expect what are the expectations and someone like myself coming to you and saying gee I like for you to help me soup to nuts bring this to market what would I be expecting to to pay someone like yourself in doing that so I tell folks beyond just our cost I tell folks that have been looking to launch a food or supplement or cosmetic product into the natural channel so into health food stores in those kinds of places if you want to launch really effectively in one region and then scale from there I tell people that they should expect to spend a quarter million dollars if they want to launch like let’s say you wanted to tackle whole foods and the natural health food stores in the Greater New York National area for six months and the strategy i recommend to people is that you take that smaller number of stores you get into them and you focus entirely on driving sales as aggressively as possible in those areas so you can prove that with enough support the sales could multiply dramatically as you expand into other stores and then you go raise capital if you need to you don’t want to so but yeah one of the questions that I had for you personally was you know how you actually came up with the idea which we talked about and then how you actually tested your own idea in terms of what you were doing but how do you how do you make that leap of goodwill or good faith to say to a potential customer coming to you you know spend X number of dollars I mean you know before you know fully launching to you know to break into the business I mean a quarter of a million dollars you know how do you help them sort of test the idea first so that’s the great thing about doing a proof of concept but we’re also doing a lot of research on the marketplace and on the competitive set of products they’re in so somebody comes to me and says I want to launch for granola I might tell them that the very challenging business to be in because it’s such a saturated market and I’ll probably encourage them to consider other options if somebody says to me they want to create the first you know I had somebody come to me and want to create the first probiotic protein powder a long time ago before it was so popular now I thought that was a brilliant idea and those kinds of things are so innovative and so in demand there might be a greater opportunity so one of the first things we do with the company is analyzed the marketplace to understand how big the demand is and how big the opportunity is and also assess what the competitive environment looks like and what the best ways to reach consumers were be maybe they would sell through stores may be online maybe to other businesses and understanding those opportunities and what lies ahead so they can plan accordingly is essential decided to decide if the business is viable and worth pursuing and so we work with them to make that determination first yeah you know the the flip side of success is struggles and sometimes failures and we sort of you know have to restart back up again so can you tell us a little bit about some of your own struggles in learning the business back in 2012 and how that’s kind of changed over time absolutely I’m very transparent about these things because I love working with early-stage entrepreneurs to explore and figure out how they can fail quickly and often until they don’t anymore so I started as a broker actually because in order to prove myself in this business I needed to do something that people were willing to hire me for and brokering is commission-based sales work and so because you only get paid on your success people were more than happy to hire me for that as opposed to hiring me for works that they would have been paying upfront without knowing the results and in the natural food industry the typical broker gets about ten to fifteen percent of the products that products they sell to a store so as an example I’m selling a product that I’m selling for three dollars that will retail for six roughly and it’s a case of six units and i sell one case a week to a store then it’s an then it’s a $18 paste that i’m selling and i’m making ten to fifteen percent of that but it might take me an hour to to chase down the manager of that store on the phone or in person and get in the reorder so i might be making a dollar eighty or two or three bucks for an hour to of work that was a very difficult business model and the reason that brokers are only successful if they have dozens and dozens of lines with some that are carrying the vast majority of their revenue the biggest sellers because I was early I worked with very small brands in very small stores my clients were thrilled because we were getting them into so many stores that nobody else was paying attention to and because for them the sales were very good but on my end I was a disaster and I could have chosen to pursue expanding that business and continuing to bring on more and more clients but I decided that for starters I actually find that broker model really troubling because I don’t like the fact that one can’t pay attention to the earlier businesses I’m in this business for innovation and to launch the next thing that will change the world and I do that if I have to focus only on the established brands that are already making me a lot of money so it was your goal not necessarily to to grow exponentially because again everybody has different goals with their business I mean realistically between you and and your employee and and the number of people that you could just realistically handle at any given one time you’re not going to be able to sort of scale up and be able to handle hundreds of clients so that might not be your goal but maybe somebody’s is and so what do you tell them in terms of you know where they could take their own business so we are scaling a lot actually and we will be doubling our team size within the next few months we’ve already made some offers and we expect to bring on two to three more people by the end of 2017 and then to continue to grow from there we’re actually at a pivot point this is something that might be interesting for your listeners to think about it we’re at a pivot point where we are meeting more people to handle the work but we are also close to generate enough revenue where we can comfortably say that we can bring those people on so it’s an interesting time where we have to do as much as we can to bring in the revenue and soon we’ll be at the point where we can bring in people and because Mary and I are extremely senior in our experience it’ll be very helpful to bring in people who can assist with some of the more administrative tasks that can free us up to bring our high value high revenue work to clients every so is this more a hybrid is it an agency then are you evolving into something else that that you know talk to us a little bit about the different business models chores so we are certainly an agency but we are also working horizontally in other industries so we have steaks in and partnerships with retail establishments distribution companies manufacturing facilities and other things and especially investment funds where our goal is that we can take a fantastic plant based product that we think can change the world invest in it brand market launch it sell it distributed etc so we are horizontally integrating ourselves so that we can do that and make a huge difference for our clients yeah so tell me that the best business advice you’ve ever received oh man it’s a great question I think the best business advice I ever received was to know when some things not work you can be willing to pivot I changed my business model several times from when I was a broker to doing executional marketing doing strategic marketing that certainly been the most effective and the most rewarding both in terms of impact and in terms of revenue but knowing when it was time to stop and say okay it’s okay you learned a lot from this you generated a lot of goodwill and maybe some fantastic relationships with clients now it’s time to know what makes sense for your business and that’s been most important for me has been knowing when it’s time to change the model are our startups are obviously bootstrapping early on and so they have this terrific idea there obviously have limited resources so they’re going to they’re going to be very creative and resourceful in terms of testing their their um their product and they come to you do you ever buy in to their idea so in other words in terms of cost structure in terms of how they actually pay you where you know you’re kind of there’s some skin in the game for you in terms of their own success or is it a pure agency as opposed to them treating you almost like a broker model where they’re paying you for the success of their own product in getting into the stores and then obviously ultimate revenue so because we don’t do sales we’re not working on commissions however there are times on a case-by-case basis where we’ll work with companies on an equity basis or on a cash equity split or something where we’ll look at respecting the fact that they have few revenues or maybe on the other hand they don’t want to give up any equity we’re very open to those discussions we have to make some determinations based on our own cash flow of course but we’re also establishing ourselves and building for a long growth and value so there are certainly times where we’re interested in looking to do that and we can be very flexible and creative and how we can partner with people based on their circumstances talk to us a little bit about for those who are not really very familiar with vegan I mean obviously some people eat steak they love chicken and eggs and all of that talk to us a little bit about incorporating the vegan diet into our own everyday lives for those who haven’t begun to do that and and maybe want to start to try whether it be for health reasons because of their approach to animals but just talk to the the everyday person who can sort of incorporate vegan into their lives sure so I’m very happy to have been eating this way the last 15 years have been vegetarian for nearly 20 years I made the decision to originally change my diet for reasons of concern for animals but I’m extremely passionate about the incredible impact we can also have on the environment and on our own human health I think the thing that was most inspiring to me about it was that I was looking to make a difference and I cared about a lot of issues from women’s health and rights and peace and you know in international affairs and all kinds of things but what inspired me and empowered me about this work is that by making a single choice oneself even if it’s just for one day if I choose not to eat a hamburger and to eat a veggie burger for lunch today I’m saving an animal’s life I’m reducing my cholesterol and my risk of cancer diabetes and heart disease and I’m reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the world significantly and every single time I make that choice with my fork and my dollar in the supermarket I can have a tremendous impact without needing to convince the president not to go to war in Iraq or to you know try to get all men to not abused women like there are certain things that we can’t do exclusively on our own but this is one where we are so empowered and it’s so fun they’re amazing foods out there you can explore all the new options and that’s why I love it so much but how do you how do you though the true message to give each person that you’re coming across because some people are doing it for health reasons other people aren’t doing it because of some of these other things and so how do you how do you sort of you know finesse it that you don’t turn other people off that you know are not into it because of you know political reasons or because of Cruelty to Animals even if they do love animals how do you how do you sell it even though you’re not a sales organization per se sort so like I said I did come from the education and advocacy worlds but the biggest reason I’m doing what I’m doing now is because I realized that the products that we represent speak for themselves they’re delicious they’re beautiful they’re affordable they’re healthy and they’re easy to find and that’s what excites me is that I can say to somebody you don’t have to change your identity you don’t have to decide that you’re never going to eat something again here’s a delicious awesome product put in your mouth try it out what do you think wouldn’t it be great to have this for dinner on Thursday maybe you’ll have it for dinner once a week that’s the conversation where we can meet people where they’re at not make them feel judged and let them know that we are supporting them with awesome options to make choices in a very low stress way that can be good for them in the world and there’s no pressure or expectations around it yeah and I think that when you want to try to sort of bring this to the masses and obviously make it catch on more I think that that’s a you know a populist way of doing it so in terms of the marketing research in this particular space how big is the market and you know people are always worried about coming up with good ideas in this particular space so to talk to us a little bit about you know the opportunities for others whether it be your own business or other people listening in terms of coming up with an idea in this particular vegan niche absolutely so the space is booming and you asked about the numbers the biggest reasoning is booming it’s not because of people who are going exclusively vegetarian or vegan that number is growing but the biggest growth is in people who are looking to incorporate this into their lives in a small way which is tastic so in in 2013 mintel which is a large market research organization did a very large study and they found that between one and two percent of the population is vegan meaning eating no animal products of any kind between five and seven percent of the population is vegetarian so no meat fish or poultry and then 16.7 percent of the population almost wanted over one and six people in the country are eating vegetarian for more than half their meals they’re what we call flexitarian and that’s where the real economic opportunity is and it’s also where the real impact is if I’m selling a veggie burger to a vegan I’m not making much of a difference but if I’m selling one to somebody who eats me I’m changing the world so in addition to that extremely large number over forty percent of Americans in that study said that they were aiming to reduce their meat dairy and egg intake significantly over the next year so the opportunity is huge we find that in the marketplace every day that a man for these products is skyrocketing just to give you an idea in the last few years we’ve had clients who have been invested in by leaking the wealthiest man in Asia by Jerry Yang by Bill Gates by the folks from Twitter who started the obvious corporation obvious ventures some of the richest and most strategic investors in the world are recognizing that this is the time to get into this space because we just don’t have the stability and the resources to continue farming animals the way we have and producing healthy plant-based proteins to feed the masses is really the only way we can go forward that’s why they’re betting big on minutes and you’re seeing it in the big meat companies to Tyson has invested in a vegan meat company they have started a several hundred million dollar funds to continue that growth and the CEO himself has said we’re not hedging this is the future and we’re getting in front of it so when we see leaders like the head of Tyson saying that they need to pivot away from me and towards plant proteins there’s no question that this space is exploding so I kind of look at us as a food business strategist so whether someone’s interested in vegan or some other aspect of the food chain what do you tell them in terms of resources things that they can sort of leverage and use just to get started every day to begin yeah I think that it’s extremely important that we recognize there are so many different ways to go to market and when I mentioned that quarter million dollar figure that’s an insane amount of money but thats related to how people go to market if they are going to try to compete with the biggest brands in the world on the shelves of supermarkets where there are 60,000 different products in the same store and there are so many different ways to sell to consumers so you can have a restaurant you can sell at stores you can sell online you can sell it farmers markets each of these models has different costs and different opportunities for revenue and what I’d say is the more but the more closely you interact with the consumer and the more directly you interact with them such as Sally at a farmers market or something of that nature the higher your profit will be but the less scalable the business is so if you would like to have a really big impact on a few people which is certainly admirable and you can do that through a restaurant or through catering or through farmers markets you can have even do that and you can make a very healthy margin and you can have a very sustainable happy business if you want to be the next coca-cola of healthy food then you’re going to have to invest and go and make sure that you are selling through additional channels such as the retail stores so that you can need to reach a much broader audience but the reason you’re going to need so much money to there’s so many middlemen you have to get onto the shelves you have to get distributed there you have to get sold into the store etc to not just convincing the consumer you’re convincing all the trade partners to so I think the biggest thing to realize is that there are many ways to make an impact and one should decide what their goal is if they want to be the next coca-cola or if they just want to have that personal connection where they can change a few people’s lives yeah you know very good when when looking at resources though in terms of you know testing their own idea before obviously you know going into the market going to a farmers market or doing those one-on-one type of things is really an effective way to test their idea when you agree absolutely and there are a lot of resources for people to do these things on a small scale whether it’s testing by selling and locally they’re sharing with friends and family there are also in all major cities in the country now food incubator kitchens we’re rather than producing your brownies at home and China Selden illegally because of health code violations you can rent either for a few hours for a day for a month a small shared kitchen where you can produce your product legally and with the expertise and efficiencies of the teams there so that you can produce it and get it out there that’s that you have a few ideas of in terms of you know are there commercial like almost franchisees where you know they allow people to come in and do this for a C and a flat fee per month yes so in new york city where I live there are several you can go to Brooklyn foodworks the organic foods incubator the entrepreneurs face and a kitchen hot bread kitchen there are a number of them in LA there’s local food lab they’re really everywhere and there are fantastic places because not only do you have the kitchen space at a low cost rent you forget it’s it’s bigger that’s not constant you also have workshops and educational sessions they’re putting on and they can teach you from their own experiences and your network like a co-working space where you can speak to other entrepreneurs who are facing the same challenges so it’s a really great opportunity to get involved and get to know what it’s like to start such a business that’s great and we’ll have links to all of those reason where’s David just mentioned our fastpitch Mitchell Chad Road calm / books for books audiobooks guest recommendations and the books that I read to start off each day sponsors are fastpitch my book club recommendations I get Mitchell Chad Road calm / book to see more of my recommendation and recommendations of our guests just go to Mitchell Chad Road calm / books it’s your number one resource for book reviews and recommendations so we we read a lot of books that motivate us that inspires can yet can you recommend a book for everybody in the audience made to stick and the e-myth day as far as productivity is there an app that helps you in business family or life that you can recommend insightly our wrap-up round Mitchell Chad row.com / photos for all your graphic design needs in our wrap-up we want have our audience take away three things that you feel are the most important ideas that you can provide to them one first research everything about the industry you want to go into when I started my business I did 115 informational interviews in one year to meet everybody throughout the food business and map out my path to success too as I mentioned before be ready to fail take it take the bull by the horns and pivot when needed and three really know your margins because you’re always going to have expenses you don’t expect and be ready to have to account for those and to have to change your rates as you find that out and how’s everybody going to stay in contact with you David so i can be reached at david at plant based solutions com and our website plant based solutions com we’re on twitter facebook and linkedin and we look forward to hearing from everybody is there anything imparting that you’d like to let the audience know that you think that we haven’t talked about today yeah the amazing thing about the opportunities today in the world is that young people and people in general are looking to make impact and for so long we assumes that going into the career space one could either make impact or make money there’s a new movement called effective altruism i’m a proud practitioner and i really believe that there are creative ways and non-traditional ways to make both impact and money and sometimes they’re even more effective than going to do the traditional charity work with the same cups so i encourage people who want to make a difference and be successful in their careers to go to websites like the center for effective altruism or 80,000 hours and about how they can combine their passions with their needs to survive David awesome thank you so much for everything thoroughly enjoyed it and I know the audience will as well and we’re really looking forward to hearing more about your success in the future you’ll come back and you’ll let us know wonderful thank you so much for having me hey take care now bye bye & until next time