Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with BBQ Brian Misko, the founder of House of Q, bbq sauce, in Vernon, BC, Canada.

Tell us all about your business...

It all started as a hobby. Well, maybe not even that... we just wanted to eat and eat well! We shred what we cooked with people and they then asked to take some BBQ sauce home. That turned into a store asking for our sauces, then more followed.

What's your background and motivation to grow as a business owner?

I am BBQ Brian and I am the crafter of our sauces and spices. I am also a world-champion, multi-award-winning BBQ pitmaster. What I craft to compete against the best BBQ pitmaster's in the world is what I put in the jars we sell in stores. It's guaranteed to be something that has won awards. Top flavor for those that want to Grill Like a Champion. But being at the top of the game means changing the flavour and making sure it keeps winning. That doesn't mean the older recipes don't taste great, they do! It's just that there's more to create. That's what I like to do. Make things tasty.

As an entrepreneur, what does success ultimately mean to you?

There are many milestones along the path from receiving the very first pallet of sauce from the plant, being asked to be a chef at the 2020 Vancouver Winter Olympics, to publishing a cookbook, to being on TV for years sharing BBQ tips and maybe even winning a world championship in Las Vegas. But getting an email from someone who has a jar of our sauce and writes "it's the best thing they've ever eaten" might be the best thing.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being an entrepreneur?

As our business has grown over the years one of the ongoing challenges is learning to attend to all of the things that you need to attend to. Realizing where you have strengths is great. Realizing where you can learn to accomplish the task is good, but most importantly, is learning what you know you need help with and finding someone who can help you. Someone you can trust and has your best interests as theirs.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a small business today?

First, encourage yourself. Surround yourself with people who believe in your aspirations, cheer you on and get rid of the people who will hold you back.

Second, think a few steps forward as to what you are doing. You received your first shipment of product and it takes up most of your garage... now what? What's your plan?

Three, ask your customers what they want which helps for new products or ways you can change what you have already. Ask what other stores should have your products. Ask, ask, ask... and listen.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

One of the things I miss being in a downtown office in my old career is the pattern of the day from commuting, the path to my desk, my co-workers and the coffee station. But now, those patterns are at my home office and I have flexibility to work when I want to, how I want to and meet my family in the kitchen. I like that.

Where can people find you online?

If you like what you've read here and have your own story as an entrepreneur or business coach that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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