Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Anthony Caligaris, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Fringe Inc., located in Denver, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Fringe is a wellness company focused on helping incorporate natural healing into our modern lives. As we get busier and busier, we are farther and farther from the natural world and its healing elements. Fringe is here to create products, content, and community that helps us reconnect with these elements.
Tell us about yourself
With a background in chiropractic, my co-founder Alyson Evans has always been in tune with "alternative medicine." Her passion for nature's ability to heal our pain, sleep, and stress challenges is the engine that drives us.
My background is in economics and organizational management, but my passion is in connecting these things to doing the right thing. I firmly believe that a company can prioritize doing good in the world and that those actions can be directly (and mathematically) tied to economic benefit. I'm here to prove that model.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I would say our biggest accomplishment to date is having a cohesive team that has worked hard through some very challenging times. For an individual to do that is rare, and for a whole team of people to push through the adversity, that seems nonexistent. We are super lucky to have developed a team of people all focused on bringing positivity, healing, and support to the world. Sometimes I have to take a step back to fully appreciate what we're actually doing here. It's really humbling, and we're super honored to have the team we do.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I feel like what I'm answering here is, "What is harder about being a business owner than being an employee at a company?" and to be honest, owning a business is easier than being an employee. No one is second-guessing my decisions, we're moving quickly, and we don't need approvals.
But as an owner, the buck stops with you, which can be riddled with anxiety at times, but if you firmly believe in what you're doing, how you're doing it, and who you're doing it with - that's all just temporary.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
These are going to be somewhat of a bummer because they're not new.
- Just start. You cannot predict outcomes well enough to construct a perfect plan. You need to get your mistakes out of the way, your misconceptions. They are unavoidable, and they take a certain amount of time, so just start and get through them.
- Understand that no matter how good your service, idea, or product is, you have to scale your messaging. Focus on how you might do that - understand your opportunities to grow that messaging and plan for growth in your business by constructing a roadmap of that messaging scale. Otherwise, you'll have a really great idea that your friends and family love, with no scale. Which may be enough for you, but you have to make that call early on.
- You must, and your team must, have grit, be agile, and posses endurance. I fully understand why startups fail - they are hard. And not hard in the way you might anticipate. When your first challenge is one you never considered would be a problem, it can destabilize you. Now encounter that 100 more times, and you have a business. You have to have the grit to keep fighting. You have to be agile enough to change based on the inputs you're receiving. You have to do both of those things over a very long period of time. Good luck. If you believe in you, I believe in you.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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