Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in the pet food industry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Paul Shenouda, Co-founder of Wilder Harrier, located in Montreal, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Wilder Harrier pioneering Canadian brand in the integration of insect proteins and other innovative ingredients for pet food. Our customers seek out premium foods for their pets while contributing to a better planet. We believe that pets can help us lead the way in building a more sustainable food system.
Tell us about yourself
Engineer-entrepreneur, university lecturer, passionate about innovations, and able to philosophize about literally anything. I believe that love, curiosity, and logic can solve all of humanity's problems. Since I was little, I have been naturally attracted to a problem that seems "impossible" to solve. I take it as a challenge. This is one of the reasons why I founded Wilder Harrier with my business partners and friends Mathieu and Philippe Poirier.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Building a product that relieves pain from customers. Example: getting a heartfelt testimonial from a client saying that our food is the only one that sits well with their dog that has allergies to other proteins.
Building the bases of an organization that can grow sustainably and a team of committed people.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Choosing what to work on and on what to focus energy on every single day. Explore or exploit? Brainstorm or execute? Do it yourself or outsource? There is no blueprint for growing your specific business, so you must face this uncertainty and build your own strong intuition. Reading and asking for advice are crucial but not sufficient.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Stop fussing about the small details in the beginning. You're making excuses. You don't know what you are doing, so no amount of overthinking will compensate for it. Think, of course. But then: do, learn, and correct course.
- Steady, steady, steady. Don't rush, don't crawl. Just hand in there, keep your hands on the wheel when most others stop. This is a huge part of the game of entrepreneurship: patience and steady execution. Momentum builds like this, not with magical home runs.
- Have fun! If you choose to start a business, then remember you made that choice, to begin with. And that the feeling of fun and adventure that drove you to it is a very powerful drive that you must nurture. I'm not saying it is sufficient or that there won't be bad days, but there is always a way to laugh about it, not to take yourself too seriously. Distance yourself from your business, though you've sacrificed a lot. Surround yourself with people who believe in hard work and fun as well. Yes, your startup is really important to you, of course, but remember that you're building a business, not solving a nuclear crisis (I hope, haha!).
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.