Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Wendi Bergin, Founder of Joyfully Prepared, located in Lakeland, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Joyfully Prepared is a business dedicated to teaching busy moms skills like gardening, food preservation, natural remedies, and more so they can take care of themselves through developing talents, supporting their families with confidence, and saving money.
Tell us about yourself
My business started before I was born. Even before my parents were born. My grandfather (dad's dad) joined a church that recommended its members to put up two years' supplies of food and supplies back in 1938. My grandma and her mother-in-law put up 1800 jars of food, and my grandpa put up supplies, like chains and tires, that would keep his landscaping business running. In 1941, the USA entered World War II, and the whole country was invested in providing for the troops. Because of my grandparent's efforts, they didn't need to use one of their ration stamps, and my grandfather stayed in business where others did not.
I was raised by my parents to practice self-reliant skills. My mom grew a huge garden and canned the food she grew. She taught me to learn about natural remedies and other ways to care for myself. My dad taught me the value of food storage. Basically, keeping food on hand to bless in time of need: illness, job loss, natural disaster, pandemic. In my teenage years, I picked wild blackberries and learned how to make jam. My mom had the equipment and supplies to do it. So, I did. I was gifted a book, "Stalking the Wild Asparagus" by Euell Gibbons, which set me on a path to foraging for wild edibles. It's a wonderful skill to have.
Once married, my husband and I began to gather our own food storage and learn more skills to help our small family. I learned to store and grind wheat to make my own bread. We've always had a garden of some sort. In the beginning, there wasn't much fruit from our labors, but like anything, we've learned and found mentors to guide us. I love to learn. I love to create. Learning these preparedness skills has benefited my family, and I've been able to serve others confidently because of them. I'm dedicated to teaching these skills to women so they can feel joy in caring for themselves by developing their talents and optimistic that they can care for their families during uncertain times.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I started a podcast in April 2022 called Joyfully Prepared. It's just been the very best thing I could've done for myself and my business. I love having a platform to share my knowledge as well as showcasing others and their genius.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, it's the systems. Organization. I've homeschooled my seven children for 14 years. It's definitely challenging to find the balance between working with my kids and working on the business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- You have a voice. What you're doing is unique. It took me a long time to get over the imposter syndrome. You're doing the world a service by starting a business and sharing what you know and have.
- Be kind to yourself. As a business owner, you're learning a lot of new things all at once. Just breathe. Rest a little bit.
- There is plenty for everyone. God has made enough to spare for us all. Think generously. Be a player in the world of contribution. Be nice to others. Build relationships of trust. We need more of that in the world.
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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