Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Maria Wesserle, Founder of Four Season Foraging, located in Minneapolis, MN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I teach people to safely and sustainably work with wild edibles in the Twin Cities and beyond. My customers are folks who are interested in foraging for wild foods and medicines and want guidance from an experienced forager.
Tell us about yourself
I started foraging back in 2004 and instantly fell in love with the practice. It's important for me to create spaces where people can learn to interact with urban and rural wild places in meaningful and sustainable ways. I feel that foraging is an excellent way to connect with the surrounding landscape, and I love sharing this skill with others.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
This probably sounds very simple, but I would say that my biggest accomplishment is just sticking with it! I started Four Seasons Foraging in 2017 and have been committed to growing my business every year. This does not come naturally to me. I'm someone who likes to start projects and then abandon them when they lose their novelty, haha. So the fact that I've been consistently working on this for five years is very impressive to me!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing for me is the same as the best thing, which is having to direct yourself and manage your own time. There isn't anybody breathing down your neck to get things done by a certain deadline or to complete tasks a certain way, which is great! But it can also be hard to stay motivated without that outside pressure.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My first tip is to take a business class. This may sound daunting, expensive, or difficult, but I encourage you to look around and find one that fits your needs. I was able to take an amazing series of classes through a local nonprofit that supports women entrepreneurs with accessible courses and other services. My second tip is to create a realistic business plan based on thorough research. Daydreaming about your vision is great and has its place, but your business plan should be founded on hard data! My final tip is to look inward and decide whether the stress of running a business is something you actually want. There are many benefits to creating your own business, but the pressures aren't for everyone, and that's okay.
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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