Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Megan Vu, Owner of Blk City Coffee Roasters, located in Chino, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I roast specialty coffee and sell 12oz bags of roasted coffee online. Our customers come from organic Google searches and viewers who support our YouTube channel.
Tell us about yourself
I first started roasting coffee to save money. Little did I know, I would eventually spend so much more on coffee than I ever would have imagined. Nevertheless, I fell in love with the semi-science and art of roasting in particular. Learning about where coffee comes from and how special it is to drink it every day feels like I've unlocked a life cheat code. What motivates me everyday is that I get to express another side of me through roasting and then sharing the wins and losses of that through video. Through social media and YouTube, I've been able to find some great connections and another community of friends to share our passion for coffee.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Our biggest accomplishment was actually gaining real confidence in my roasting ability. It was difficult to find my own voice or even know it was possible to trust myself throughout the learning process. I've learned "how to learn" from roasting. Once you get the foundations, it's really liberating to know that you can be creative; you can break the rules and even make your own. It's very similar to being a competent cook. I really enjoy how visceral and simple it is while not being and easy thing to do all the time.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing I've come up against is the emotional toll that can take hold of you if you haven't trained yourself to handle it. In the wake of life, and dealing with difficult people, tasks, or things is to be stoic about it. It's not apathy; it's not coldness. It's a greater understanding of the bigger picture and not being killed by the nature of things or people. I don't think I'll ever master this mentality, but it helps to know that if something is ever hard, it's probably meant to be. So the way I feel about it doesn't really matter. It helps push me to move my mentality over to finding solutions or just doing the work that's required.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Prepare your mind. Study and practice stoicism.
- Get used to the idea of failing a lot and have a forward mentality of putting in the work.
- Model the leaders of businesses and models you want to emulate in the long run. Every business is kinda the same in the beginning. But what about in 3 years, or 5, or 10? What systems are in place so that the business isn't running your life? Ideally, you have a business that supports the life you want to live if that's your goal.
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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