Monthly Archives: October 2011

Abel Foods – Don’t miss your free trip to the Bahamas

A while back I was driving to work and listening to a Zig Ziglar CD (yes, I listen to motivational speakers in the car. Go ahead and laugh, my family always does :D).

Anyways he told the audience to think about all of the tasks that they had to complete the next day at work. For many of them, he said, the list would be long and grueling. It might even run into the next day, or keep them at the office late. Everyone seems to be so busy these days.

Then he told the audience to imagine that they were at work the next day, plowing through their to-do list, trying to finish each oh-so-important task, and then that they received a call from a loved one or a friend. That friend would then inform them that they had won a trip to the Bahamas! An all expenses paid for, week long getaway of rest and relaxation.

The catch is, you have to leave that afternoon. Ziglar goes on to tell the audience, “I bet you’d finish that to-do list pretty quickly after that phone call.”

After this week, I can attest . . . Zig Ziglar was right.

AbelFoods.com

Abel Foods, which was formally known as Skeebers, then McArthur Foods and now Abel Foods with the first product known as Skeebers (took some time but I think we’re done with the identity crisis), was recently presented with a great opportunity to sell its product and get some exposure. The ASU Homecoming Tailgate party would draw in thousands of people before the big game and seemed like a great first event for the new start-up.

The only problem was . . . The to-do list to get Abel Foods ready for an event on that scale was a mile long – literally (I sat in the car and said each thing I needed to do out loud and it took AT LEAST one mile to get it all out).

The company needed a logo, a website, marketing materials, tag-lines, and well I guess you could just say it needed an identity in general. It needed to:

  • nail down the recipes they would use,
  • make sure they even tasted good,
  • decide on what types of sauces to make and actually figure out how to make them,
  • buy all the equipment necessary in order to make and serve food for thousands of people,
  • figure out how to take an old family recipe and multiply it by a hundred and then make all the finished product taste the same,
  • figure out how to get all of that equipment to and from ASU
  • AND follow all of the health codes required of vendors at the event.

Up until this last week Abel Foods only existed in the conference rooms of the Sky Song building- where young entrepreneurs made big plans and then walked out only to realize that they also had full-time jobs, full-time school, part-time student government, and a wedding to plan. Needless to say the big plans always seemed to go to the bottom of the list. Until there was a little motivation.

That motivation somehow caused every single task to get done. The identity issue was solved by contacting the right website and design company: iGravity Design. But that decision alone took some time. They did a great job of figuring out what we wanted and then making it happen quickly.

We had them create a great logo for Abel as well as product cards for Skeebers and a beautiful banner that we can now use for the many future events we will be doing. They also put together a simple website that we can use until we decide to do something more in depth.

Everything else got done as a result of my being surrounded by amazing people that can recognize when I have bitten off more than I can chew – partly because they see me do it so often – and then automatically come to the rescue.

My future in-laws are incredible and go out of their way to help anyone and by fiance is always there for me. Also my father and grandfather spent the whole event as our cooks and they did an amazing job. Practically everyone I know became consultants as I asked them about tag-lines, colors, fonts, and methods for cooking and serving the product.

In the end, the event was a great success. Half way through we found out we weren’t supposed to be selling out product there . . . oops. But you know what they say, it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission. And when you ignore the guy who told you to stop selling the product in the first place, it may also be a good idea to give him some free Skeebers when you apologize the second time ;).

Zig Ziglar is definitely right, it is all about motivation. And when your trip to the Bahamas comes along – most of the time – you’ll find a way to get it all done.

I’d go into more detail on how all of the many, many hours of preparation went and perhaps even fill you in on some of the funny, and not so funny experiences we had along the way. But after building a brand in a week, even with all of the help I had . . . I’m just too dang tired. I’m just gonna go have some Skeebers and take a nap 🙂 ha ha ya right . . . naps are for losers – I’m going to do some homework! (no joke, I am)

Check out our new site AbelFoods.com ! And follow us on Twitter and Facebook so you don’t miss out next great events. We promise to make sure we are allowed to sell you some Skeebers next time 🙂


Inter Club Council Meeting: How to be an effective lobbyist


True principles and good habits: Make them automatic

“The first rule of any technology used in business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” – Bill Gates

When we do something as a human being automatically we call it a habit. Often times we acquire a habit without even trying. And almost as often we acquire habits that are not necessarily “efficient” – a bad habit.

When we read a quote like the one above from Bill Gates, it is easy to see the words technology, business, and efficiency and quickly assume that if you don’t so business with technology in either an efficient or inefficient matter then it doesn’t apply to you.

The truth is the quote above, and many others on a diverse range of subjects can apply to every facet of your existence.

In realizing that if you apply automation, or a habit, to something that is inefficient, or “bad” in general, you will only magnify that inefficiency or “bad action;” one can then be sure to consciously avoid bad habits, and inefficient automation.

Each and every sliver of wisdom, no matter the subject it relates to can offer each of us something valuable.

True principles can be applied to all situations, and they always (usually) work..

Thanks Bill.

 


Be a Sponge – Soak up knowledge and compound your learning

I recently received an email from one of my mentors from the Edson Initiative commenting on Steve Jobs’ life. It mentioned something that I found to be especially important- that Jobs “was a sponge” and learned something from everything he came into contact with- and that, I think, is one of the main factors in personal and professional success for any person.

The ability to learn from everything that one comes into contact with may not seem like that hard of a task. We inevitably learn some type of lesson when we experience a challenge or get lucky and succeed.

However the real value lies in learning from each and every experience – good or bad- and then compounding the knowledge you learned in the past with what you learn with each new experience.

With money, compounding interest means that when interest is added to the principle, from that time on, the interest that has been added can then also gain interest itself. When repeated over a long period of time the results of compounding can be astonishing.

For example if you were to ask a child whether they would prefer to receive $10,000 per day for 30 days OR one penny per day, that doubles in value every day, for 30 days, what do you think they would choose? 

A child would most likely jump at the $10,000 per day, however, one who understands compounding interest would choose the doubling penny. The reason being the $10,000 a day would end up being $300,000 at the end of the month while the doubling penny ends at

$ 5,000,000.

Compounded learning works in the same way. You take what you’ve learned from each new experience and add it to your principle knowledge, thus building on the new, more intelligent foundation every day and with every new experience. The results of compounded learning can be quite astonishing as well.

Every job, homework assignment, new acquaintance, business meeting, boring class, etc., presents an opportunity to learn something new.

The secret is . . . actually caring enough to realize the lessons you are learning. Then adding them to the principle, and building upon the whole thing.

It’s a simple concept that -like most simple things in life- is complicated and difficult to put into practice.

Steve Jobs had it figured out, and I’d say compounded learning served him well. I think it’s a concept we should all try and put into practice.

 

 

Tell me about experiences you’ve had that you have been able to learn something from, and even continue building on after learning it. Do you think compounded learning is good description of how we can learn from everyday and experiences? If not, whats a better way to describe it?

 


God bless the entrepreneur?

Does God want you to be rich? 

That’s a question – like most related to religion –  that doesn’t come with a simple answer. So what about the question, does God bless entrepreneurs? Does having a religious background and faith in God aid the budding entrepreneur?

Scripture isn't definitive when it comes to the relationship between faith and wealth.

Most of the time the main goal of an entrepreneur is to in the end, strike it rich. Of course they may also want to change the world for the better, solve some of the world’s most trying problems, and make a difference in people’s lives, but let’s face it . . . they want to make money in the process.

Quotes from the Bible can lead the seeker of an answer to this trying question in multiple directions. Jesus Christ said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matt 19:24). And, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth … but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matt 6:19-20).

Those statements may lead one to believe that being rich shouldn’t be the goal of one who claims to have an ernest desire to please God. However there are others that may relay quite the opposite.

In Deuteronomy, believers are commanded to, “remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth”(Deut 8:18). The Old Testament is full of references like this, praising God for providing a good life. If one chooses to place more emphasis on these references, and to understand Christ’s statements not as a condemnation of being wealthy but as a warning as to the possible consequences of having wealth, then it is quite possible that God would bless the faithful entrepreneur.

There are many that prescribe to the belief that God wants his people to be prosperous. It has been deemed the “Prosperity” belief in the U.S. and mega-churches like famous preacher Joel Osteen’s Lakewood church in Houston, Texas preach it each and every Sunday to large audiences. The idea that doing good will in turn bring goodness into your life, even monetarily, is one that seems to be attractive to many Americans.

However there are other pastors like Rick Warren, author of, The Purpose Driven Life, that don’t agree with the idea that God rewards his followers with wealth and prosperity.

In a Time Magazine article in 2006 Warren said, “You don’t measure your self-worth by your net worth. I can show you millions of faithful followers of Christ who live in poverty. Why isn’t everyone in the church a millionaire?”

There seems to be a hint of irony in the fact that the pastors that are arguing about whether God rewards his followers in a way that can be measured on this earth have both sold millions of books and are wealthy entrepreneurs themselves.

In reality, entrepreneurship isn’t all that different from evangelism. It occurs when somebody is totally committed to bringing a vision into reality, even if their vision doesn’t reflect the norms of society. The entrepreneur and the evangelist believe that they have something that everyone else needs, even if everyone else doesn’t know they need it yet.

In an essay on self-reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To believe in your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men — that is genius. Speak your latent conviction and it shall be the universal sense, for always the inmost becomes the outmost, and our first thought is rendered back to us by the trumpets of the last judgements.”

So, does God bless entrepreneurs? Does God want you to be rich?

That’s one thing you’re going to have to decide for yourself. However, if entrepreneurship and evangelism go hand in hand, this entrepreneur may just pick up his Bible a little more often . . . It can’t hurt, right?


Innovate for good; not just for green

The world has some problems. We turn on the news each night and are bombarded with challenges facing every society. From problems facing our own education systems to AIDS and starvation abroad, it can all be overwhelming if ingested too quickly.

Just the other morning I was driving to work in silence as I often do. Driving is a time when I can clear my mind of all the clutter and think about things that would normally be pushed out by all of the other stuff that squeezes its way in between my ears each day (it gets pretty crowded in there. . .if you don’t believe me, just ask my fiance ;)).

Anyways I was driving and thinking about the problems of the world, really I know it sounds silly. . . but I was. I was thinking about how we as humans could ever possibly solve those problems. World hunger, disease, poverty, failing education systems, you know, the usual. And I remembered something that Bill Drayton, the innovator who made the term “social entrepreneur” popular said.

“It’s the combination: big idea with a good entrepreneur: there’s nothing more poweful. That’s just as true [for] education and human rights as it is for hotels or steels.”

I had read about social entrepreneurs in the past and I thought it was pretty cool. People using business skills and contacts to make a difference to people other than the shareholders of their company. But it wasn’t until this car ride that I really realized what could be accomplished with this new “social entrepreneurship.”

It was definitely an “aha” moment . . .although I tend to think I have abut ten of those each day haha.

Entrepreneurs see problems, and then fix them. So what if there was a whole class of entrepreneurs that saw the problems facing the world, and even when there werent huge profits to be made; they solved them?

“”Most people don’t want to see problems,” said Bill Drayton. “Once you see a problem and keep looking at it, you’ll find an answer.”

I feel like I am a mini-entrepreneur now, working my way towards being a real one. And the more I look at the problems I want to solve, the more I realize I want to innovate for good, not just for green.