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.
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)