Good Food, Great Business at the Commonwealth Club

CommonwealthWant to learn more about financing your business, working with co-packers, marketing for increased sales, working with retailers, and more… from a group of kick-ass women who really know what it takes to run a successful food business? Listen to this Commonwealth Club recording of a recent event titled Good Food, Great Business: How Food Startups Take Good Ideas from Concept to Success.

Joining me in presenting to the sold-out crowd were Kathryn Lukas, CEO, Farmhouse CultureJill Litwin, Founder and CEO, Peas of Mind; and Grace Erickson, General Manager, Ocho CandySusie Wyshak, Author of the new book Good Food, Great Business (check it out!), organized the event and served as our moderator.

Finance for Food on the radio

KQED

As executive director of Finance for Food, I was interviewed by a number of radio shows that wanted their listeners to know more about how to raise money for socially responsible food businesses… and values-based business in general. While not all of the stations have kept their archives available for listening, the live links below led to listenable files as of February 2017.

Listen now

Continue reading “Finance for Food on the radio”

TEDxManhattan talk: Money’s Many Shades of Green

The capital markets space has changed a lot since May of 2011, when I gave this particular talk, but the main concepts are still the same. Bottom line? Get really clear on your values BEFORE you set about raising money for your business, and then find financing partners who are aligned with those values.

And if you’re interested in all the financing options for food businesses, read my book, Raising Dough: the Complete Guide to Financing a Socially Responsible Food Business 🙂

Good grief

Yesterday Dean let me know that Stanley, a long-ago friend of mine that he was still close to, has passed.

Each time I hear news like this, I remember my other since-departed friends from that era of my life, their number growing with the number of years since I have been in touch with any of them. And so today I think of Jose and Micah in addition to Stanley.

[All photographs (c) Dean Fidelman]

Continue reading “Good grief”

Designing a career: an adventure with Mair Dundon

(c) Mair Dundon http://www.quietaction.com

Creating a work life that makes sense and pays well is a task that most of us spend a majority of our lives focused on… Instead of having a single path, we design a WorkLife that can change and grow right along with us – a constantly renewing resource that is fueled by our life experience and the insights we’ve taken the time to gather and share. I picture us as a community of practice – supporting each other in designing our WorkLife with focus and creativity.

Being particularly susceptible to such things (and in a moment of having forgotten my New Year’s resolution, Do Less), I signed up to do this “Career Hackathon” workshop with my friend Brenda. Which meant that I spent the entirety of a gorgeous afternoon yesterday in a windowless, brightly-lit room, a design firm’s office on Market between Powell and Montgomery Stations.

Five of us made a valiant effort to keep up with our facilitator Mair’s instructions, frantically filling out a series of worksheets, marking them up, talking to one another, and doing it all over again. I was the only one in the room without a UX/UI design background, and I enjoyed going with the flow and imagining that the words “agile” and “lean” (as in “lean business,” not “lean in”) and “iterate” and “builds (as a plural noun)” were part of my everyday parlance. I was expecting this; I had signed up for a Career Hackathon, after all!

Even if you DO know what those words mean, here’s my translation of the workshop title: How To Design Your Perfect Career by Forcing Yourself to Consider All the Possibilities That Normally Freak You Out and Learning That Most of Your Assumptions are Untrue Once You Actually Start Talking To People Around You… While Also Getting Called Out On Your Shit And Frequently Being Told You’re Awesome By Very Interesting People Who Are Also Awesome. Continue reading “Designing a career: an adventure with Mair Dundon”

We know what we know

Last October/November, I caught that horrible cold/cough that was going around… and it stuck around for more than five weeks by the time I finally got over it.

My friend Mike knew exactly why I was sick.

The day before I woke up with the telltale tickle in the back of my throat, Mike and Penny and I had biked to the Clement Street farmers market. I bought a bunch of carrots. And proceeded to eat several of them. Unwashed. Much to Mike’s horror.

A devout germ-o-phobe, Mike hates touching things in public places Continue reading “We know what we know”

Why behavioral prescriptions are bullshit

At 5:04 PM on Fri, Apr 20, 2012 (oh, the magical/horrific specificity of digital records!),  I emailed the following to my brother:

Howdy,

I woke up this morning realizing that we obviously need to start writing a brother-sister tag-team relationship advice column. Not because either of us has really demonstrated any long-term relationship success (ha), but because it would be awesome. I can smell the book deal already!

Your 3 Things (“things”??? do you have a better name for them?):

  1. Honesty.
  2. Accountability.
  3. No Bullshit.
  4. (I would add compassion, ie, you give people the benefit of the doubt, but these are your things, not mine…)

He’s been talking about his three things for years. Not sure why I decided to add my own on that particular day, but that’s the kind of thing annoying big sisters do.

I then wrote up my own 4 Prescriptions for Healthy Relationships (be it with romantic partners, parents, colleagues): Continue reading “Why behavioral prescriptions are bullshit”

Repotting: right in my wheelhouse

20120721_110336At some point during my journey home on Friday/Saturday, I came across this article about repotting your career. Though the article itself is flavored with a rather Stanford-y perspective that doesn’t totally align with my own way of looking at things, I appreciate both the horticultural metaphor, and the author’s tips for switching things up professionally in a way that “can lead to greater innovation, success, and meaning in your work.” These include (in addition to “Know when it’s time to change…” um, thanks?): Continue reading “Repotting: right in my wheelhouse”

Reasons

Kitties

Several months ago my friend Mike mentioned an article he’d read about a parasite in cats that may contribute to turning people into (as I remember him telling the story) crazy cat ladies. As I have become more and more smitten with this handsome kitty, it amuses me to imagine that his rough licks are in fact a form of feline manipulation rather than a demonstration of any affection.

Why wouldn’t he want to infect me? Well, for one, why else would I get out of bed at the first sound of his meow Continue reading “Reasons”

Rising again

At 6am, insomniac in the Penn Stater hotel in State College, PA hotel (which means it’s really 3am to my body, still in Pacific Time), I finally rose from the bed and resurrected this blog. I think this is version 3.0? I’m not sure. Shutting down and letting go of those old blogs go was a relief, in the same vein (but nowhere near as cathartic) as having shredded a lifetime’s worth of journals — all 100ish of them — a couple years ago.

A few clicks… and we’re back!

It’s been snowing and/or cloudy since I arrived two nights ago, but this morning the only clouds I can see in the sky are far away on the horizon. Still, there are a few snowflakes drifting gently (no idea where they’re coming from) to land on the dome-shaped skylight that rises glowing from the snowy roof outside my window, the dome a stand-in for the sun that I’m pretty sure will rise just behind it over the hill. Venus rose before I opened the curtains, rising further as the morning brightens.

In a couple hours I go “on,” and will be “on” all day giving an 8-hour workshop and then doing a book signing. Tomorrow, a shorter workshop, another book signing, and the long journey home (weather permitting). I will rise to the occasion. No matter how little I’ve slept the preceding nights, I always do… except when I don’t, but that has yet to happen on a speaking day.

But right now, venus and sunrise and a glowing dome and mystery snow from clear, brightening skies. And me, writing again, on the internets.