Ice Cream Sundays 🍑
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Volume 43- December 12th, 2021                                                                                                                        View in Your Browser


Happy Sunday everyone! 

What did you get up to this weekend? Whatever it was, I hope you got some time to unwind and unplug. Reply back and let me know what the high of your weekend was. 

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You Can't Do Both

This week we’re diving headfirst into the heated debate of side hustles. More specifically, if it’s sustainable to start a CPG brand as a side hustle, or if you need to be all on from day 1. 

Call me old school, but IMO, you need to devote yourself 100% to building a brand as early as possible. 

Here’s why: 

  1. Competition–Food and beverage companies raised $5.9B in equity funding last year, up 82% from $3.2B in 2019. On top of the endless amounts of capital being raised, influencers and celebrities are flooding the space at record speed. At the end of the day, if you don’t create a differentiated product you’re going to get destroyed by someone else who has more money, or more eyeballs on their project. And creating a differentiated product takes time and serious focus. 
  2. Intimacy and relationship–As a food & bev founder, you have a uniquely intimate relationship with your customers. After all, they don’t purchase your products to hang on their walls or display in their homes. Instead, they ingest them. Not only is it an extreme privilege to have that kind of 1:1 relationship with a consumer, but it’s also a great responsibility. If you’re not 100% focused, important details are going to fall through the cracks, which will therefore ruin the tight-knit relationship you’ve built with your customers. This leads me to #3… 
  3. Trust–Your customers trust you enough to put a product you create inside their bodies. On the flip-side, If you’re half-assing your business, you’re going to make mistakes… mistakes you don’t have room to make. That’s just the reality of spreading yourself too thin.

​What are your thoughts? Did you start a CPG brand as a side-hustle? I always love hearing from others in the space. 


My Expirience

Personally, I left my full-time job as an Investment Banker a year and a half into creating Dream Pops. I wish I could tell you I knew it was the "right" time to branch out and quit my day job, but the truth is, there will never be a "right time." 

It was pretty scary. I had to bet 100% on myself, I used all my savings on living expenses and investing in the business, and more than once thought that I'd ruined my career. This isn't to scare any future entrepreneur, but rather to prepare you for what you might face, and mostly, to tell you that you'll get through it.

At the end of the day, it really comes down to how much you "want" it. At the beginning of Dream Pops, I'd get judged for sampling my product at grocery stores or running around town handing out free samples with a giant Dream Pop in tow (pictured below). Although it wasn't always easy, I always knew that building a CPG brand was a long game, and that I just had to keep pushing through. Now, 5 years in, I'm finally seeing the fruits of my labor and couldn't be happier that I bet on myself and my dream. 


If you want to learn more about our unique early B2B approach, I’ve created a deck that dives into more detail for subscribers here. It includes outreach templates, apps we use, and important strategies I’ve learned along the way, so definitely take a look.



Y COMBINATOR BRIEF | The Ultimate Guide to Seed Fundraising for Founders 
FORBES ARTICLE | Why You Should Build A Brand, Not Just A Business



FOOD DIVE ARTICLE | As Food Prices Rise, Survey Finds Thresholds Where Consumers Stop Buying
FOOD DIVE ARTICLE | With Consumers Focused On Immune Health, Adaptogens Take Center Stage
RETAIL DIVE BRIEF | Survey: 94% Of Consumers Expect To Be Notified About Holiday Shipping Delays


Thanks for reading this week. I hope that you can translate some of the advice and insights above into your own life and career. As always, feel free to reply back with feedback, thoughts, and questions. 



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The Courage to Dream. The Will to Innovate. The Tenacity to Execute.

The Courage to Dream. The Will to Innovate. The Tenacity to Execute.

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