How to combine travel, three children and their own business?
So, how to combine travel, three children and their own business? Anya, the mother of a wonderful family, answers our questions. 1. When you started traveling, how did you come to this? We have been dreaming about travel for a long time. About seven years ago, I found your blog on the Internet, as well as the blogs of other travelers. This then greatly turned my brains – I realized that traveling does not need any sky-high income. I understood that I need to create a constant financial flow for myself and then the dream will come true. We began to think in this direction. We tried network marketing, but it came to understand that this is not a passive income, as they describe it, but just an option of self-employment, business. At that time, we had a rethinking of many things, including the transition to vegetarianism. And then our business was born. In the beginning, it was more like a hobby that for a long time did not bring income, but did not want to give it up. We put a lot of effort into this business, and now it has grown to the point where we have hired workers. There were two options for the further development of events – either we spend all our forces on business development, we get a lot of money, but we do not have free time, or another option is to create a team that can work without us, but even better than if we worked, freeing us time. We went the second way, because the thoughts of travel did not leave. We found a wonderful director who was not afraid to hand over his brainchild, taught him everything that at that moment we knew. When we felt that he was ready to work without us, we went on a trip, at the beginning for only 2 weeks. It was very scary. When you let go of control, it seems that everything without you will fall apart. But he managed, and is still managing. Moreover, I understand that I would hardly have become such a good director as he had become during this time. In the end, as time has shown, this was the best solution. We got what we dreamed about – our beloved business is growing and developing, and we can travel! 2. Have you traveled before the birth of children, and how did you feel the changes in your travels with the advent of each new member of the family. We started traveling when I was already deeply pregnant with my third child, so I can’t even compare how it is to travel without children. Since the birth of the third, it has become even easier – the legs on the plane do not swell. 🙂 Ilya and I dream about how we will travel when the children grow up and become independent. It seems to us that having felt such freedom, we will be ready to make a round-the-world trip on the greats or something else in this spirit. And now, we are adjusting our trips so that it is comfortable with three young children. 3. I know that you thought to move to permanent residence in Finland, but something did not suit you there. Tell us briefly about this experience. Yes, they did. I got the opportunity to arrange a business there without investments and apply for a residence permit. He deceived a higher standard of living and education. But after Ilya lived there for two months, we realized that this was not our place. There you will always be a second-rate person, but we did not want such an attitude towards ourselves. It also turned out that it is very difficult to jump over a certain bar there. You have a micro-car wash business where you yourself work. And that’s it. To dream above is not worth it. We realized that in Russia there are much more chances to realize ourselves and succeed. I still did not like the fact that everything is very predictable there, we directly saw our whole life there until retirement. This is not at all interesting. Well, the climate, of course, is not what we would like to live in. 4. Let’s move on to your business. How did you decide to do cereals from flax seeds? Before I go in for cereals, I decided to switch to a raw food diet. In the middle zone of Russia, this was not easy, I had to look for suitable food, it was not Asia, where fruits were always plentiful. I found out that flax porridge is very useful and suitable for raw foodists, as it does not require cooking. But having tried it in the store, I came to the conclusion that this is a rare muck. And then friends treated flax porridge, which they made themselves, and it turned out to be delicious. And we decided together to make such a mess for sale. The business with friends did not last long, and things did not go further than retail sales at various festivals. Friends moved to live in Abkhazia, the business fell apart. I was depressed, because I devoted a lot of time and energy to this activity. I couldn’t even hear about porridge. But just then reviews about our products rained down, it turned out that people needed it. And since we sold at retail and customers became good friends, I did not want to leave them. We decided with Ilya to start everything from scratch. Developed new recipes, brand name, packaging. We calculated how many investments are needed to start working seriously. Having decided that we will master it, we began. Then I was very inspired by the words of a friend: “If you do not try, then you are definitely doomed to failure. But if you try, then everything can work out. ”When you meet such words in a book or in a VKontakte post, you do not attach any importance to them, but here they hit the nail on the head. 5. What difficulties did you encounter in the first year of your business? There were a lot of difficulties. In fact, if we knew about them in advance, we would most likely be scared and would never start. And when they started, they had to decide as they arrived. We were alone, felt each other’s support and knew that we could handle it. 6. How did ideas for new products of your brand come about? All ideas are born in different ways. Buyers ask for some products, and introduce some products ourselves, because somewhere we tried something similar, and we liked it. For example, an idea with a granola was born in Ivanovo, and we brought the packaging concept from Bali. 7. Is it difficult to license products? The first time is difficult, because you know nothing. Then it becomes quite a routine. 8. Do all sorts of inspection bodies get you, I’m not even talking about the tax authorities, but sanitary and epidemiological stations, firefighters, etc. Recently in Russia there has been such a system that the inspecting authorities can come to you only by complaint, if something is wrong. This is done as part of supporting small businesses. Therefore, while we are not familiar with regulatory authorities. Previously, there was such a system that after starting a business you are given 3 years without checks. Everyone used this rule so that the company existed for 3 years, and then it was closed and a new one opened, which again has 3 years in stock. Therefore, when the company was about a year and a half approximately, we already began to wonder which way we would go – how did almost everything, or how to do it right? We chose the second option, so now we are not afraid of checks, we are fully prepared for them. 9. I saw your production and office, apparently, you have a very well-coordinated idea of doing business in a company of this magnitude. How many of you have learned this, or where did you get such experience from competently building an enterprise? Experience was gained in the development process. No one had special training, but in the age of the Internet this is not a problem. To build a sales department, a course from Business Youth, for example, really helped. In general, the task of a competent leader, according to Robert Kiyosaki, is to gather around you a team of people who will possess the knowledge and skills that you don’t have. I won’t be able to sell as well as our managers sell, I won’t be able to build such a streamlined process in the production, which was built by the production manager and technologist. I can’t negotiate like our director does. So these people are in their places. And my task is to see the whole picture in general and direct it in the right direction. 10. I saw a map of your customers, these are many cities of Russia and Kazakhstan. What are your plans for expanding the company? The director is already building these plans without us; he is only coordinating with us.