Have you ever had a dream or idea that you wanted to write a story, start up a business, create a certain project? Have you ever thought about starting something but the fear of what may come to you if you take these initial steps has stopped you from moving in the direction of your dreams or goals?
I first started thinking of creating Asper's Chocolates in 2016 while I was pregnant with my first son. I still had the love of creating special treats and I could not shake the thought of wanting to create a business around my passion. We were also about to have our first son and the thought of bringing in any little extra money was appealing to me, as well because kids are expensive. I had no clue what to do or where to start.
Start where you are.
I knew I wanted to start a business and I knew how to make chocolate but I had no idea how to combine those concepts. I started where I was and created a lot of things on my own. Do not wait for things to be perfect before beginning your journey because they never will be!
Start small by making a plan: identify one area of focus and write down three goals related to achieving that particular goal (e.g., "I want my business website updated by December 1st."). Then set aside time each week until then so that when December 1st rolls around, everything is ready.
My first step was creating my logo. I'm a visual person so a logo to me represented the Asper's Chocolate brand becoming a reality. I worked with a graphic designer to create my current logo and started buying packaging off of Amazon. My labels were printed on my computer using labels bought at my local big box store. I created my social media pages and started sending treats to my friends, family and coworkers.
The first iteration of the Asper's Chocolate logo created in 2017.
Know what you're good at and what you need help with.
When you start a business, there are a lot of things that need to be done. Even doing all that I could, there were a lot of things I needed help with. I needed to figure out what I was good at and what I needed help with. It's okay to ask for help. Don't be afraid of delegating tasks. If there are areas where you're weak, use outsourcing tools like Upwork or Fiverr to find someone who can assist with those tasks.
This is also an important lesson in building a team around yourself. My husband and immediate family members were my first assistant chocolatiers, business manager, marketing manager and everything in between.
Practice Makes Progress
My first pop-up was at a local farmer's market. I was nervous beyond belief but I knew would could do it. I mocked my booth setup in our dining room to make sure it flowed well.
My practice booth setup in my dining room. 2018
My setup was minimal and half of my labels were hand written but we made it! I couldn't believe we
Our first Asper's Chocolate booth setup at the Frisco Fresh Market in July 2018.
You can do this!
When I look back on where I started, I am extremely proud of where I have come and it makes me excited to continue this journey. I can't wait to see how Asper's Chocolate grows in another 5 years.
So if you're on the fence about wanting to do something, just start.
The journey is challenging, but it's also rewarding. I have learned and grown in ways I never thought possible. You'll have to make sacrifices along the way, but those sacrifices will be worth it when you reach your goal and look back on all of your accomplishments. You can do this!
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