I have a confession to make: as a young entrepreneur, I’ve never done this before. I don’t know what I’m doing. My strategy is to do my best to know what I don’t, and keep pride out of the way.
My lack of experience is strongly contrasted by abundant passion. I see passion as emotional currency that can be invested in people. Personally, I do not know exactly how to do every job this business requires. Yet, I have great confidence in my ability to breed enthusiasm around the opportunity to figure it out together.
For our business to be successful at any scale, Jordan and I need the gravity of our passion to pull in a capable team. We need to attract and hire the “right” people that balance our strengths and energies. Most importantly, we need to empower them to step up.
We believe that doing this successfully is all about creating a structure where a diverse group of talented, independent people can come together around a shared mission. As we see it, the key is raising a whole that together is greater than a sum of its parts. It’s about working together as a regenerative ecosystem, not mechanical cogs.
For this to be possible, the people we hire need to feel the latitude afforded by trust in their abilities. We hope they will get to a point where they can invest 100% of their time on activities that generate outsized impact. At the same time, as a small team, we frequently require all hands in. There are moments when generalism and a persistent willingness to work hard are more important than expertise. Whether it’s laboring in the kitchen or developing recipes, forecasting sales or sampling at a grocery store—the job needs to get done.
In this spirit, we didn’t hire experts. We hired intrepreneurs. Our founding team is made up of people that will take the concept that Jordan and I have brought from 0 to 1, to 100. They diagnose, remediate, and (most importantly) prevent problems within the areas that they own. They act like owners because they recognize that the success of this business, of this mission, requires them to.
They also recognize and aggressively pursue opportunities within their domains. This pursuit sometimes creates its own problems, but they believe in their ability to solve them as they arise. If they can’t do it on their own, they are as equally willing to call for help as they are to offer it. They aren’t afraid to take a well-calculated leap, but do not assume undue risk. They trust their own judgement, and don’t call our faith in their abilities into question. Because the truth is, we can’t succeed without our unconditional trust in our employees.
Creating this culture of intrepreneurship is my most important job. Of all tasks, it is also one that I feel most prepared for. Publishing this letter in a public forum is one way I hope to advance this goal. We are a team whose work, for the most part is unseen on a daily basis, but transparency through and through has always been our strategy to consistently push ReGrained to be the best company it can be.
To my team: thank you for taking this leap with us. We can do this.
To our customers and community of supporters: Thank you for enabling us to grow. You are the sun and soil seeding this venture.
To the world: we are on our way.
Chief Grain Officer, Co-Founder