Learning other entrepreneur’s secret to their success can be very inspiring. This past week, I interview Terina J. Hicks, president and chief baking officer of CobblersWorld.com to learn more about how she had the courage to pursue her dreams despite a job loss. I wanted to know what she does now to stay successful. Here’s our interview from Blog Talk Radio:
Dorit: When you started your own business, you were at a job loss. How did you find the courage to start your own business and to get past it?
Terina: Someone who is courageous, is bold and brave and unafraid to face tough challenges. This is something that I grew into. When I was laid off from my job last year, that was a defining moment for me. It was then at that moment that I was not going to work for anyone else. I didn’t have the courage, but this was a god defining moment for me to start my own business. I started a smoothie business and I had customers lined up for that second quarter of that year. But it wasn’t enough to generate a real income for me. So I thought, “Let me try my baking. I’ve been baking since I was fourteen.” My Mom had been baking forever so I asked her how to bake peach cobblers. And that’s where I started – with the peach cobblers.”
Terina: What if I fail? What if this cobbler business didn’t work? I’m hitting my fifties. Who’s going to hire me? I have a family to support. I was the breadwinner. I could lose my house and my car, but I just took that step of faith and voila! Here I am… almost a year later. Still doing cobblerworld.
Dorit: So where did you get the courage from to do this gutsy move and particularly at this defining moment?
Terina: Courage is not from me, but from god. It’s the talent and gifts that he deposited within me. I stepped out on that and that led me to the place where I am today. I’ve always been a shy and introverted person and people are astounded when they hear this. And the connection to my god is why I’m able to do what I do.
Dorit: If you’re not a faith-based person, how does one nurture it? It requires giving up a lot of control, requires some trust or a lot of it, and not getting in your way. If people don’t have the faith, but they want to build this entrepreneurial dream as you’re doing, how can they be successful?
Terina: Mentors are imperative. They are key. If you don’t have the courage or faith, you need to link with someone who can say to you, “you can do it.” Another thing is to read a lot of leadership books and this will help you build up that faith and courage that you need to step up and do your craft, talent and skill. Mentorship is key for an entrepreneur’s success.
Dorit: Isn’t mentorhip then an ongoing thing?
Terina: I watched Donna Baxter from Soul Pitt Media how she operated. She was a mentor to me without her even knowing. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll need to know how to work with different personalities – that’s key.
Dorit: what does it take to constantly step out of your comfort zone?
Terina: You can’t be shy and be an entrepreneur. There’s nobody I know in business who’s shy. In order for me to step out of that comfort zone, I just had to do it. I just had to close my eyes and jump and do it. And the way I actually started getting into the stores was through a vending event. I tested my first product at Giant Eagle. The store manager gave me that opportunity. Before 12 noon that day, all my products were sold.
Had I not taken that courageous step, I would not have landed that first store or the second or third store. Or even with the Penguins. You just have to do it. It’s almost like blind faith. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
You have to have that confidence that what I’m offering is good for the public. As an entrepreneur, they are buying you first. You are the product that they are investing. If you don’t believe in yourself, you’re not going going to believe what you’re selling them.
Dorit: That’s a good point. Your courage is forcing you to think of yourself as your brand. Would you agree? Terina J. Hicks is cobblerworld. With my baked goods, you get me – my humor and everything.
So a lot of times, people will come just to talk to me. I’m very engaging. I listen. I care. You have to be a people person. That’s just the way it is.
Find Terina on cobblerworld.com. Orders can be phoned in as well.