The Case Against Asking PermissionJun 30, 2019
Imagine being a fifteen-year-old high school senior. All your friends are working & making money.
But you’re too young. So you use your background in baking to make cupcakes - inventing Fudgy Fridays & selling them at school.
And then your school shuts you down. ,
Meet Courtnee Futch, an Atlanta native, who got a taste of what it’s like to create your own money early on!
When Courtnee got to Syracuse University, she found herself as “dorm mom”, making sweet treats for her friends in the dorm.
That moment when she saw she had a mere $6.14 in her bank account, she went back to her roots to create money. That’s when - against University policy - she made Bacon Chocolate Rice Crispy treats to sell right from her dorm room.
She SOLD OUT immediately.
Always making her own rules, Courtnee created a business out of her dorm - ThunderCakes, an e-commerce baking business that was beloved & successful by her friends & peers!
Why did Courtnee have such success early on?
Simply, she was unafraid to market her goods and tapped into the things that she knew she LOVED to do!
The bug had bitten her & she knew she wanted her own business, but she wasn’t sure whether it was supposed to be Thunder Cakes.
Why not? Because it felt too easy to her.
Courtnee fell into the trap of “this is too easy” - she tends to overthink things - and wasted a LOT of time spinning with other ideas that she a) didn’t love and b) didn’t know how to make real.
After re-framing her relationship with her skills & talents, she saw that her baking IS creative - and meaningful work!
She worked through preconceived notions about cooking & baking - and stopped stop comparing herself - she decided that her work DID affect people deeply & positively!
Courtnee realized her work touches people in their most meaningful, personal moments. It’s important & vital, and is worthy & was worth pursuing as a business.
Her most important lessons came when she had to push through hard things to get out of her own way.
Honestly? She had to grow up a little bit!
Remember she was 16 when she started her first business and had to think about how to expand her talents & interests in a meaningful way - for her!
After graduating with her Master’s degree from Syracuse University, Courtnee was forced to think about where she wanted to Thunder Cakes in a grown-up way.
She wanted to expand her creativity and explore her talents to share her love for cooking & go beyond baking. But how?
To give herself space, she took a few exciting jobs in the food development & sales field, where she could be creative, grow her skills, and learn the business of food.
After exploring a while, it hit her that she wanted to host parties. She’d get into it, spend a month planning, loved cooking the food, and thought, “I’m gonna do this for REAL.”
So, she started a “pseudo business” hosting parties in her spacious apartment in Jersey City, always with the plan of going to culinary school in the back of her mind.
At these parties, she’d curate an intricate menu, develop fun cocktails, and design an interactive experience where guests show up & enjoy themselves…
While she takes care of them!
Sounds amazing, right?!
As she developed the idea, she got feedback from each event. It was exciting for guests to participate & enjoy her expertise, and she decided to make it a REAL business.
People loved it enough for her to turn it into a real side business, called The Spred.
If someone wants to attend a Spred, they buy tickets to her monthly events (which she hosts while still working a full-time job).
And with every party, Courtnee learns what works & what doesn’t.
Her dinner-party model allows her to create exciting experiences for people who want to explore new food, fun themes, and culturally-rich menus.
Courtnee incorporates her love of design, cooking, and culture to curate a personally-designed, clever, and delicious experience for her guests.
People hire her to create & host a beautiful event that has a personal feel. It’s different, warm, welcoming, and designed for interaction! Think: fun drinks, curated playlists, and love poured into their food!
People are willing to pay for this experience because it outsources the dining experience in an exciting, different, safe space where people can be together and feel really interactive.
The cool thing? Courtnee makes every experience better by continuously tapping into her original talents & love: cooking & baking. She’s downright inspired to bring people together so they can have fun, explore new foods, and inspire each other.
She stays motivated to keep growing by surrounding herself with others who are intentionally exploring - they don't think there’s one way to do anything and are willing to try everything.
They inspire each other and are able to be more courageous because they see each other pushing & trying.
This lesson is something that every woman needs to remember: put yourself in the company of other women who are doing hard things…who are willing to get UNstuck!
Create communities of women who help you feel like you belong there. Be around other women who are in their purpose, with women who are transparent & authentic, because that’s what will influence you…
NOT more information.
NOT more education.
Action. Implementation. Experimentation.
Courtnee is NOT stuck in analysis paralysis: she tried out an idea & assesses what works & what doesn’t work.
There’s no over-consumption of information - there’s action, implementation, and success.
Success, as Courtnee shows, is based on a “What do I have to lose?” mentality. Ask her to try something, and her answer is an enthusiastic “YES!” - while being honest about her capability to pull it off.
You don’t have to lie & bullshit people to feel like it’s ok to try something new. You don’t have to be an Imposter to push out of your comfort zone.
Being honest about her expertise & capabilities - and telling people what to expect given her ability keeps Courtnee’s Imposter Syndrome in check so she can move forward.
She gives herself grace, which is the greatest gift for any entrepreneur to give herself!
All of these experiences have kept her moving forward and helped her create more confidence: “The difference between a WANTrepreneur and an ENTREpreneur is execution.”
And man, does she EXECUTE!
Originally, she needed to just get in the kitchen and do the damn thing so she could get her business idea OFF THE GROUND, get proof of concept, and see results.
Now? She checks in with her own bullshit when she’s stuck. Is she thinking too much? Is she waiting too long?
When you can’t take one more minute of your own bullshit - that’s when you take the leap.
Are you ready to grow YOUR business?
Are you ready to TAKE action?
Even if you don’t know all the steps, even if you don’t know what’s coming in five years - or even one year …
If you’re ready to see results, learn from Courtnee.
She says trying to have SO MUCH CONTROL never served her. It emotionally exhausted her & burned her out, and her customers deserved more.
They deserved to experience her amazing talents. She helps make their life more fun, more exciting - in other words, she helps make their life BETTER!
Stop staying unhappy. Stop staying stuck.
And you don't have to be burned out. You don’t have to have it ALL mapped out.
But you DO need to take action on your vision if you want to stop that “meh” feeling.
Are you ready to grow your business? To invest time, energy, and yes - money- into your business?
It’s time. Create a plan that’ll move your forward NOW and activate on your idea -
Even if you don't know HOW.
And if you don’t know HOW, here’s an amazing ROADMAP that will take you step-by-step through the process!
PS: Want to grow your business and tired of spinning around, trying to figure it out? Register for this local workshop to help you move forward in 3 do-able steps! Join me if you’re nearby - and walk away with immediately implementable strategies to grow your business!