You Don't Need to Know How to Do It All to Run a Successful Business, Says This Entrepreneur
Michelle McBride breaks down founding and running sports drink company GoodSport Nutrition.
In this ongoing series, we are sharing advice, tips and insights from real entrepreneurs who are out there doing business battle on a daily basis. (Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Who are you and what's your business?
My name is Michelle McBride. I am the founder and CEO of GoodSport, a first-of-its-kind natural sports drink made from the goodness of milk that delivers superior hydration backed by science with a delicious thirst-quenching taste.
What inspired you to create it?
I was frustrated by the sports drinks containing artificial ingredients and high sugar levels given to my son at his baseball games. I knew hydration was important but was disappointed by the options and recognized that athletes of all levels faced the same predicament — they had to settle for sports drinks that were either filled with artificial ingredients or ones that didn't provide any level of hydration beyond that of plain water.
I read about athletes who drank chocolate milk to recover so I would bring that for my son as a healthier alternative after his games and it sparked the idea of looking to milk as a natural source of effective hydration. My "aha" moment came when I learned that we could ultrafilter milk to remove its protein and harness its electrolytes, vitamins and carbs to make a clear, refreshing and highly effective sports drink.
What has been your biggest challenge during the pandemic and how did you pivot to overcome it?
Our biggest challenge was that we were unable to launch when planned but that wound up being a gift. Consumers weren't going into stores to try new products so it could have been a futile effort. We pivoted to spend more time improving our packaging, updating our claims with a new study that was published demonstrating GoodSport's hydration efficacy and aligning with strategic partners.
What advice would you give entrepreneurs looking for funding?
I would say do your homework about the funding needs for your type of business. If you have a truly unique idea, you don't have to give away the farm to raise enough capital. But make sure you don't raise too little — you will need sufficient operating capital to get the business off the ground and stay there.
If you have the ability to bootstrap in the beginning to at least get to proof of concept, you will be in a far better position for future rounds. Then, friends and family and strategic venture capital can both be excellent options. Look for VCs who invest in your type of business. The fundraising process can be a long one, there's no use wasting your time (or the VCs) where there will never be a match.
What does the word "entrepreneur" mean to you?
It means someone who is passionate about an idea and has the determination, grit and perseverance to make it happen.
What is something many aspiring business owners think they need that they really don't?
To know how to do it all. You don't — that's what a team is for.Related: Never Underestimate the Value of What You Have to Offer, Says This Entrepreneur
Is there a particular quote or saying that you use as personal motivation?
"Greatness starts with goodness." It is the core belief of our company. It's a guiding principle to inspire a more positive culture in sports and fitness and it's the north star of our organization because we believe that when we succeed at keeping good at the forefront of everything we do, we will build a company that will achieve true greatness.
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