Are You In The Right Business?

Today’s message comes from Jeanette Hauser, owner of  Anything Goes Gourmet. Read on to find out how being passionate about her business impacted her success.

Many years ago, after becoming tired of the grind of working for a large, impersonal corporation, I made the decision that I wanted to be a self-employed business owner.  Knowing that being passionate about my business would be one of the keys to its success, I began to think about what I really enjoyed.  I looked around my home and realized my only magazine subscriptions were for Food and Wine and Gourmet.

I made a list of what I did in my free time and what I enjoyed doing with my friends.  Hiking and sporting events never appeared on the list.  Instead, dim sum on Sunday and the Italian Market on Saturday morning were highlights of my weekends.  My favorite place in London was Harrods’s Food Hall.  As I had no interest in being a chef, I decided to open a gourmet gift basket business.

As a new business owner, I was lucky to have experience and skills in marketing and sales, and an education in management and accounting.  Unfortunately, my talents do not include design, creativity or decorative skills.  I am not crafty and when I wrap my Christmas gifts, the bows are purchased at the store.  Clearly, producing and selling the most beautiful, elegant gift baskets was not going to be one of my competitive advantages.

Instead, I did what I enjoyed:  I researched and discovered the most interesting gourmet products that I could use in my gift basket.  I found the best tasting or most unique flavors.  I tracked down products from small family businesses that were unknown in local gourmet shops, let alone mass market grocery stores.  I visited farmer’s markets and small, obscure gourmet food shops.  At the International Fancy Food Show, I sampled as much as my stomach could take.

It was the classic case of “Find a job that you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” And the money did follow, just like the guru’s tell us.  Not that I became rich, and I did work hard, long hours.  But it didn’t feel like work – especially when people who had received those gourmet gift baskets called asking where they could buy that amazing salsa or those extraordinary white chocolate macadamia nut cookies or the boysenberry popcorn.  I told them all the same thing:  Only from me!

My little gift basket business became the third largest gift basket company in Phoenix, Arizona.  I never won any design awards at the Gift Basket Association Conventions (in fact, I never entertained the thought of entering), but my baskets became well-known for their unique and special gourmet products.  My clients received thank you notes expressing how great the products were rather than the pretty presentation, and those recipients often became clients.

I received the greatest gift of all:  The experience of knowing that I could be a successful business owner, filled with excitement every morning before going off to ‘work.’  Of course, sampling the cookies from the inventory was a great way to start the day!

Jeanette Hauser has sold her gourmet gift basket business, but continues her search for the best and most unique gourmet gifts on her website

One Response to “Are You In The Right Business?”

  1. Barbara Says:

    For the past few weeks I have been researching gift basket business ownership. I am 59, work full time as an admin assistant in a dialysis facility and know that I want to do “something different” to fulfill my life. From a lot of things I’ve read, it seems that good money can be made in a gift basket business. I would love to get some input from you about your experience owning this type of business.
    I appreciate all of the information you included in this article. It’s very helpful.

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