Interview with Lori Saitz, founder & chief executive rabbit ~ Zen Rabbit Baking Company
Tell us about your business.
Zen Rabbit Baking Company makes the world famous Gratitude Cookie™ and Zen Crunch™. We use a mix of natural and organic ingredients to create special treats that are quite different than anything else we’ve seen in the marketplace. The company exists to educate people about the power of gratitude and inspire them to express appreciation for their valued relationships throughout the year.
The Gratitude Cookie™ is so named for two reasons. One, if you’re giving a box to someone, presumably you are showing appreciation. Two, if you are eating the cookies, we encourage you to think about something you’re grateful for as you bite into each one. Included in each box is a card with an inspirational saying on one side and the question “What are you grateful for today?” on the other, with space to write in an answer.
Many of my clients are business people who like to say thank you or express gratitude to their clients, to people who send them referrals or to their employees.
Zen Rabbit supports the efforts of organizations making a difference in worldwide literacy and animal welfare through the donation of a percentage of profits.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
Being an entrepreneur means having the freedom to create in physical form whatever vision you have in your head. Of course there are challenges that go along with this, which is what weeds out the true entrepreneurs from the wannabes. Looking back, I don’t see that there were any hints from a young age that I would follow this path. I never sold stuff door to door or set up a lemonade stand. However I did show some signs of emerging leadership abilities, despite the fact that I was very shy.
I became an entrepreneur because I had an inspiration, an idea for contributing to the betterment of people’s lives – and a family cookie recipe that I thought could be the perfect tool to use for that.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
Two people come to mind as great business influences. One is Jeanne Weaver Ruesch, co-founder of Ruesch International. She and her husband created a hugely successful international company by overcoming challenging situations, by making smart, but sometimes difficult or unpopular decisions and by taking active roles in community and not-for-profit organizations. She is/was a great role model of a strong woman in business.
The other is Frans Beerkens, who was my boss at that same company and an amazing mentor. He taught me the value of respecting and appreciating the contributions of everyone regardless of their “stature” or position within a company. By example, he taught me how to be a great leader. And he introduced me to the application of spiritual principles in business.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
The fact that Zen Rabbit still exists after 6 years is a great accomplishment. It’s a tribute to the power of persistence and tenacity despite obstacles. It’s also due in part to another great accomplishment, which is joining a mastermind group and surrounding myself with other successful entrepreneurs who are equally committed to building their businesses so we can help each other on and through this journey.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
On a spiritual note: positively expect great results, no matter what you see in front of you. The Universe is rearranging itself for your best interest right now.
On an action note: work on continuously building your list; then protect it, nurture it and stay in touch with the people on it.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
Listen to your own inner guidance and trust yourself. There’s a time and place for listening to and taking advice from others, but when it comes down to it, always trust your intuition.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you succeed?
So many! I love books and some of the best are the classics – “Think & Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, “The E-Myth” by Michael Gerber, “PsychoCybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz. Then there’s “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi, and anything by Harvey MacKay or Malcolm Gladwell. The teachings of Wayne Dyer, T. Harv Eker and Bob Proctor. Fabienne Fredrickson’s Marketing & Mindset Workshop in a Box (http://tinyurl.com/olyal3) is a great DVD program with workbook.
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
Reaching $1.7 million in gross revenue.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Figure out what your “brilliance” is and do that. Hire others to do all the other stuff that is not your brilliance.
Spend more time, money and energy on improving yourself and your mindset than anything else. The investment will ultimately pay off in a successful business.
How can our readers find you online?Web site: www.ZenRabbitCookies.com