This is an incredibly powerful and authentic episode of The Impact Entrepreneur Show. My guest, Chris Faddis, is an author, speaker and entrepreneur. He launched Bene Plates, a revolutionary food and nutrition company serving the chronically ill and the walking well, just a year ago.
In 2011, Chris’ late wife was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Colon Cancer. Fighting that battle with his wife made Chris aware of the importance of nutrition for the terminally ill: 85% of cancer patients suffer from malnutrition, and 40% of cancer patients die from it. “Ultimately, it was food that kept her alive.” Bene Plates mission is to provide high quality, great tasting and nourishing meals for their clients, whether they are chronically ill or one of the walking well.
Rather than going through institutions, which are always going to make decisions for other reasons, Bene Plates goes directly to the patients. “Our goal is to create the demand by proving to people – proving to doctors, proving to hospitals, proving to individuals – that, when they eat well while they’re in treatment, they will do better.”
Chris launched Bene Plates about a year ago, and mind mapping tools have been helpful in the early stages of the business. Mapping his thoughts helps him articulate a clear vision, which in turn makes it easier to delegate tasks.
Chris believes it’s really important to be able to articulate a vision to the people around you, and trust them to make decisions on how to build your vision. “I have to step back, and I have to let certain things go, because if I don’t just articulate the vision and trust the team around me that I put in place, then it’s always going to be me and it’s never going to grow.”
If Chris could go back and launch again, there’s two things he would make sure to do:
- Don’t rush to launch. Take the time to read the market, make every small decision and fine-tune your processes.
- Don’t launch with debt.
Mentorship helped Chris realize the value of authenticity. Chris has a background mixing corporate business, entrepreneurship and the church space. He used to segment himself between the different aspects of his life, mentally and as separate online brands. “Honestly what I’ve found is … people are more accepting.”
Being authentic – being who you were made to be and living to your full potential – is a big hurdle for a lot of entrepreneurs. Chris believes a key to remaining authentic is having the right partner, whether that person is a spouse, mentor or business partner. “If you ever feel like you’re a wannabe fake when that person’s around, you’re not going to lie.”
Chris overcomes the Fear of Feedback by maintaining authenticity online. “When you’re transparent in your business and who you are, as a company and as a person, all that stuff is accountability.” In one way, that’s where social media is a positive thing.
The idea of the “Walking Well” was born out of Chris’ authenticity on social media – and an accidental reference to The Walking Dead. Delivering healthy food to healthy people is important to Chris too. “I think there’s something really important about us working with the walking well. It’s knowing that, when you buy a product from us, you’re helping us support more cancer patients.”
If you feel stuck in your career and want to break away to start a business, Chris suggests you sit down and think through your intentions. Is it about making money, or is it about doing something good? You will know you are ready to break away from a stagnant career after you:
- Articulate in three sentences, very clearly, what you want to do
- Talk about it with other people
- Start writing it down
- Get advice
- Make a business plan (Chris used com)
Chris Faddis is a born entrepreneur and an incredibly authentic human being. I’m so grateful that he came by to share his story and I’m excited to see how Bene Plates grows in the years to come.
SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:
- How important have mentors been in Chris’ life?
- What are some steps Chris is taking to make sure he is checking what he is doing against who he is authentically?
- If Chris was starting this company again today, what are 2-3 things he would do differently?
- What’s a step someone can take to break away from a career they feel stuck in?
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:
- Why to be authentic online, in person and when running your company
- How to overcome the Fear of Feedback online
- The value of articulating a vision, then letting people help you build it
- Why it’s usually better to take your time and launch a new business patiently
DON’T STOP HERE…
- Learn more about Chris: Website | Twitter | Instagram
- It Is Well: Life in the Storm by Chris Faddis
- Bene Plates