If you own a business, then you know time is your most valuable asset. Ironically, once you become an entrepreneur, there’s never enough of it.

There’s a lot of sacrifices that come with success. You might have to change your schedule. You will certainly get less sleep. You aren’t as social. You might have even gotten to a point where you have enough money in the bank, but you’re always pushing forward, looking to make more, do more, and achieve more.

What’s missing in all that?

Celebrating our damn wins.

For years, I’ve been trying to add value to my…

Business sustainability happens with the proper culture and mentorship in place. But before all that, longevity in business starts with one thing and one thing only: hiring the right people.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever made the wrong hire? (You’re not alone.) Building the right team is a skill set in and of itself. You want to hire people who are committed, strong in character, and are passionate about what they do — and subsequently what you do.

Creating a strong culture at work has become a primary mission.

I’ve learned the hard way that good intentions don’t equal…

If you’re an entrepreneur, you want to make it to the top, right? While most of us say we want to “make it” in our chosen field, we don’t often dissect what that really means. The path is rarely, if ever, easy. Setbacks happen (a lot). Sacrifices become your best friend. Real money is at stake. People’s livelihoods. Lost sleep. Lost time. A hell of a lot of stress.

But in the end? It’s almost always worth it.

As someone who’s attempted to climb to the top, fallen, and climbed back again, I can give you some of my entrepreneurial…

Here’s a secret: closing a multi-million dollar deal is the exact same as closing a four-figure deal. There are contracts, negotiations, uncertainty, that inevitable “oh shit, it’s all going to fall apart” moment, and then boom. Deal done. Case closed. Next.

Working up to a deal with six or seven zeros can seem intimidating, but numbers are numbers. And usually, you do deals with people, not spreadsheets. I’ve closed a lot of deals in my life, lost a lot, and learned invaluable lessons along the way.

A few:

1. Understand the product.

Whether your deal revolves around a physical product, a piece of real…

It seems one of the concepts consumers are concerned with in 2018 is mindfulness. Plastered across every package and billboard from clothing brands to workout classes, the mindfulness mantra cannot be escaped. Particularly in the food and produce industries, mindful consumption has been a huge buzz topic.

But what does consuming mindfully even mean?

Mindfulness can be generalized as the desire to make informed, ethical decisions when buying products and supporting brands. This means that now, more than ever, it falls on businesses to explain how they operate. The produce industry has felt its fair share from media railing against pesticide-treated fields to immigration reform to humane…

Living in the city offers numerous perks. While we typically think of gardening as a “backyard” or suburban thing, urban living is no longer an excuse to avoid your green thumb.

Urban gardening has gained popularity over the past few years with the rise of community gardens and more sustainable living. Many people have given over their windowsills, balconies, patios, and rooftops to house both edible and decorative plants. Despite the compact size of urban gardens, they can still be daunting to begin: from finding the right space to selecting the right plants, there is a lot for a beginning…

#8: Your Day is Not Your Own

We all have good intentions. We plan our days, scribbling our to-do lists and making agendas. Then…. “produce” happens. Bombs go off early, often and at the absolute worst times. Explosions come in many different forms: Trucks don’t pick up products, they break down, or arrive late. Coolers load the wrong shipments or cut the wrong commodities. Suppliers can’t fill orders that have been on the books for hours and in some cases days or weeks. Customers cancel orders or reject product. …

Let’s be real. As much as we, as a society, talk about the importance of eating clean, fresh food, we don’t always have time. I work in the produce industry, and after a long day of thinking about fruits and vegetables, I’d rather spend some quality time with my wife and daughters than think about food prep.

The good news for people who care about both their health and their time is that food delivery apps are a thing, and have been for a while. …

Lately, I’ve been talking about the produce industry (and why it sucks). Regardless of your opinion about the industry, one thing’s for sure: we all need to eat. More and more people are becoming conscious of what they put into their bodies. What easier way than to grow your own veggies?

Whether you’re a green thumb or a total gardening newbie, there are many components that go into producing a healthy, fruitful crop, some of which, like the weather, are out of a gardener or farmer’s control. …

#9: Apathy Everywhere

Murphy’s law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” There’s little doubt that Murphy was a produce trader.

Those of you who don’t live, eat, and breathe produce might be surprised that this level of cynicism exists. Not only does it exist, it’s actually manifested to a degree that it’s expected, almost encouraged.

Confused? You should be, while true, it makes no sense.

Rather than striking a deal and assuming everything is AOK, we produce folks do the exact opposite. As growers, wholesalers, retailers, processors, brokers and carriers we’re…

Shaun Black

Entrepreneur. Restaurateur. Philanthropist. www.mrshaunblack.com

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