Episode 49 - Entrepreneur Experience: Monica Michelle, Founder of BloomTV

EPISODE 49

Entrepreneur Experience: Monica Michelle, Founder of BloomTV

Ever wondered what it looks like to take a common, seemingly everyday item and turn it into a media empire? Monica Michelle, founder of BloomTV, is my guest today, and she’s turned all things floral into a TV network that’s sure to put you into your zen-est of spaces. We talk about what it’s like to build a media company, the transition from baking with flowers to producing shows about them, and how walking away from a deal with Whole Foods was the pivot of a lifetime. Listen now!

There aren’t many people who could turn a seemingly ordinary, everyday item into a media empire. But today’s guest, Monica Michelle, founder of BloomTV, is doing just that… with flowers! Monica knew at an early age that she wanted to be an entrepreneur, but everything she did just seemed to fall short of the mark. In today’s episode, she walks us through her journey from marketing expert to floral baker to media mogul.

Our conversation starts out with how Monica discovered a passion for using flowers in baking sitting at a street-side café in Paris (of course). She found very fast traction when she found herself baking floral confections for the Oscars (yes, THOSE Oscars), and quickly thereafter had the coveted offer for any food creator: a spot in Whole Foods.

So what’s a confident entrepreneur do? Pivot. From baking with flowers, to exploring the world of flowers and their many benefits, in a TV channel. Monica talks about the challenges with pivoting when you’ve got traction and people behind you in one idea, but another calls to you and fills you with excitement and passion. And she talks about the most important elements of making that pivot successful.

We also dive into the importance of timing with building anything new, and Monica tells us how you know if you have good timing or not. (Hint: Trust your gut!) Monica also shares her desire to “Restore Eden”, what that means for her, and how each of us can be a part of that journey… And how it all starts inside.

Monica encourages all entrepreneurs to surround themselves with great people who have skills you need and who will encourage and help you. People are the best resource you can have!

Find and follow Monica on BloomTV or send her an email (and your ideas for BloomTV!) at monica@bloomtvnetwork.com.

Be sure to like, share, and subscribe to Precursa: The Startup Journey on your favorite podcasting platform and tune in for the next episode!

Email us with any questions or comments (startup@precursa.com). Check out our website (https://www.precursa.com) for more information on getting your startup rolling.

(00:04):
Straight to you from Denver, Colorado, this is Precursa: The Startup Journey. We share the ins and outs of building a tech startup from inception, to launch, to revenue and beyond. If you’ve ever wondered what building a startup from scratch really looks like, you’re in the right place. With full transparency and honesty, we reveal it all about Precursa on our ride from idea to exit: the wins, the lessons learned, and the unexpected twists and turns.

Hey everybody. And welcome back. This is precursor the startup journey, and I’m super excited about my guest today. Today I’m joined by Monica, Michelle, who is the founder and CEO of bloom TV, which is a streaming network for all things floral. And she’s gonna tell so much more about that. I’m so excited. Her background is in digital marketing and entrepreneurship, and she’s a huge advocate for nature and she’s on a mission to restore Eden. So please welcome to the show. Monica, Michelle.

(01:10):
Yeah. Thank you so much. What a good intro.

(01:14):
Oh my gosh. I’m so excited to have you, so, so why don’t you start by just telling us a little bit about you, how you became an entrepreneur and what is bloom TV like? I’m so excited for you to introduce this to my audience.

(01:27):
Oh my gosh. Yeah. So, you know, I think I’ve always had an entrepreneur spirit. Uh, when I was younger, I was constantly coming up with ideas and looking for ways to put them out into the world. Uh, I remember my very first job, I guess when I was a kid, was I pet sat for people and I like, and I went all out. I wanted to do, uh, you know, I wanted people to know, I wanted to tell people that’s what I was doing. That’s my business when I was a kid. Oh. And, uh, that, you know, progressed more and more. And um, every, every whim of an idea, it’s like, I just, I had to get my hands into it and, and see that come to life. Um, so yeah, I, as I grew up, I went into several different industries and everything that I did was a little off <laugh>. Um, I took the jobs that, that people wanted me to take and took all those really good opportunities that, uh, weren’t necessarily,

(02:31):
Are we putting good opportunities and quotes

(02:33):
That was air quotes for, for those of you that are listening? Uh, because coming from the south, I, uh, you know, the outdoor industry is very big there. And so, uh, a lot of hunting and fishing jobs were sought after, and I, I don’t even eat meat, but yet I was taking jobs that, that I thought I should be taking. And, uh, that other people thought were cool. <laugh> and, um, that’s that went on for a little while. And I, I went from the outdoor industry to the medical industry and, um, all the, while every single job that I took, I was also doing something on the side that I truly loved. And, uh, it wasn’t until the last couple of years that I really stepped into that alignment where I felt really aligned with what I love and who I am and what I’m doing. Um, and that was, that took me a little while, but once I hit that, it felt so good. Everything just really seemed to click into place and, and flow. Um, yeah.

(03:37):
Cause last time you and I hung out, you were actually working on a baking business

(03:43):
That’s

(03:43):
Right. Yeah. Which is sort of what led you into bloom TV. So talk a little bit about kind of that transition and then tell, tell everybody about bloom TV.

(03:52):
Yes. So when I was working in the marketing industry, I, I was spending some time in Paris at the time. And I remember sitting at this little side street cafe where I was admiring the flowers and admiring the pastries in front of me. And I yet again, had this whim of an idea and thought I would love to bake edible flower desserts for my friends. When I have time, just on the side and out the gate, I put together my, my business plan. I got back in the states and my first client was the Oscars. Wow. And so I ended up, it was, it was this happy accident that hurled me into the baking world when really I wasn’t a baker. I was an entrepreneur and it was just something that I love to do, but I was almost there because I have a love for beauty and flowers.

(04:50):
Um, and it was through this industry while I was baking and, and working with edible flowers that I started going into this spiral of, well, what are the health benefits of edible flowers? What are the flavor profiles? Um, and then that led me into, well, what are the health benefits of having just flowers and a V in your home and are there mental health benefits to that? Um, and the curiosity of those questions really led into bloom TV. So about a year and a half ago now, maybe almost two years, actually. Yeah. I sat down with, uh, Devin Kerns and we started talking things out and thought, you know, there’s a, there’s a food network and there’s an HGTV, but there’s no network dedicated to flowers. And in that realization, we knew that we had something really special. So we’ve created that <laugh>, that

(05:42):
Is so cool. And, um, so what kind of programming is on a network dedicated to flowers? I I’m fascinated by this. This is, this is so cool.

(05:51):
Yeah. It is everything you can imagine. And it’s expanding rapidly. Uh, right now we have videos, pilot shows and professional, uh, series that we’re working on right now. They cover everything from cooking with edible flowers, which, you know, that’s a, that’s a favorite of mine, obviously. Yeah. But we also have incredible floral designers and experts in the space that put together videos on how to create these bouquets events and weddings. We’ve got videos on, you know, creating art with florals on foraging, uh, mental health and wellbeing through flowers, color therapy, through flowers, interior design. I mean, it just, it goes on and on. But what we’re finding is that there is a lot to the flower. And I think a lot of people, when they think about a flower network, they’re like, well, how much information could you possibly have on there? But it truly is a very expanded world where, you know, it, even things like, uh, looking at mental health and wellbeing, we see that there’s all this data and science behind just having flowers in your home and how that can reduce stress and anxiety and increase happiness. And most people don’t know that. So there’s all sorts of details and in depth ways that we can tell these stories around the flower.

(07:18):
That’s so cool. And yeah, you, you know, probably the average person wouldn’t think flowers, there’s a multibillion dollar media empire. Right, right. But that’s certainly what, you’re what you’re aiming at, right?

(07:30):
Yeah, that’s right. We, we started with, uh, just two people. It was Devin and I, that really kicked this off. And now we have over 150 experts from across the globe that are creating flower focused content and submitting it to our channel. Uh, we have incredible partners and sponsors that, uh, we’re now creating full shows and series with. And it’s just, it’s, it’s taken on a life of its own too, which is really exciting. It’s it went from, we thought it was just gonna be an educational platform where we hosted videos about flower education. <laugh> when it’s really taken on a life of its own and turned into something really special.

(08:16):
That’s awesome. So what would you say is the most important lesson that you’ve learned? You know, so far as an entrepreneur?

(08:25):
Oh my gosh. There’s, there’s so many, there’s so many for me. I think there’s a bunch, but I, I think my most, my most recent lesson yeah. That I’ve, uh, I’ve really dug into is to not be afraid to ask for help and to allow others to share their gifts. Um, I’ve, I’ve had a struggle for, for years now where I really hated asking people for, for help, for two reasons, one, I didn’t want them to feel like they were being taken advantage of, you know, in the startup world. You can’t always pay people. And so it’s hard to ask for help sometimes, but you know, two it’s, you have to really become humble and come to the realization that you don’t know everything, and you don’t need to know everything for people to take you seriously in the startup world. And that’s been a big one, but, um, a friend of ours just recently told me, he said, well, you know, when you ask people for help, it’s, you’re allowing them to share their gift with you. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and that’s how some people give. And that’s how other, you know, uh, people in the business world, they love that they love to share their gifts and their knowledge, and it makes ’em feel good. And so just remembering that and, you know, just being, being humble about it, that’s been a huge lesson for me.

(09:54):
Yeah. I love that. And it, it, you know, we’re entrepreneurs, right. And so we’re supposed to have all the answers and I’m putting that in air quotes as well. Right. And so, as an entrepreneur, when you feel like, oh my gosh, if I’m not the smartest person in the room, then why am I the one building this thing? Right. Yeah. When really becoming a great CEO and, and, you know, the, the like secret sauce to being a founder yeah. Is being able to ask for help and is realizing, I don’t want to be the smartest person in the room. I have this vision and I’m gonna bring together all the people who can make it happen. Yeah. And that’s my role as captain of the ship. Right. Um, yeah. So I love that. I love that. That

(10:30):
That’s right.

(10:31):
Yeah. Is, is there any particular personality, trait or characteristic that you think someone needs to have to be a successful entrepreneur?

(10:41):
I think it’s just, you’ve gotta be able to hold the vision as an entrepreneur. Cause it gets really tough and it’s hard. It is hard. It’s hard to be an entrepreneur. There’s a lot of setbacks. There’s a lot of failures, but I think you just have to be able to hold that vision and, and hold it enough to where it, it doesn’t matter what happens. You can just keep moving forward with it. You know, I started in this baking world and I had a very clear vision at that time that I was gonna build this empire of floral confectioners.

(11:22):
And, you know, I, I told people I was gonna do that. I made a promise. I put it out there. I declared it. Yeah. And what’s really hard sometimes I think, especially in the entrepreneur world is as you get called into different areas or as those dreams or those visions shift a bit, you have to be willing to go with that and not be worried about pivoting. Mm. Um, and I think a lot of people make that mistake once they declare it. It’s, um, sometimes this embarrassment that comes with saying, oh, I’ve decided to do something else. Um, and I think that’s hard for a lot of people. And I, it was definitely hard for me to, to finally release that I wasn’t going to do this anymore. That this was actually what I was gonna do. And when I look back, I, I look at even multiple different industries and careers that didn’t quite fit with, who I was. And

(12:19):
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(13:09):
I, I look back now and I’m like, oh my God, those led me straight into this thing. Yeah. That is truly my thing. And truly the thing that I wanna build that I feel completely aligned with in every way. I love that. And it’s, um, I think it’s hard for a lot of people. It’s embarrassing sometimes to say, to tell all your friends you’re doing this and then, you know, pivot and,

(13:33):
Oh, just kidding now. It’s no, just kidding. <laugh>.

(13:37):
Yeah, exactly. Um, but it’s, you know, I, I think it’s really important for people to understand that that’s not, that’s not something to be ashamed of. That’s something to really celebrate, um, is that thing that led you a little bit closer to what you’re supposed to be doing.

(13:53):
And I, I love the, I love this. So talk a little bit about, I, I definitely, I think I, I’m certain, there’s a bunch of people in our audience who are like resonating right now with the embarrassment piece. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, what’s the key to being able to make that pivot and do it in a powerful way. Right. I mean, you know, you you’ve, and, and you’ve put time and effort and energy, maybe money, maybe other people’s money, um, maybe you’ve asked for help and used other people’s expertise, and now there’s a shift or a pivot, or maybe even an all out like, oh my gosh, this is the wrong thing. This is the thing, like, how do you make that pivot? And how do you have that be powerful so that you keep those people on the journey with you, or honor their participation in whatever came before? Like how, what are your thoughts on that? How do you do that?

(14:44):
I think the number one thing is transparency. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, and as things begin to unfold, let people know what is unfolding and, and figure out who would like to take that, that journey with you. Um, and I think another thing is properly, let go of the thing that isn’t really your thing anymore. And that’s a really hard thing for people to do. And for, for me personally, I had to, I had to almost mourn my old business yeah. For, you know, a day or two to properly let it go because it is something that it is a living breathing thing. When you build a business, there is life in it. There’s a soul in the business. Yeah. And so truly appreciating what you’ve done so far, letting it go, and then also taking care of your people. And I think when you’ve got the right people around you, and you’re transparent about what’s taking place, you know, that they’ll either come with you or they won’t. But being honest is, is not always easy, especially when you start pivoting in businesses. But, um, I think it is necessary and very important.

(15:51):
Yeah. I love that. I mean, it’s almost like it’s, you know, you said mourn it or, or, or grieve it, right. Like, yeah. There is something that got created mm-hmm <affirmative> and a lot of times, especially, you know, when you’re an entrepreneur and you’re pivoting in the early stages of something. Yeah. You know, it’s almost like an infant in your life and, and you’ve, it’s like, okay, I’m taking this infant on. Then you’re like, oh no, it’s not, oh my gosh. I have to, I have to pivot over here and you have to let that go. Right. And, and so it, it is, it is like grieving, right. I mean, it is like acknowledging what was good, you know, and, and feeling the loss of it. Right. Yeah.

(16:29):
That’s right. Yeah.

(16:30):
That’s right.

(16:31):
Yeah. And also the making sure that when you do, when you do get those little hints and you start seeing this flicker of, of the end vision that you you’re drawn to to make those pivots as quick as you can. Oh. And I think that’s also important as you, you know, as they, you know, as soon as I knew, Ugh, this needs to be digital, or I need to be bringing in people to teach others how to cook with edible flowers rather than physically doing it and sending it out, it needs to be this platform where people can come and learn from others on how to do this and how to, you know, uh, bring nature aspects into your home and everything else there is to do with flowers. Right. Yeah. But as soon as I started thinking about that, what I was currently doing became harder because it took me so long to let go of that. And it became almost like my side project, because I was now like over here, focused on this, this thing that I really wanted to build, but I felt the, the pressure of keeping my commitment over here and it’s, you know, side projects take up a lot of time. Yeah. And so I think being able to pivot and really start making those corrections as you go along, um, is also really helpful. But again, it’s not easy.

(17:52):
And I know that for you, I mean, you were getting ready to, you got an offer to be in whole foods, right. I mean, this was not like your, your floral baking business. And by the way, I, I had the opportunity cuz like almost everything she made was gluten free and I’m a celiac for those of you who don’t know. And so I got to try like all these amazing things that Monica baked and this was not a fly by night thing. I mean, this was, there was, there was an opening there that was ready for the taking, if you wanted it, how do you make that decision to be like, wow, we got, it’s like sort of the crowning achievement in a lot of ways. If, if you’re in the baking world or the food world. Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> how do you, how do you see that?

(18:38):
And then go, oh my gosh, that this has actually only been a journey to open up this whole other realm. Yeah. I mean, how did you know that? Like what, was there a feeling? Was there like a, cuz I know that there’s people in our audience who are struggling with that right now. They’re like, oh my gosh. But I just started to get this traction over here. And all of a sudden it’s like, there’s this big beacon that’s like calling me over here. Like how do I know? Which is the right one? And how do I know when I’m just letting go? The thing that that’s hard for, the thing that’s easy and when that gets hard, I’ll let, like how do you know that? You know, how did you know?

(19:13):
Well, I think, well for me, I, I won, I kept my other business longer than it was supposed to be kept mm-hmm <affirmative>. Um, and so at that time when things were getting exciting, um, on the sweet flare side, uh, I found myself just working as quickly as I could with my current business, because I was so excited to finish for the day so that I could shift gears to this other thing. Yeah. Yeah. And that to me is a big sign. I think when you, uh, when there’s, you know, and, and it takes work too, by the way. And I, the, the building a network, um, for all things, floral is a big undertaking, especially when I didn’t have a background in media. I, I remember coming up with, you know, we sat down, came up with the idea and I went home and cried cuz I’m like, I don’t know how to build a media company <laugh> and

(20:11):
I like, how do I build a network? And, and, uh, so even with that, and even, uh, with that being really hard as this other business got, you know, in some senses easier and started really click into place, I was way more excited to work on this other project because I felt, um, so much love for this, this other thing that I didn’t even fully know how to build yet. Yeah. Um, and I think that’s a, that’s the first sign is, you know, what are you most excited about and what, um, what do you feel most aligned with?

(20:46):
I love that. Yeah. I love that. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, if you could give other entrepreneurs one piece of advice, what would it be?

(20:54):
Mm. Accept, help. Mm. Let people help you, let people help you. That’s a really, uh, that’s a, that’s a lesson I’ve, I’ve slowly learned. I’m a slow learner. Uh, but

(21:07):
I highly doubt that <laugh>,

(21:10):
It, it feels like it cuz in the beginning you wanna do everything yourself and especially, especially, uh, a lot of these younger entrepreneurs that yeah. Don’t know how to fully build the thing they’re building. They feel like they need to go in, figure out all the basics, get together a game plan, put together the business plan in order to get it ready to bring other people in. And that’s not necessarily true. Yeah. Um, I think you, you start with what you do know, which is that vision, here’s my vision. Here’s what I wanna build. And as you start putting that out there, the right people tend to come into place. Um, and so I just think, you know, don’t be afraid to ask for help. I think it’s such a, um, again, it’s, it’s a way for other people to share their gifts with you.

(21:56):
People love that people love to help and love to be a part of something big. Um, and not everybody is a visionary. And uh, so you know, some people just, they just wanna be a part of a really big vision. They’re so good at this thing, but they wanna put that into a big vision. And so let people do that, let people help and collaborate with bloom TV right now it’s, it’s only as big as it is because of the collaboration. We could not have done this on our own. We started out the gate. I was coming out of my baking business, which, you know, at the time it was also 2020. And so everything was shut down and it was, you know, just this crazy time to start a business. And so going into it, we said, you know, what are we gonna do?

(22:51):
We have $0 to put into a TV network. Yep. How do you go about that? And the answer is, is we just started telling people what we were doing and asking them for help and asking people, would you make five or six videos that we could host on this platform? We’re gonna build it, will you contribute to it? And it was only a year and a half in. And we had over a hundred people from around the globe, different languages, wow. That were doing this. And then we had huge companies that were coming in and wanted to partner. And that did not happen because we did it by ourselves. Like we asked for help, we let people help. And now it’s become this, this beautiful platform that was truly built by the people in the floral world and built by other creators that love flowers.

(23:44):
And that to me is just really special that it, like, I, I hope that for all of our experts, it also feels like partially they’re company. Um, you know, we do the same thing even with our, our weekly marketing meetings and our, you know, ideation meetings, a lot of our experts that are content contributors on our site come to those meetings because they’re like, I have ideas. I wanna share, you know, my tips for marketing this out or here’s what I would do. And it’s so much fun. It’s so fun to have a lot of people together and win one space and just allow things to unfold. Um, between all of these creators, it’s really magical

(24:26):
And your topic is flowers. Like it’s all about beauty and they mean, yeah, too bad. We don’t have smell of vision cuz they all smell so good. <laugh> you know, and so you’re not like, oh, what’s the political scandal of the week. And we have to cover that again. It’s like, let’s talk about beautiful things. <laugh>

(24:42):
Exactly. And we, we wanted it to be that we wanted it to be a place of beauty, a place where people could go and just feel good and watch something that brought a bit of beauty into their week. Uh, we wanted it to be a, a place for creators and Flos and artists, uh, who just love flowers and they have a space that they can create and put content out. We, everything we did was done with this intention of beauty and restoring Eden from the inside out. And I’m obsessed with that idea.

(25:17):
Talk more about restoring Eden, cuz I find that fascinating, like tell me more about what that means and you know, if listeners are like, oh my gosh, what does that mean? And is there something I could be doing? You know, I resonate with that. What would that be? Talk a little bit more about that.

(25:33):
Yeah. So I’ve just, I’m, I’m obsessed with this idea of restoring Eden and this, uh, this feeling, this frequency, that beauty brings to people because I think beauty has its own frequency. Like there is a, there is something about beauty that just really can’t be replicated by anything else. And I think it is, it really is its own frequency, its own life. And um, and so to me, I, you know, beauty comes in all different forms and, and for me I really thrive off of um, beauty and nature. It’s so healing to me, it’s so healing to me. Um, and I’m also pretty obsessed with this idea of restoration in the real world. And so, uh, turning things back to their natural state and uh, just beautifying, uh, the wild and these spaces and yeah, I, I just, I have this huge vision I could go on and on about this, I’m not gonna get too deep into that side, but

(26:37):
I <laugh>,

(26:38):
I just thrive in that, but I don’t think it’s possible to really restore our outer Eden and to bring beauty to our outer surroundings unless your inner Eden is restored as well. Oh. And so I think that it really starts, it starts with you, it starts with the inside and so better mental health and wellbeing and fulfillment there. Yeah. Um, and, and once you get into that space, I think it becomes really hard to live in a space that isn’t beautiful. Um, you know, whatever that means to you. And so for us, with bloom TV, our, you know, what’s more beautiful than the flower. And so connecting people through this flower and giving education and content that shows people how they can truly heal and increase their mental health and wellbeing through flowers, through nature, through getting their hands in the dirt and then how to restore their outer Eden.

(27:42):
So bring nature aspects into their home for a more beautiful way of living, how to, uh, you know, sustainably garden. And, and then also just to, to give people a place to go where they can connect with other like-minded people. So other people that are in the flower space that are, you know, care about the same things, it all goes hand in hand. And I just I’m, I’m obsessed with it. I’m obsessed with it. And I, I want bloom TV to be a place of beauty where people can just go and learn and enjoy. So

(28:14):
Do I have to know a lot about flowers or agriculture or gardening or anything like that? Or can I just go start watching content on bloom TV and, and I’ll get value and, and enjoy it and it’s beautiful. Right?

(28:27):
You can do it no matter where you are in your, uh, gardening or flower path. <laugh> uh, we’ve, we’ve got a little bit of everything and it’s not just, it’s not just education. We also have, uh, some experts that have created almost like florist reality style shows where you get to learn what it’s like behind the scenes of the flower world. We have some girls that are doing, uh, um, intentional bouquet building, which I think is really interesting. It’s so much fun to watch. It’s very relaxing. Um, but they talk about using this, uh, doing this, this weekly practice of arranging flowers, going into it with intention of everything you’re doing, they talk about like stopping and recognizing the smell. They go through the texture of the flower. Oh. Um, and it’s just this very relaxing, beautiful thing to watch. And it changes the way that you’re gonna see flowers in your home. Because if you do this with intention, it can become almost a form of like meditation. And then seeing that on your table, it’s a way to almost drop in because you remember the experience of putting that together and

(29:45):
Interesting.

(29:46):
It sounds crazy, but oh my God, you just have to watch it because it’s so incredible. It’s a beautiful way. And for somebody like me to, to sit down and meditate, that’s quite hard. I need to be moving. And, and so this from is, is it, this is my meditation,

(30:03):
You know, that’s interesting because I’m just thinking about, you know, for Easter, we had some friends of our send us a lovely bouquet and I remember setting it on the table and looking at it and thinking, oh, that’s so beautiful. And you know, I’d walk by and I could smell it, you know, for the first couple days, but I can totally get how, if you put yourself in more sensory engagement, touching the pedals, seeing all the different, like, not just seeing it as a whole, but seeing the individual pieces of it like that, that grounds you almost in a way mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so then every time you see that after that, it’s almost like a reminding of being grounded. Right? Yeah. And that’s, that’s what I’m hearing in the opportunity because we don’t do that. I mean, mm-hmm, <affirmative> most of the time, if, you know, somebody sends me flowers, flowers, or I, I mean, David bought me flowers.

(30:56):
Right. And he, he set them in my office on my desk, took me three days to notice I kept walking in and I was like, gosh, it smells so good in here. Like, that’s amazing. And they were literally sitting like, right, like right off to my left where I look out the window all the time. Right. And so I’m looking out the window and I’m like, am I smelling flowers from outside? Like what’s happening? And then finally I was like, where did those come from? And David was like, it took you long enough. They’ve been in there for three days. And I was like, what? So that like grounding, right. That, that coming back to being present. And especially for entrepreneurs, we can get lost in the weeds and we can get lost in our to-do list and we can get lost in all of this stuff.

(31:42):
And so having a practice like that, and I’m like, you, I have a very difficult time meditating, right? Like, because my mind just wanders and I’m thinking about whatever the thing, the problem is I’m trying to solve today and whatever. Right. And so something like this where it can be almost a physical action, but with a grounding element in, it can become a meditation in itself and could probably be really useful for a lot of people who are like us, who struggle with like, you know, Devon’s so brilliant at that. Like just sinking in and being still meditation. I’m like, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go. Right. <laugh> <laugh>,

(32:22):
I’m gonna say my I’ve gotta be moving. I’ve gotta be doing something. And that when you’re all your senses are activated and you are actively doing something while also, uh, just really aware of what you’re doing, that’s a, that’s a game changer for people like us. Yeah. I, to really sink into yeah. Love. And then you were talking about the flowers in your office and, and, um, for a lot of us entrepreneurs who are in an office all day, or just, you know, in front of your computer nonstop time gets lost a little bit. I guess I, you can probably, uh, relate to that. One of the things that, uh, one of our experts on bloom TV talks about is how bringing flowers into the workspace is, uh, not only a way to bring in a bit of that nature aspect that is very grounding and healing and, and beautiful, but she has this brilliant video on there where she talks about how flowers can actually be a way of showing time passing by. And so she talks about the importance of having things like that in your office and in your workspace, because as the flowers begin to die, it’s actually, um, subconsciously helping your mind to sink into the time, the actual time passing by.

(33:43):
Interesting.

(33:44):
Yeah. So she, she talks about, especially in places that maybe if you don’t have, you know, a great window in your office as well, like this is just a, a, a great way to, to bring that into focus a little bit.

(33:56):
That’s so interesting because you do get lost, right? Yeah. Time just kind of like bleed, you know, one day bleeds into the next bleeds into the next. And, you know, we hear this all the time that like, and I’ve even said it on the show and I’m, I’m, you know, what’s interesting about a podcast journey like ours, which is where I lay it all out. You know, every week for everyone what’s going on with their journey, we talk to other entrepreneurs like you, what’s going on with your journey. And so you kind of start to see an evolution of me as an entrepreneur, as a founder, but also of our company and a year ago, a year and a half ago, if you would’ve asked me, I would’ve said, if you don’t put 158% of yourself into your company and into what you’re building, it’s never gonna work.

(34:39):
And I have slowly, but surely come around to the idea that life can’t be all about work. It can’t be all about the thing you’re building. Like it’s going to be naturally infused into almost everything that you do, because it’s what you’re doing. It’s what you’re building. It’s part of you. But I just wonder, like, what is your perspective on that? You know, are you 150 hours a week working on your business? And that’s all you do and you ha I mean, you just got back from Mexico, right? So clearly you’re doing something better than I am. <laugh>

(35:12):
Well, I will tell you I did work while I was there. Um, but so for me, I have, uh, I’m very lucky to have Devon Kerns who is just a walking, uh, grounding being, uh, who forces me to take some breaks here and there, I get really hyper focused on what I’m doing. I don’t think it’s, I don’t think it’s necessarily healthy for people to put those kind of hours into their, their work. Um, but what I will say is I have been so excited to build what I am building that for me. I, I don’t do it out of a sense of urgency, or I have to do it in order to make it work. I do it because I love it. Um, and I, I have partners now within bloom TV that, um, have drastically shifted my schedules around and said, no, you gotta take breaks here, here and here.

(36:07):
Um, and I’m, I’m really stepping into that. <laugh>, uh, cause I have not, I have not been good about taking those breaks in the past. Uh, but I am getting, I am getting better. Um, I do work almost every day, but I do take parts of my day and, and spend it, you know, walking my dog or yeah. Um, you know, just stopping and, and eating, like having, having my lunch in peace, like without a computer in front of me where I’m multitasking. Yeah. But sitting down and actually recognizing like where I’m at, what I’m doing and being really present in those moments, you know, obviously I just got back from Mexico and so a change of scenery is good for me too. Yeah. Um, I, I can’t fully, fully take off just yet because of the stage of where the company is. Yeah. But I definitely sprinkle in some time for me to just relax and rejuvenate and, um, um, and, and I, I feel the difference when I do. Yeah. It’s a, it is a big difference when I do. And I even in the, the moments where I’m reluctant to do it and you know, Devin’s like, you have to, you it’s time. It’s time. <laugh> get away from your computer. Just, just take a walk 20 minute walk and then come back. Um, I can actually feel the difference.

(37:26):
Yeah. I love that. Okay. So I’m gonna give you a statistic.

(37:31):
Okay.

(37:31):
And then I want you to tell me what you think about it. Okay.

(37:34):
All right.

(37:35):
Okay. 42% of startups ultimately fail because no one wants what they’re building.

(37:43):
Mm-hmm no, I don’t think that’s right. Mm. I don’t think it’s because nobody wants what they’re building. Mm. Sometimes I think it’s because they don’t have the right resources or haven’t brought in the right help to ah, do that maybe. Yeah. I don’t know. Is that, is that the, the wrong answer? I, I don’t know if it’s, because nobody wants it. I think sometimes people may need help presenting in a different way. Maybe mm-hmm

(38:10):
<affirmative>. Yeah. So how much time, you know, we talk a lot about product market fit, which is where the statistic comes in. Right. And there is no right answer by the way. Right. You know, the thing that’s interesting about statistics, uh, I don’t know. I don’t know if you ever took statistics in college mm-hmm <affirmative> but the second I finished the test, I was like, oh, so basically statistics is just a way where I can the data say whatever I want it to say. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so, yeah, that doesn’t sound very useful. Um, so there’s no right answer. Uh, I’m just curious what you think, but when you were, when you were working on the, the, um, baking business, and then now with bloom TV, what, what role has product market fit played in what you’re doing? I mean, how much, you know, mm-hmm, <affirmative> maybe even talk about your fundraising journey and like how much were you talking to people or is bloom TV kind of like the iPhone where until they have it and they’re addicted to it, people go, why would I ever need that? I mean, you know, cause this, this could fall in that paradigm shift realm as well. So maybe talk a little bit about that.

(39:16):
Yeah, sure. Uh, so we got really, really lucky with the launch of bloom TV, uh, during our, our ideation phase, I brought out my sister and her boyfriend to help us with filming. Okay. And we gathered a couple local girls in Denver and asked them to do these test videos for us to put up on the site so that we could show people what we were talking about and what we had envisioned. And, uh, as the videos are being edited to go on this, this site, two shows come out consecutively on Netflix and on Hulu that were flower competition shows both at the same time. Yes. And so it was almost this perfect timing, which now, by the way, a lot of those people that competed or experts on bloom TV, I

(40:07):
Love that

(40:09):
We, we really hit the mark as far as timing goes. Um, especially with, with COVID, uh, more people were gardening and there were a lot of studies coming out showing that, you know, even millennials were, you know, nearly surpassing, uh, like baby boomers and gardening and, uh, you know, people got so into it. So we really hit the market at a great time. Um, going back to your original question, I think timing is, is important. Um, and the need for a product is important. Um, but I also think there’s, there’s a way to deliver it where, uh, people understand it with bloom TV, because we got so lucky in our timing and these shows came out at the same time, outta nowhere. We had our proof of concept at almost the exact same time that we put the videos out there. Okay. Um, so that was, that was really, really good. Um,

(41:13):
How important is timing

(41:16):
It’s it’s so it’s so important. It’s so

(41:18):
How do, how do you know if you have it or not? Like if an entrepreneur was sitting out there and going, how do I know if it’s the right time? Like, am I too early? Am I too late? You know, how do you, how do you kind of tap into that and figure that out?

(41:32):
Yeah. You know, I think you have to trust your, your gut. I, I think when you, you, you get called to build something. I think there’s part of that is, is doing the research maybe a little bit around that and seeing what’s, what’s trending, what’s coming up and how successful this could be. Um, if we were to have launched bloom TV even just two years ago, uh, I do still believe it would’ve been successful, but I think it would’ve been a completely different demographic. It would’ve been a completely different age range. That was our majority, um, of viewers. And like right now it’s our 25 to 35 are the majority of our users right now. Wow. That’s cool. You know, I think two years ago it would’ve been completely different. Um, so I do think timing is important and I, I know there’s a lot of entrepreneurs out there that are just, ah, they’re so futuristic and they’ve got these brilliant ideas, but, you know, I it’s, it’s hard to tell, I think it’s a matter of talking to the right people and, and bringing the right minds together to really determine like, what is the timing for this?

(42:40):
And

(42:41):
Yeah,

(42:42):
No asking for help, I guess again. Yeah.

(42:45):
I love that. I love that. Okay. So, um, are there any podcasts, books, resources, anything that you’d recommend to our audience that whether about, you know, forwarding their conversation about meditation and, and flowers and nature and restoring Eden or about entrepreneurship and building a company and, and like anything that’s been helpful to your journey that you think would help others?

(43:13):
I mean, for me, I I’ve, I talk about him so much cuz he is like, he’s my he’s my business partner and my partner, but Devin has Devin currents has been an incredible resource for me. He’s helped me to ground into the, just the fluidity of building a business and building with ease and uh, keeping balance in, in what I’m doing. And so for me, he’s, he’s been my biggest resource.

(43:40):
I love that. I love that

(43:42):
He really has. He really has, but I also, um, yeah, as far as like books and podcasts, I, I can’t really say that the I’ve, I’ve got a lot of those. It has come straight from people I’ve been surrounded with, um, other entrepreneurs, uh, that have been in the media space or have built something that I, I aspire to build. Um, and it’s come straight from them. And so I’ve, I’ve done my work to get the right meetings and reach out to the right people. And I’ve heard a lot of nos and then I’ve heard some yeses that, or just game changers for me. And so that’s, that’s been, it it’s been people, not books or podcasts. It’s been directly people for me.

(44:24):
Yeah. I love that. So entrepreneurship is a contact sport.

(44:28):
Yes, for me. <laugh>

(44:30):
<laugh>

(44:31):
For me. It’s

(44:32):
<laugh> I love that. I love that. Well, miss Monica, thank you so much for joining me today. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for what you’re building with bloom TV. Thank you for being so vulnerable and so open and so honest. It’s you know, my, my listeners can’t see your face. Um, but you are one of the most genuine, authentic people that I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing and um, it’s been, it’s been a pleasure. So I really appreciate you being here with me today.

(45:01):
Oh my God. Thank you so much. I appreciate you having me. I’m just of course, so excited to talk to you and thanks for guiding me through this. Thank you.

(45:10):
Of course. And if listeners have questions or they wanna get in touch with you, or like how do I find out more about bloom TV? Like give us all the contact details.

(45:20):
Yeah. So definitely if you’ve got any curiosity about bloom TV, you can go to bloom TV, network.com. Uh, as far as getting in touch with me, you can email me@monicabloomtvnetwork.com. Uh, I love to hear from people. I love to hear show ideas. I love to bring in other creators. We’re constantly collaborating. So anybody that wants to come and play, we open that up to you. Um, so yeah, either one of those is good, but we’re, I love that. And I answer them. I answer all of my messages. So I would love to hear from people.

(45:56):
So she just told you to pitch her your flower story idea, your flower show idea, like bring it to Monica. Michelle that’s that’s the, that’s the message for today. <laugh>

(46:09):
Yes. Oh, and I would love to add, I would love to add one of the things that we’re working on right now. That’s kind of exciting and it’s coming out very soon. Uh, so we went into a partnership with a magazine called what women create. Ooh. And, uh, we are telling the stories and bringing some of these magazine articles to life. So a lot of them are, um, you know, in our case, we’re focusing on women who create beautiful pieces of art with flowers or paint flowers or, you know, forage and make giant installations. Um, so this June, June 4th, you’ll be able to go and get one of these magazines out of like Barnes and noble or whole foods. And when you open it up, there will be a bloom TV section that you can read the person’s story. And then there, you can scan the QR code and it’ll take you to bloom TV and play their story. So we’ve created a whole series with, oh,

(47:08):
I love that these different

(47:09):
Episodes, that feature different women who create in beautiful ways.

(47:13):
Oh my gosh. I love that. Okay. So starting June 4th, June, and the name of the magazine is what is, what,

(47:20):
What women create,

(47:21):
What women create. Okay, awesome. So look for that. Uh, I’ll come back as soon as soon as we have a link for you on that, I’ll make sure that that gets in the show notes so that you can go learn more about that as well. Thank you so much, Monica. It was so great to have you today. My dear, so great to see your smiling, your smiling post Mexico face. Aww.

(47:41):
Thank you so much. It was so good to be here.

(47:44):
All right. Y’all thank you so much for joining us for this episode and as always happy entrepreneur and I will see y’all next time.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Precursa: The Startup Journey. If you have an idea for a startup and you want to explore the proven process of turning your idea into a viable business, check us out at precursa.com. Make sure to subscribe to this podcast wherever you listen to podcasts so you never miss an episode. Until next time…

(48:22):
It all starts with your idea. Scratch that your great idea. So you do your homework in because you’re a doer. You make a plan, you raise the capital, you find a good developer and boom, your app is born, but even the best plans for these great ideas rarely turn out. So linear testing, bugs, user feedback and unforeseen setbacks can make an expensive mess of things. Did you know that on average, you’ll spend more than $600,000 over 36 months to realize zero revenue. In fact, in 20 18, 40 6% of startups failed because they lacked the experience and skill set to successfully navigate this challenging entrepreneurial journey, even worse, 42% of these great ideas failed simply because there was no market for the product in the first place. The good news, there’s a better way. Precursor provides qualified, specific, experienced feedback from those who have taken this journey before. That’s the kind of informed research Google can’t provide. Preza provides a time tested sequential roadmap, meaning you’ll always know the answer to the ever present question. Now what Anne precursor has successfully navigated the stressful turbulent, but necessary steps to start up success. So when you’re ready to take the leap, your roadmap to successful launch is more direct with far fewer pitfalls.

(49:47):
We believe entrepreneurs like you change the world and we provide you with the best tools to get there.

 

Cynthia Del'Aria

Cynthia Del'Aria is a serial entrepreneur and tech startup ninja, specializing in product-market fit and idea validation and helping new entrepreneurs reserve their time and money for the idea with the best shot at success. With two successful exits before 30, an active high-profit-margin SaaS in the commercial airline space, and two additional startups in the works, she knows what it takes to traverse the entrepreneur journey, the highs, and the challenges of turning a vision into a successful, viable business.

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  • Denver, Colorado

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Copyright © 2021 Precursa  |  All Rights Reserved  |  Site Created by Natalie Jark

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