Over the past couple of years, I’ve gone back and forth about whether or not to raise outside funds for Baking for Good. I started the company in 2009 with $40,000 of savings, and while I know that raising money would help me grow the company a lot faster (and perhaps more easily in some ways), I’m also really happy with the pace at which we’re growing, and it’s allowing me to personally stay involved with every part of the business, from operations to customer relations to marketing.
Last week I had the pleasure of meeting with Joanne Wilson, aka Gotham Gal, to introduce her to Baking for Good. Joanne has a lot of experience growing and investing in companies, so I knew she would have a great perspective on my situation. When I told Joanne my story (and treated her to some cookies, of course), she encouraged me to keep building Baking for Good as I have been, and not take anyone’s money (except maybe as a short-term loan if business grows unexpectedly fast). I have to admit, it’s not so easy to watch many of my peers raising millions of dollars in funding and wonder what my business would look like if I did the same, but Joanne reminded me that owning my business in its entirety, and being able to grow it without being indebted to anyone else, is something not just to be proud of, but to really embrace.
I’ll be speaking more about this subject on Friday night at a TEDxEast event here in New York. I’ll write more about it after that, but I also would love to hear your thoughts in the meantime!