Vol. 127 - NO. 39

Blog Startup CPG

SINCE 2019

Small Changes,
Huge Impact

Jason Domangue is the Founder & CEO of Petal, a natural, zero-waste hand soap brand focused on empowering sustainable lifestyles. He is a serial entrepreneur with a successful exit in the Internet of Things (IoT) space.

It’s difficult to stay motivated when you are starting from zero. But true momentum is built one step at a time.

Best place to start? The first step.

I started Petal because I ran out of soap in my home one evening. It made me realize how much plastic waste my family and I were producing for such a simple task – washing our hands. I had struggled with sustainable options in the past. How could I make an impact with any small change I make in my daily habits. Most of the real change needed to come from large corporations who produce unsustainable choices for the masses. I suspect that is an internal debate that plays out in a lot of our minds. It’s not unsimilar to starting your own company. The uphill battle, drive and sheer will-power it takes to start something from nothing is very intimidating and downright scary. I decided to take both of these first steps together in January 2019.

What’s your North Star?

For Petal, our mission was very clear – give customers a simple, convenient and elegant option to start (or continue) on their sustainability journey. We all wash our hands several times a day. By using Petal, you are reminded about the positive choice you have made for our planet and hopefully that inspires other sustainable choices in your everyday habits. We leveraged this same mentality as we designed our product and built our business. Stay focused on the brand mission (our North Star), take small wins whenever you can and don’t get overwhelmed by all of the opportunities that are constantly popping up, everyday. The best way to build something is brick by brick. Just make sure you check your compass periodically to make sure you are still on course.

Be surprised, if you’re not surprised.

It’s cliche, but you should expect the unexpected. For a large part of my career – I had no idea how that advice was of any value to me. How in the world could I prepare myself for something that I could not predict? My logic was the sort of thinking that stops many of us from taking action with little things in our lives. Thoughts like ‘that small change won’t make a difference’ or ‘I’ll never stick with this so why start’ often halt our best intentions. The truth is that no one can predict the future – so stop trying. Come up with your plan by leveraging all of the knowledge available to you, start to execute and then assume your plan is wrong. If you assume your plan is wrong, you are simply moving forward until you receive new data that allows you to course correct – until you prove yourself wrong again. Failing fast is an amazingly efficient way to grow a business. It can also be a great way to start a healthy habit or in my case, a sustainable lifestyle. I learned the hard way that ‘expect the unexpected’ simply means to not get bent out of shape when you have to change your plans. That is the only constant we can count on.

Celebrate every single win

If you have made it this far in the article, you probably know that small steps matter to me. As important as it is to stay focused and continue to build one step at a time, it is equally important to make sure you squeeze every ounce of good vibes from each step you (or your business) successfully takes. Why? It maximizes inspiration, creativity and efficiency. Not just in you, but in everyone around you. Our aim at Petal is to capture this energy every time you wash your hands and convert it into a groundswell for sustainable practices on a large scale. What can you do for your business or your personal life if you take this same approach?

Now go take that first step.

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