It’s been exactly 1 year and 4 months since I officially sat down with my lawyer, Andy Contigugulia, and created What Cait Ate, LLC. The things that led me down this path have been nothing short of divine intervention, unexpected passion, joy, pain, tears, happiness, darkness, light, and everything else in between.
I like to describe my first year of business as, “Experiencing every possible human emotion at its fullest capacity for a year straight”.
I did a Facebook/Instagram live about my journey through this last year and a half-ish all about how I created my business, why Stu + I moved out to Colorado (even though we had a badass life in the DC area), and what I’m up to these days with my business. If you missed this video, you can head over to Facebook and join What Cait Ate Groupies to catch the replay- if you’re not part of the group already, hop on the train! It’s an amazing group of like-minded people sharing their ideas, experiences, and questions about all things health and nutrition.
Since I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately, I figured I’d write a quick recap-
The Top 5 Things I Learned From Starting My Own Business:
- Stop Thinking, Start Doing. I can’t tell you how many times I sat on business ideas far too long before executing them- both within my first year of business and even before I officially started my LLC. I thought about creating a blog for MONTHS on end before actually starting one, I thought far too long about what nutrition program I wanted to do before I finally chose one (even though I always knew in my heart what program I wanted), I thought too long about what living in Denver would look and feel like, I worried about whether or not I was qualified or educated enough to help others with their health, I thought I needed to know all of the in’s and out’s of being an entrepreneur before starting a business, I THOUGHT I THOUGHT I THOUGHT. If I could go back to day 1, I’d probably watch more Gary Vee and get my head out of my ass. There’s always going to be something that gets in your way, but don’t let one of those things be yourself. At this point, I’ve learned that having SOMETHING done is better than having it done PERFECTLY. Turn your mind off and get into execution mode. Everything else is wasted time.
- You’re Not For Everyone. Creating a personal brand (aka marketing yourself and your career as a brand) is not for the faint of heart or those who are insecure about themselves. If you’re someone who seriously lacks confidence, is afraid of what others thinks of you, or would change yourself at the drop of a hat just to fit in- creating a personal brand is not for you. Why? Because you will be judged, treated like shit, questioned, and seriously despised by people you don’t even know. How do I know this? Because I’ve experienced all of these things in the last year and a half. What can you do about it? Stop giving a fuck about the things that dont matter- like a strangers opinion, or hell even your own mothers opinion. If you’re not worried about what other people are thinking of you, you’re in execution mode. You’re creating, you’re believing in yourself and your vision- and you’re living it out. Understand from the start that you’re not for everyone, and that’s a truly great thing. The sooner you realize this, the better.
- Your Passion Is No Accident. That random thing you get super passionate and pissed off about at the same time? Yeah- that’s not a coincidence. Why do I give a shit about food and how it makes myself and other people feel? I honestly have no idea and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to answer that question fully. I do know that I can’t shut the hell up about nutrition and have wanted to yell the truths about our effed up food system from every rooftop since the day I finished the NTP program. Nutrition was something I never imagined myself doing, and I fought the excitement I had for a very long time before finally committing my career to it. “Nutrition is stupid, why don’t I just get a job with my degree in Public Health? I’ll never be able to make a career out of nutrition. Who’s going to listen to me? I feel stupid talking about nutrition to others”– Cait from 2013-2016 until she finally bit the bullet, threw her middle fingers up in the air and figured it out. We all have a gift and a passion, and it’s no accident. Give it back to the world and watch your life change.
- You’re Smart Enough To Figure It Out. You know that thing you really want to do, but seems impossible because your current life situation just won’t allow those dreams to come true?? Not enough money, don’t live where you want to, can’t quit the job you have, family think’s your crazy, you think you’re stuck, you don’t know how to do it, you don’t have the tools- these are all the biggest bullshit lies I hear people telling themselves and that I used to tell myself. Tell that pointless voice inside your head to shut the hell up and let me be the first to tell you- If you want something bad enough, you will find a way to get there. “Okay Cait, but I really can’t figure it out, and my mom died, and…”. My answer? You’re not trying hard enough. You’re limiting yourself to a very small box of “reality” you’ve created in your own mind and you won’t look past the walls you’ve created to see that the world is waiting for you on the other side. You create your own reality. If your passion is no accident, then it’s your job to find a way to make it your reality. Open your mind, step out of your box, and make it happen.
- People Only See Where You Are, Not Where You’ve Been. If there’s anything that pisses me off it’s the comment, “must be nice”, when people see where Stu + I are today. Why? Because no one get’s to see the behind the scenes, they only get to see your highlight reel. We’ve both heard this comment from old friends from back home where we grew up, strangers, and even some of our current “friends”. Here’s the thing- Stu and I moved to Denver with no jobs and only 5 months of cushion in our bank account- that of which we worked our asses off for while also being full time students, student athletes, and holding down jobs in DC. After arriving in Denver, Stu didn’t get any of the jobs he had interviews for (even though he graduated first in his class in his undergrad and masters, was a D1 athlete for 5 years, and worked at a Fortune 500 company before getting to Denver), I didn’t make any money for the first 4 months we lived here, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing with my business, we had a wedding to plan, I was having debilitating panic attacks, and we we’re getting close to $0 in our bank account. Moral of the story- Don’t be a “I wish I was XYZ” kind of person, be a, “I’m going to do whatever I can to achieve XYZ” kind of person. Those who are successful and happy with their lives usually are because they worked their freaking asses off to get there- not because luck fell in their laps from the sky and it “must be nice”.
“Opportunities are often disguised as hard work, so most people dont recognize them”
Below is a video created by our wonderful friend, Nick Anderson from @forkinpancakes. Nick helped us document a “day in the life” with Stu + I. We honestly had no plans for this video, other than we thought it would be cool to throw something together that would document our lives in this moment- a year and a half into our lives here in Denver.
None of what I do day-to-day would be possible without YOU- my followers. You watch all of my stories on Instagram, read these blog posts, trust me to guide you to optimal health as your NTP, laugh with me through the great days, comfort me on tough days, and learn about this crazy life alongside me. I can’t tell you guys how much Stu and I truly appreciate all of you and wish we could spend time with each and every one of you.
If you’re reading this and we’ve made an impact on your life in any way, please share it with me in a comment below.
Thanks for being a part of our journey!