Having suffered a pulmonary embolism, Claire ‘ate herself well’ and in doing so, spotted a gap in the market for a healthy snacking alternative. Now sold in 21 countries, Scrubbys Vegetable Crisps are a true testament to Claire’s unparalleled drive and determination.
Currently an internationally accredited Business coach, mentor and consultant, Claire offers her first-hand entrepreneurial knowledge and experience to guide others toward success.
Speaking exclusively to Claire to gain some insight on how to succeed as an entrepreneur, I asked:
WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU OFFER YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS AND BUSINESS STARTUPS?
Don’t launch underfunded:
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and is something Claire utilises when she reflects on mistakes she made throughout her entrepreneurial journey.
Believing that mistakes are a gift as they offer the chance to learn and grow, Claire has certainly learnt from what she considers her biggest oversight, launching underfunded.
“If you launch under-funded, it’s nigh on impossible to outrun that truth. The truth is you’ve launched with not enough money and unfortunately, the cash burns faster than you want, and it takes a lot longer to get where you want to go.
“If you launch under-funded, you’re forever going to be on the back foot. A lot of people, me included, launch from a negative thinking that they can catch up later, but you can’t. A lot [of businesses] do that for fear of being second to the marketplace or too late to the marketplace, but I always say if an idea is good and it’s got legs, then it’ll always be there – It will always work.”
After reflecting on the challenges of her entrepreneurial journey, Claire now holds the philosophical view; everything happens for a reason.
“I look at things with philosophy now. I think actually sometimes, things [happen] to prevent you from making a big mistake. Sometimes it’s a blessing that you don’t get what you want.
“Maybe if you are a little bit late launching, it’s actually a blessing because somebody will launch something similar to you before and they [will] make the mistakes. Or, it [means] you can understand a little bit more about your consumer, your category, your competition and yourself.”
Always follow your intuition:
Claire advices entrepreneurs to follow their intuition, as she often looks back and wishes she had always trusted her own.
“Always follow your intuition – It’s there for a reason, it doesn’t let you down. There’s been certain [times] on my journey launching the business and brand, I went against my gut instinct and I went against it because I just couldn’t see anything else, but I sincerely believe now if I had just held my mettle that little bit longer, some other solution would have come.”
The global pandemic has been a challenging time for many entrepreneurs, with business struggling to survive, entrepreneurs have had to adapt and overcome.
An expert in overcoming adversity, I asked Claire:
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE STRUGGLING IN THESE UNPRECEDENTED TIMES?
Ask for help:
“I think the more you reach out for help and the more honest you are about your situation and about how you’re feeling, [the more] people can help. There’s a lot of help out there, and so it’s about being humble as a person, as an entrepreneur, as a business owner and having the courage to reach out and take help.”
Sharing some of the times she has struggled, Claire openly spoke about the unspoken mental challenges entrepreneurs face, sharing times she struggled and emphasising the importance of reaching out and asking for help.
“Entrepreneurs can unravel mentally. It’s tough. We’ve been there, our business put so much pressure on our marriage, on our family – it can unravel you mentally. So, it’s a case of looking at things holistically, not panicking and having courage [to reach] out for help.”
It is important to learn from the skills entrepreneurs have gained from their journey, but it is equally important to look at the qualities that got them there in the first place. I asked Claire:
WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU POSSESS THAT YOU BELIEVE LED TO YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL SUCCESS?
“One of my superpowers is that I am so resilient. I think that comes from [the fact] I have never had a smooth ride at all. I’ve got an inner deep belief in myself, [which] comes down to self-worth, self-love and feeling that [I’m] worthy of something. I’ve just got this inner belief that I’m meant for more, I can achieve more, and I can do more.
“I’m always optimistic, but don’t get me wrong, I have my down days and I have days where sometimes things seem insurmountable – We’re all human! But it’s my resilience that [gets] me through.”
“I believe that my job in life and part of the reason I survived my blood clot is to inspire others, because I think we all need somebody to light the way, to shine a light and say: ‘You can do this’. Often all we need is someone to believe in us and then we believe in ourselves. I’ve got resilience in bucket loads and it’s something that is integral in me.”
IF YOU COULD GIVE YOURSELF ONE PIECE OF ADVICE AT THE START OF YOUR CAREER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
“It would be to believe myself more. I haven’t always had the self-belief that I’ve got now. It has come through building up resilience and doing what I’ve done. I just wish that back then I’d have believed in myself more.”