This is THE question that most entrepreneurs will never ask themselves, either because they have never thought to ask it of themselves, or they are terrified of what the answer may be . Regardless, it must be asked. Why? Well, because if you're like me (sole provider of income in the household) there is an infinite amount that you could lose if you never address the reality of that question. I mean really. You really have to know.
Akron Honey is a very serious thing to me. It always has been, even before it was a business. But over the last several months I constantly questioned its existence and relevance Why is it here? What if it weren't here, then what? Would anyone really miss it? Yes, we're on the hunt to create some of the best natural consumer goods anyone has ever used, and we are beginning to turn heads. But what I am starting to see is that we aren't just producing products. We are building much more than that.
I sat down and listed all of the things I've seen Akron Honey and her team accomplish since 2013. Here's my checklist:
1. Revitalizing Blighted Urban Space
2. Demonstrating Successful & Sustainable Urban Agriculture
3. Investing In Our Children: Multiple Public and Private School Visits Educating on the Honeybee Culture and Entrepreneurship, Creation of a Custom S.T.E.M/Akron Honey Program (currently being created)
4. Demonstrating Civic Engagement With Akron Honey Market Days Creatively Held In Neighborhoods
5. Creating Awareness and Highlighting Diversity with Small Businesses Whose Owners Represent Under-served Populations : Women's Market & Black Market (Open Air Social Market)
6. Demonstrating Intersections: The Points at which Entrepreneur-ism meets Civic Engagement, Agriculture meets Urban Landscape, Small Business meets Social Good, Hand Made meets Automation (In our Lab), & Exhaustion meets Determination
7. Using Transparency as a Language, and not an Add-On
8. Reportedly Inspiring Others To JUST GO FOR IT!
So I thought about these things, and fact checked them internally. I began to realize who we are, and why it mattered so much. So as scary as it was to actually addressed, both my heart and mind settled on the reality that we absolutely need to exist. And since we NEED to be here, we have the responsibility to make nothing but the best stuff so that we can continue to be who we are, and accomplish the things that we have. That's the motivation curve for us.
Remember when I said that "Akron Honey is a very serious thing to me"? Well, that notion has also changed. It has become a very serious thing to my fabulous team. To Kelsey and Shamari (Products & Production Lab) it is a way in which they can change the world in which they live to be far better than it is now.
So I'm going to resolve this post with why you may be here in the first place..... Yesterday when I met Patagonia CEO, Rose Marcario I told her two things.
"I have come to know your Brand as something that is far more than the products that you guys make. Thanks for doing what you do"
"But in the least arrogant way I want to tell you this. You're going to know Akron Honey as brand that is LIFE ITSELF."
Then I had someone take this picture, and continued on my way shaping Akron Honey to be just that.
Wesley The Keeper