Every once in a while here on the Square One Show, we are going to offer you someone with a very unique story or perspective. Today, we'll offer you both.
Side note from Jessica before we get started: Dave and I had the elite privilege of touring in a stinky van - all over the United States, Canada and Europe with Glenn and the band downhere. We consider Glenn as part of our family- and are honored to have him on the Square One Show!
Glenn Lavender, formerly with the Christian Band Downhere, is our guest. With many people, the view of musicians/band members is of the wild and the crazy, or perhaps the eccentric. But what you might see with Glenn is anything but the crazy or eccentric. With Glenn, we have a musically talented individual with a mind to dream and a view of what could be. (just to add a note here, Donny is writing this great blog article, but this is Jessica, inserting her own thoughts... Glenn has his OWN form of wild and crazy...)
Glenn has actually started two businesses recently, in two completely different directions. With his talent for music, he was able to come off the road after a brief stint on staff at a local church, and offer to teach music to many in his community. Obviously not a huge reach for him as he has the talent to do that. Coupled with his notoriety from the band, marketing himself as a viable teacher was a pretty simple task. You can find Glenn, the music teacher, at Williamsburg School of Music.
His second business, Silver Hand Meadery, takes on a different marketing approach. Glenn was very intrigued by the whole Mead process and with so few places out there, felt like it was a unique opportunity to pursue his passion and provide a product that is not readily available to the public. One of the things that may help many of you through Glenn's story is to connect with something he said:
“I want to live in a way, that is most me.”
— Glenn Lavender
"How can I use the gifts I've been given most fully?"
Think about what Glenn is saying there. For all you potential entrepreneurs, you are probably working a steady job that is taking care of you, but you know, somewhere inside of you, there is something more you've felt you needed to do. That's what Glenn is trying to encourage you to do. Of course there is risk, and of course it is scary. But as you'll see in your journey with Donny, Dave and Jessica, the people we put in front of you, and the encouragement and help we offer, will in many ways push that fear aside and help you realize a vision for something you've always wanted to do.
What is a Meadery?
A meadery is a winery that produces honey wines or meads. Particularly in Cornwall, a meadery can also refer to a type of restaurant that serves mead and food with a medieval ambience.
Let Glenn's story about getting into the business of processing Mead be your potential Square One.
Here's a guy that didn't know all that much about the product other than what he liked about it. He decided to pursue it and see where it would go.
Of course he did his research. He advises to go talk to people that are already doing what you want to do, and listen and learn.
Due diligence to the details of the business you are starting. In Glenn's case, there are barriers for producing and selling Mead that need to be addressed. Do things the right way. The last thing you want to do is be blindsided by hidden legalities that can not only be costly, but time consuming as well.
"I love to see the light come on in people." -Glenn Lavender
And lastly, Glenn offers some great insight and thought when it comes to several things. First of all, he has surrounded himself with mentors. He has approached several people to invest in his venture. He makes a wonderful point about how important having a business plan is to potential investors, just so he can not only have a clearly defined process in place, but also give those potential investors confidence that he is not what you'd say..."flying by the seat of his pants".
Glenn talks about every experience being an educational one. He points to the use of some tools that have come in handy as he has embarked on this journey. He likes Excel and Google Docs to stay organized. He uses several tools to take advantage of Social Media such as HootSuite and Flipboard, as well as using Facebook just like everyone else. It's not hard to see that Glenn's story, while unique, is pretty easy to follow. Hopefully his story will help you realize that pursuing your own dream of starting a business is as easy as taking things one step at a time...and not letting fear talk you out of it.
More of Jessica's side notes: Glenn's wife Sherri texted me after listening to the podcast, and offered some additional resources and thoughts! (See below)
And a side note, to my side note: Sherri and I used to knit and watch Law & Order SVU together while our husbands were on the road with the band. Sherri also used to make bracelets and necklaces out of Glenn's used bass strings - and sold them at the band merchandise table at shows. They sold out almost every show!
"Joining associations relevant to your business provide you with important information and connections and sometimes group discounts on products related to your business. For example, through the Virginia Wineries Association, we found out about an online seminar we are going to take next week for QuickBooks for boutique wineries." - Sherri Lavender
- Glenn's background: former band member in Downhere. Worked at Williamsburg Community Chapel before starting his two businesses
- Loves to think about the possibilities of many ideas, to make people and life better.
- Started his first business in teaching music to his local community, taking advantage of his skill set.
- Loved the idea of going into the business of producing Mead - so this is something he is currently pursuing.
- Glenn has drawn on his faith in God and the idea that he wants to live in a way that uses the best of himself.
- He talks about using every situation and opportunity as a learning process, or better said, part of his overall education.
- Raising capital to start or maintain a business is probably relevant to many and having a business plan will be crucial for many to tap into that process.
- Don't be afraid to fail.
- Microsoft Excel
- Quickbooks Online
- Google Docs
- Tasting parties to advertise his Meadery
- Glenn & Sherri joined the Virginia Wineries Association
- Will be joining the American Mead Makers Association as well
Glenn's contact info: