The team is the single most critical aspect of a business (at least in my opinion). We are firm believers that a team should be a group of individuals who feel empowered by one another; a collection in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
I’ve mentioned time and time again how thankful I am for Kai & Amin, my partners in starting BOMANI Cold Buzz. Of course, none of this would have ever been possible without our angel investor, my mom, who not only funded BOMANI, but also continues to bring unbelievably valuable entrepreneurial experience to the table.
Our BOMANI Cold Buzz Family has grown to include a handful of intensely self-driven, creative, intelligent, and personable individuals, such as Nick Gagliardi, our Corporate Strategy Director who joined BOMANI shortly after we started. I’ve had the chance to talk about BOMANI’s “Dr. Dre” a few posts ago, and Nick is a perfect example of how a genuinely good, caring, and talented person can be a game-changer.
Look, it’s no secret that we have to be extremely selective with our recruitment process. We’re a young company and we’re growing fast, which means that each individual is trusted with a significant amount of responsibility. In addition to the traits I mentioned, loyalty and integrity are paramount.
Now re-read all the traits we look for when we onboard people: self-driven, creative, intelligent, personable, loyal, and always with integrity. How could we ever expect every person that we brought onto the team to meet this exceptionally high bar? To be honest, I feel extremely grateful that we have had the honor of recruiting top notch talent that has met and exceeded these expectations.
It may sound counterintuitive, but I actually think that the fact that we insisted on holding the BOMANI vision & culture to such a high standard helped us recruit top notch talent. By refusing to settle, I believe we proved ourselves to be as authentic to our mission of empowering people, who, like us, challenge the status quo. We proudly compensate our team at above market rates, and we also make sure that we all share the upside of our successes.
All of this begs the question: how did we finally determine who to select in the sea of individuals who reached out and applied to open positions? I can answer this simply – we’re always looking for someone who is irreplaceable, like Beyoncé. Very few decisions are easy in the life of an entrepreneur, and we sometimes find ourselves saying “no” much more often than you finally say “yes.” When someone or something comes across our desk as a no-brainer, it’s calls for a celebration. Now, let’s take a deeper dive into these individuals who we are lucky enough to work with and are integral to the success of our team.
Dustin, our VP Finance & Operations, was helping us with spreadsheets just as a friend in the Summer after we announced BOMANI. At the time, Kai and I were handling the books (Amin was busy leading formulation). Over time, I realized this friend of ours could maneuver through financials accurately and rapidly. He was insistent on precision, and went out of his way to propose innovative new ideas in the realms of finance & operations. Dustin combined his natural ability to zero in on details with a stellar work ethic to create his place at BOMANI. I want to specify that last statement: Dustin was the one who created the position of VP Finance & Ops – it wasn’t me, Kai, Amin, my mom, or Nick. Dustin proved his worth, demonstrated his skill, and made himself irreplaceable.
Jack Morgenson, our Field Sales Manager in Southern CA, immediately resonated with the BOMANI mission and vision as soon as I shared it with him when we were both visiting our hometown. Jack is a social person and appreciated that he could enjoy BOMANI even with his dietary restrictions. See, I’ve known Jack since we were in diapers, and I’ve never seen him face an interpersonal situation he couldn’t handle. He’s genuine, honest, and naturally has the presence that makes people enjoy spending time with him. Not only is Jack a likeable person, but he’s gifted with the rare ability to take new concepts and package them in a digestible manner – this made him the perfect person to introduce alcohol-infused cold brew coffee in the incredibly important Southern CA market. Finally, his ability to think strategically differentiated him further from others who were interested in this position: Jack can identify a strong retail account at a glance, and he can work with them to make sure we can satisfy consumer demand. All of these skills came together to make Jack irreplaceable. As talented as Jack is, I was still surprised to see every single account in Southern CA sell out in BOMANI’s first 12 hours on shelves – which further proved his worth and how important he is to the team.
Amin, Kai, and I met Joe Molinaro when we were hosting interviews for the wildly critical New York Field Sales Manager position. This was a new position, and we needed an industry pro to help us tackle this tricky market. Within30 seconds of the interview, I realized Joe had one of the best attitudes of anyone I’ve ever met – he lights up a room when he walks in. If you’re ever feeling down, give Joe a call and he’ll make you feel like a million bucks. He’s ridiculously hard working and experienced – but the aspect that makes him a natural fit for the BOMANI vision is his willingness and passion for thinking differently; for challenging the status quo. I look forward to every meeting I have with Joe because I know I’m going to feel more energetic and empowered afterwards. Joe made himself irreplaceable – we love Joe-MANI!
As you can see, everyone on our team shares a number of valuable traits, and one trait that I specifically want to highlight is how self-motivated everyone is to go above and beyond. We believe that you can tell you’ve recruited the right people if they’re breaking the mold of their “job description” and proudly contributing ideas to allow BOMANI to achieve its full potential. For example, a few weeks back, Dustin took time out of his day (amidst his mountain of finance & operations responsibilities) to go help with sales in north Orange County. Jack has initiated business development efforts, helping our team expand distribution to more markets. Joe was literally getting his phone fixed and left the Apple Store having sold BOMANI to all the employees as well as the liquor store next door.
Simply put, we believe that if you stay true to your vision, you will earn the attention of top-notch talent. And to the top-notch talent out there, if you can prove that you’re irreplaceable, you’ll do well. I love everyone on our team – and that includes all of the wonderful third parties we work with day-to-day: our supply chain teams, manufacturers, distribution & retail partners, PR team, social media team, lawyers, and more. Stay on the lookout for the post about them in the future. I can’t wait to enjoy brunch once we’re all together again!