Entrepreneur Spotlight: Renee Volchko, Super Salad Bar by Mindfully Mixed™

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It’s a great time to be in Cleveland! The housing market is rising, new businesses are popping up, and more people are looking at the city as an option to live, work, and play. This didn’t just happen overnight; it’s been a long time in the making, and a large part of this success is due to entrepreneurs willing to take a risk to start and bring businesses to Cleveland to help shape our community.

According to Forbes, 90% of new startups fail, but Clevelanders are jumping on the entrepreneurial train anyway. Many of those entrepreneurs are young professionals just like you and me. I had the opportunity to catch up with a few of those self-starting YPs to find out what made them take on the risk and what advice they have for other aspiring entrepreneurs in the Cleveland area. On this entrepreneur spotlight, get to know Renee Volchko, Founder / Forever Learner Super Salad Bar by Mindfully Mixed™.

What made you want to start your own business?

Truthfully, I never actually had plans to "start my own business." It was only when I realized the need for my idea that I started to take some responsibility and action in order to pursue it. As I started to grow the company and gain more

accounts, the benefits became very clear: Solving problems much bigger than your own was what this is all about. The responses that came in the form of email and social messages were overwhelmingly rewarding. I had people talking about how good their kids thought it tasted, active athletes taking the bar with them to their events and competitions, and people at all stages of their “healthy eating” journey thanking me for making this thing.

What was the hardest thing about starting up?

I think the hardest part of starting your own business comes down to responsibility. Taking full responsibility of YOUR own income, YOUR own fears of failing, and YOUR own time. And with all these responsibilities comes the powerful lessons to stay as minimally stressed as possible; finding the balance of drive and zen. Money is easy to find; it's everywhere in many different forms. Time is also very possible to find and to shift around if you really want it. Mastering a positive mindset day in and day out, on the other hand, is still an incredible and humbling journey.

What advice would you give to a YP who is thinking of starting their own business?

Ask around. Talk to as many different people as possible. See what others think of your idea and, more importantly, if there is a NEED for this product or service in order to solve a problem. And if the response is not 100% positive, DO NOT GIVE UP! Detach yourself from your IDEA. Just because they don't like it, doesn't mean they won't need a modification thereof. And it definitely doesn't mean they don't like YOU personally. Come up with something else that they donʼt know they need yet.

Bill Baraona is the founder and owner of Flex Media, a digital marketing company that specializes in video production. Bill grew up on the southwest side of Cleveland in North Royalton and currently resides in Parma where he and his wife Jackie founded and run Young Professionals of Parma. Bill loves spending time at the Lake Erie shores and islands and trying local craft beer, coffee, and new restaurants in CLE.

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