Founded by Carli Wheatley, an energetic fitness trainer and a deliciated creator of Protein Haus, Paleo Supply is at the heart of financial district in London. She opened this healthy meals destination in late 2018 and it provides a wide range of ready-to-go meals which are specifically designed for each one of health enthusiasts to ‘feel the healthiest’. In fact, every recipe from the menu is born in the crazy mind of this fitness expert.
Here, Carli shares with us about how she built a strong successful brand one after other. She also explicates on how to find the right investor for any start-up businesses and discloses her personal tips to achieve a calm state of mind after a stressful work episode.
What’s your secret behind a successful branding strategy?
Carli: I like to consider and look at the brand like it is a person. And so, what I do is like Frankenstein. I am like, I create a person when I create a brand, and I like to look at it as if it is an individual entity with a unique character and personality. A brand is like your best friend and you love them, even if they are late on things, or, if they are a bit lazy, or even if they work through the night. It is literally like designing a character for a movie – I like to orchestrate a person by creating an inherent sense of responsibility to take on its character. And this, allows me to separate myself and answer those questions that I wouldn’t answer as myself, so then I’d put on another pair of shoes and answer as the brand.
I think the secret is to strive to create a brand with its own characteristic traits, and thus with multiple disparities it also allows me to expand my creation, rather than immerse my identity in the brand. The brand caters to all individuals and has its own entity, its own ideas about where it wants to go on with life.
I like to create a brand within this pattern. It gives everyone a sense of structure, plus it helps your team to understand what the character is like, rather than systems. It’s definitely more fun this way.
How do you suggest, one can find the right investor for their start-up business?
Carli: My advice to people would be, first and foremost to start early, work hard, save money, and put that money into what you are most passionate about if you can. If you get to the point where you’ve got a really good idea, and you need help, then you are a salesperson who is selling the idea to someone else and you’re convincing them to give you some money.
“I learned very early on to remove all the personal feelings from the equation – isn’t it just a game after all?”
You have to be aware of the fact that the investors think and contemplate differently from the person creating the product. And there may be chances that you’re never going to find someone who is as passionate, creative as you. Probably, the individual is exclusively and purely coming in just for financials. The logic is simple: A creative person who is financially stable to invest would want to be a part of the creation or invest in their own projects. So, it is best to acknowledge and understand that the investors will never be a perfect fit. But certainly, they are your stepping stone to move to the next stage of idea conceptualisation and be able to do your own thing. It makes things easier if you consider an investor as a stepping stone and not someone with whom, you necessarily are going to build a great or a long-lasting relationship.
I learned very early on to remove all the personal feelings from the equation – isn’t it just a game after all? So as long as you’re clear with your intention, you’re going to need to break away yourself at some point and carry on. Unless you may meet someone with whom you are able to foster a close friendship or relationship. These people, instead of buying a house together, start a business together, and they succeed because they want the same things out of life which, in fact, is the basics of a good relationship.
Have you ever had an emotional breakdown?
Carli: Not really, surely with the stress, I should have suffered one, but I haven’t. I think it’s because I do understand when I need to go home. It’s a duty or rather a responsibility to prevent any burnout. And also, I’m okay with being upset. Everywhere I’ve worked, people have seen me being upset. I’m okay with failing – I’m not embarrassed about doing something wrong, or making a mistake.
I think this is important because people are worried about perceptions, and agonize over if everyone else thinks of them as a loser. You know what? No one actually cares! The best thing someone told me once was: If you realize how little people thought about you, you’d be offended. The truth is, everyone is interested in their own life.
How important do you think it is to take a break?
Carli: Not that important. I think you need to take one if you need it! For instance, when I first started the business, I was so happy that I got the opportunity and worked very hard towards my visions. I probably spent the last seven odd years trying to make something work. Back then, I was constantly running into walls. No one was interested in my visions, and all of a sudden, they were. So, that realization finally got me a break. I could have done 22 hours a day for the last four years.
If you’re tired very quickly by doing a task, I think you need to take a step back and consider – what it is that you’re doing, and what are the jobs that potentially someone else could do. You have to understand that delegation is a good thing, and to find reliable people who are very skilled in their own way. So, what you really have to do is to work out your strengths, and when you engage in tasks that sharpen your strength, you don’t get that tired anymore!
What is your one daily habit, which according to you is critical to your success?
Carli: I think as an entrepreneur, you have to be very disciplined. Firstly, as a habit, I get up early every day. If you didn’t know what’s the first step of creating your own routine, I’d say it was to get up early around 6:00 a.m., or even earlier at 5:00 a.m. However, this actually doesn’t translate into getting up and start working. It’s all about the habit of getting up early because your brain tends to be very fresh in the morning. As an early bird, you’re never going to be behind on schedule, as you can always optimise the few hours in the morning to think about the essential things, before your day begins.
And so, I always get up early. Sometimes, I train or on some days I teach classes. Or, if I feel sad, I just go to the gym because being in a room with loud music, helps me to get rid of sadness from my system.
What to do when you’re not in the mood?
Carli: So, when I am angry, I don’t necessarily escape my anger and I just accept the fact that I’m not in a good mood. And then, I let my people know why I won’t be nice today. I try not to kick myself out anymore because I understand somethings irritate me. It could be late night texts from my boyfriend – talking nonsense and arguing. So when I wake up the next morning, I’m in that state of mind. In such a situation, I try and analyze the trigger to find out ways to release that negative energy.
For me, I think exercise is the most important activity that releases my anger and foul mood. More exercise tends to infuse you with more energy to release the negativity and fill you with positivity.
Any tips on making a day the most productive?
Carli: I don’t think I’m productive at all. In my opinion, I waste loads of time thinking. (Laugh) I change things unnecessarily like I spend too much time in the shop and I probably would change the setting like 10,000 times. And all these false movements are like a complete waste of time. So, I don’t think I’m overly productive because I’m an over-thinker and highly creative –traits that don’t tend to be productive. But concurrently I also understand when there is a mission to get things done. I’m the best person to do it because I will constantly strive to create the perfect outcome until the job’s done.
“If I can’t do something, I have no problem saying I can’t and can you help me with that?”
In terms of increasing productivity, the only way you can is by asking for help. If I can’t do something, I have no problem saying I can’t and can you help me with that? Everyone on the team’s helped me before. It’s not just me on the team, I have a whole team of talented people.
How do you motivate yourself to work when you’re feeling exhausted?
Carli: If I am feeling really exhausted, and it is 3:00 in the afternoon, I would just go home. There is nothing that is more important than respecting the needs of your body to rest, even though you think there is; but there actually isn’t because your exhaustion travels from body to mind and vice-versa. So, I’d rather just go home, watch Netflix, and get up at like 5:00 in the next morning and be energetic. But you don’t do that all the time, just occasionally. Otherwise, if you’re in the midst of something, remember – it’s your business and you’d better pull up your motivation and enthusiasm and get to work.
So here and now, there are days where I am like, ‘Ugh, you know what, I’m just going to sit in the coffee shop and relax, especially as I can’t think of any novel ideas. But after I feel rested, I would get probably ten ideas for a menu and I am going to be at the shop until 10:00 at night structuring the ideas into menus.
Essential things to keep you Zen at work
Carli: I am naturally a calm person, but I am hyper in terms of enthusiasm, and as such, this is something I’m still working on. There are days when I spend all day talking to people and on such hectic days, I definitely need to assign myself some time to be quiet. That’s my calm state which I can achieve in the evening. Definitely, some alone time is important, because it allows your thoughts to calm down. I know a lot of people don’t like to spend time by themselves or take themselves out to dinner, but I actually find it essential as it allows for a retrospective perspective.
In fact, here at Paleo Supply, we have a calming blend, called the Mood Meds. It particularly helps to create a calm balance when you are feeling very agitated. It’s like a combination of old-fashioned herbs such as Ashwagandha, which are really good. It’s a bit trendier in the states but it’s very new in London. We also have Power Nap that helps you obtain a soothing sleep.