Passion, Purpose, and Bold Entrepreneurship
With Parker Olson
Parker Olson is a passionate young wellness entrepreneur, not afraid to take big risks to get results. Parker shares the lessons he has learned about bold branding, following your intuition, and standing out from the crowd.
Parker is a creative force within the realms of health, wellness, and strategic marketing. As the co-founder of FORIJ mushroom-infused snack foods and Scally Studios, Parker is spearheading initiatives that merge well-being with innovative business growth strategies.
Parker’s entrepreneurial journey began with a personal 18-month exploration into diverse diets, sparking an unexpected discovery of the potent health benefits within varying mushrooms. This quest for health culminated in the birth of FORIJ, a brand dedicated to crafting granola bars that are as nutritious as they are delicious, all thanks to their unique mushroom blend.
Parker’s thirst for innovation didn’t stop with FORIJ. Acknowledging the difficulties faced by emerging brands in acquiring customers, he went on to co-found Scally Studios. This ground-breaking venture assists brands in unlocking the power of trust-based marketing engines, helping them navigate and thrive within the intricate digital marketplace. Through his unwavering resolve and commitment to health, wellness, and strategic business growth, Parker continues to inspire other entrepreneurs to chase their purpose.
Anyone can do it
When Parker was a college student, he saw that his dormmate was on his phone a lot, and making plenty of money.
Upon questioning him, he discovered that he was monetizing a successful online Twitter account. On the spot, Parker sent him his entire savings – a few thousand dollars – in exchange for learning his secrets. It was a risky move, but it became a major success. He grew an account, made money while in school, and didn’t have to work full time. It was then that he realized that out of thin air and with a bit of a time investment, anyone can create value online and begin to support themselves. Despite acknowledging how impulsive that decision was, he also cites his intuition and impulsivity as a major asset when it comes to entrepreneurship. After all, risk can mean big rewards.
Later, when he decided to start more businesses, Parker had an understanding of what it takes to get started, and was unshaken by entry barriers. He’d made money online before. Why not do it again?
Passion helps us push through
One of Parker’s most influential lessons came when he attempted to launch a clothing brand. It was a fun idea, and a lot of the project came easily to him – but when it came down to doing more difficult aspects of business-building, he felt uninspired.
Where he normally felt hyped up and motivated in his business, he felt annoyed and discouraged by challenging tasks. That’s when he realized that it was not the right path for him. Now, he shares that wisdom with us: if you find it draining to push through hard things in your business, it’s not the right business for you! Passion and purpose will fuel you through hard times, and a strong “why” will always make it worth it.
While building FORIJ, Parker took extreme measures. He slept in a tent in the yard while keeping his ingredients safe in his room. He frantically contacted local cafes and rented out one of their kitchens for his production when covid hit. He even lived in his van and traveled the country selling boxes and educating wholesalers about the benefits of mushrooms for brain health, sleep, mood and more. All of this was possible because he believed in what he was doing, and he was fueled by purpose.
Good branding is unique and memorable
FORIJ has been called a few things over the years. Laughing, Parker admits that when he started, it was not a memorable brand.
These days, FORIJ has cute packaging with memorable characters on it, bright colors, and a strong brand message about infusing everyday snacks with whole food ingredients. But before all that, there was cheap and basic branding – and it didn’t make the impact it does today.
Back when the brand had a generic name and inexpensive stock kraft packaging, he gained notoriety not with cute colors and a great website, but for his hustle and belief in what he was doing. Because of his van lifestyle, he became known as “the van guy” with the mushroom foods. He realized that his brand was himself, because that was all that was unique and memorable. Going forward, he invested more heavily in his branding in order to help his products stand out and catch the attention of his consumers.
Enjoy this inspiring and memorable episode of The Business of You, with Parker Olson…
“I gave him every single dollar I had to my name, on the spot! This is part of what has enabled some of my entrepreneurial journey, but has also caused some tribulations for me…compulsively being like, this is a good idea! Without thinking it through. That kickstarted my entrepreneurial journey.”
“You, meaning anyone, can go out and make something that has value and support yourself.”
“I wore nice clothes to the office at that job. I was like – I go to work, I get paid, it affords me a lifestyle. But it doesn’t bring me fulfillment, so I thought, I want to start a business. I want to work for myself.”
“It’s not rocket science. What you eat impacts how you feel!”
“What makes a good brand versus a pretty brand? A good brand is unique and memorable. Our brand was neither! It was pretty, but not unique or memorable.”
“People didn’t know the brand. They didn’t even necessarily know my name. But they were like – you’re the tent guy! I realized, like, that was unique and memorable. That was the brand.”
Links mentioned in this episode:
Check out the official FORIJ website at https://www.forij.co/
Connect with Parker on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/parker-olson-forij/
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