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Mike Salguero - Founder of Butcherbox
Tailwinds and Life Design
As many already know, Butcherbox is the market leader in offering high-quality, humanely raised meat. What's particularly remarkable is the company's trajectory; it has expanded organically, bypassing external VC funding, to achieve an impressive $600M in revenue. All this began with just $10,000 of Mike's own savings.
As with all of our other episodes, we focus on the initial stages of the entrepreneurial journey and even the steps before knowing what to build. Mike shares profound insights and reflects candidly on the hurdles he faced when starting a new company out of the wake of a previously unsuccessful startup.
There are many awesome takeaways from Mike’s story, but I'd like to highlight two:
Begin with Lifestyle Design: Mike emphasizes the need to contemplate personal aspirations even before evaluating business concepts. Before delving into market challenges or revenue models, he advocates for a deep, genuine reflection on what the venture means for your personal life and how you envision spending your time. This foundation creates guardrails for how you will go about building your business, even as many things about the company itself are unpredictable or are likely to change.
In Mike's experience, he held a firm conviction about wanting to establish a company free from the shackles of external funding. He also aspired to manage the business remotely, with minimal constraints. While Butcherbox eventually outgrew the "lifestyle business" mold he had initially envisioned, these early decisions significantly influenced their extremely asset-light business model and their distinct approach to talent acquisition.
Harnessing Emerging Tailwinds: A notable factor in Butcherbox's success is the way it consistently found itself in the right place at the right time. From capitalizing on the Kickstarter movement and tapping into the rising demand for grass-fed beef, to navigating the nuances of subscription commerce, paleo diets, and the budding realm of influencer marketing, Mike's journey offers a masterclass. It's not merely about identifying trends but studying them closely and acting on them decisively. Many founders find themselves perpetually chasing trends, often lagging behind. However, Mike's ability to not only identify but also exploit these opportunities ahead of fast-followers truly stands out.
There's a wealth of other stories and wisdom packed into this episode, and I wholeheartedly encourage you to tune in. As always, your continued support means a lot. Please consider subscribing to our newsletter and podcast, and we'd be immensely grateful for your reviews.