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How Meghan Found Success in Connectivity Through FounderMade

how to build a successful CPG business

If you’ve got a CPG product that you’re trying to get into the hands of consumers, you’re probably searching for partnerships with retailers, e-commerce platforms, and all these places where you can make contact with a wide sector of the public.

Well, growing CPG brands is FounderMade’s specialty.

FounderMade is a platform and conference series that connects best-in-class consumer brands to retailers, distributors, and investors. In recent years they have partnered with innovative brands, including RXBar, BulletProof Coffee, Vital Proteins, Target and Starbucks and have never ceased in their journey to empower and scale brands. On a recent episode of the B2B Breakthrough Podcast, host Sharon Gai was joined by the CEO and Founder, Meghan Asha, to discuss the company’s evolution and their unique approach to trade shows.

Table of Contents
Who is Meghan Asha?
Earn the right to quit your job
The future of e-commerce
Fulfillment over happiness
Conclusion

Who is Meghan Asha?

Asha founded FounderMade with Lauren Everhart, and it’s been an important part of their journey that they build a mostly female team and foster a positive company culture that holds work/life balance as a real priority, even as they grow.

She is an innovator who previously worked as a financial analyst. But she was inspired by her friend to take the leap and start her own company after deciding to pursue her passion for connecting emerging brands with opportunities, a passion she was empowered with by her entrepreneur father. She has been described as the “fairy godmother” of the company.

In the past six years, Meghan and FounderMade have experienced increasing success, and the business has grown into a multi-million dollar company, recently being acquired by global B2B media company, Tarsus Group.

Earn the right to quit your job

The beginnings of FounderMade are a story of aspiration, determination and inspiration. The evolution of the company reflects the ambitions of someone who was driven by a real love of what they were pursuing, and could serve as an inspiration to many of the brands that they work with themselves.

Meghan has an ingrained respect and love for the founder’s story, believing that you need to earn the right to quit your job rather than just taking the leap, so she wasn’t afraid to start patiently from the ground up. Considering herself too young for a leap like Shark Tank, she started her company as a dinner series, not necessarily expecting the idea to take off, but simply doing it as a worthwhile venture in its own right. But like so many of the brands they have since worked with, the events quickly scaled, moving into the realm of investor conferences.

Meghan had been inspired by TechCrunch’s ecosystem and was keen to build an analogous network for consumer brands. With the conviction of this business model behind her, the project expanded from New York to being active in many cities across the world, and the ecosystem she had envisaged took concrete shape. With the prevalence of e-commerce in today’s retail environment it was natural that helping brands grow into this space would be a key cog in their ‘business school for brands’.

‘From inception to acquisition’ was the goal, and the success of this mission is exemplified in the numerous examples of companies moving from modest beginnings to sell for hundreds of millions of dollars.

The future of e-commerce

Has the dust settled on E-Commerce, or is that bubble still expanding? Meghan believes that despite the increasing dominance of this sector, operationally, the efficiency will continue to improve as more insights are parsed, more technology is fine-tuned to connect audiences with products, to personalize the buyer experience, and all of those areas where brands continually seek to find those extra percentage points.

AI will be a big driver of that, in the same way that it has already started to be embraced by many companies, it will continue to do so over the next few years. Despite the huge advancements in AI systems and how they are integrated, no one would suggest that artificial intelligence is at its peak with the future in mind, and therefore, Meghan predicts that it will continue to change the face of retail. For her, despite many people’s macro reservations about AI, the prospect of this holds no fear. And in fact, she predicts that the increased efficiency we gain from streamlining computer-based processes will allow us to spend less time on our computers in stressed states. This in turn will benefit our own functionality, bringing out the best in us and relieving us of the limitations that come with the burden of manual computer-based operations.

Just like the early days of the internet, we are at an exciting, sliding doors moment according to Meghan, where many possibilities could quickly emerge and reshape the industry.

Fulfillment over happiness

Naturally, we all want to be happy, but life and work is not about arriving at one crystalline moment where everything lines up and suddenly happiness finds you, never to leave your side. Instead, happiness is a thing that we can find in each day, in different moments more than others, but always mixed in with the ongoing churn of emotions we encounter every day in our jobs and personal lives.

Meghan talks about changing our perspective to create more fulfilling work/life balances. Avoiding “shoulds” is one of Meghan’s keys to doing this and it is applicable to your growth as a person and a founder. If you are setting certain benchmarks for happiness in your future then you are setting yourself up for unhappiness if you don’t reach that particular goal. If happiness is within the journey rather than the destination, then you can put ‘fulfilment’ where happiness used to be in your ambitions. Aspire to be fulfilled, listen to your callings and find your purpose, if you aim in this direction, you will find many happinesses along the way.

In the unpredictable world of B2B-to-C commerce, your business goalposts will likely have to remain slightly fluid in order to react to the changing ecosystem. So, if you want to thrive as a person and business owner, you will have to retain some of that fluidity for your personal goalposts too. Meghan’s insights can serve as really useful guiding stars to lead you to a successful and fulfilling career in the industry. So tune in, and allow your entrepreneurial preconceptions to be reshaped!

Conclusion

In the unpredictable world of B2B-to-C commerce, your business goalposts will likely have to remain slightly fluid in order to react to the changing ecosystem. So, if you want to thrive as a person and business owner, you will have to retain some of that fluidity for your personal goalposts too. Meghan’s insights can serve as really useful guiding stars to lead you to a successful and fulfilling career in the industry. So tune in, and allow your entrepreneurial preconceptions to be reshaped!

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