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Navigating the "Messy Middle" of Starting a Business

"Focus on whatever metric is getting you moving; that's the needle for your business, like in order to find out what you need, narrow in on where your results are coming from." - Adi Arezzini

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Adi Arezzini - Michelle Hagen

The female founder and CEO of TeamiBlends, Adi Arezzini, created Teami as a lifestyle brand that creates wellness and skincare products inspired by the health benefits of tea. After struggling with and solving her own digestive issues, she started Teami in 2013 to help other people live happier, healthier lifestyles, too! Today's episode is full of "golden nuggets of wisdom," as I like to call them, all about entrepreneurship and navigating the "messy middle" season of starting a business.

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Michelle Hagen 0:01

Hey, Adi, welcome to the podcast.

Adi Arezzini 0:03

Thanks for having me. I'm so excited.

Michelle Hagen 0:05

I am excited for what we're going to dive into today. And just talking about entrepreneurship and how you built your business, and what that looks like, and the messy middle. But first, tell the listeners, what's new with you what's been going on in your world since the New Year. Oh, wow. It's

Adi Arezzini 0:21

like, I don't know how this month went by so fast it like was like a blink. And now it's I haven't even really understood that it's February yet. But something that's going on in our world is that the teeny office and warehouse are actually moving into newer and bigger locations. So the the current place that we've been in, will have been here for four years. And so we're moving to a new warehouse location and the new office location that we're renovating. So that's kind of the newness going on, we should be in there by April 1. So we have two more months left to renovate and to get that place ready.

Michelle Hagen 1:00

Oh, that is exciting. And it's just cool to hearthe expansion and what's next? I've been kind of watching and i love the little pink fridge you guys just recently launched and I giggle to myself because my son got this little red fridge from like a school thing. And I had been trying to convince him like, could mommy use that for? Can mommy put that in the bathroom. And he's like, No, I don't even have anything to put in his fridge. Like, oh, look at this cute little pink fridge like that it could actually be mine instead of some little kid fridge that he got from school

Adi Arezzini 1:39

Exactly, where our skincare fridge is super fun, I can't live without mine. I like to organize all my skincare in there. Because what I noticed is that my skin here would be shoved in drawers. And out. There's so much product that would go for years unused, and, I hated that. So I love being able number one it chose it. But number two, to see all the skincare and then be able to like, invest even more in my skincare routine, because I can actually see the products that I have in front of me.

Michelle Hagen 2:08

Yeah, well, and I think it's interesting that a lot of people like the using the cold on your skin is kind of become the new thing. But people don't know that it actually preserves your skincare products by putting them in the fridge longer. Because I know one of the skincare products that I use, it's a Florida based company to and she's like, no, it's all cold kept. So like it's literally fresh to you and it how important it is to keep all that stuff in the fridge.

Adi Arezzini 2:32

It really is I mean, especially with natural skincare. We're not using chemical preservatives in order to maintain that the active ingredients. So it's huge first, specifically for natural skincare.

Michelle Hagen 2:46

Yeah. Okay, so I would love to dive in and kind of talk about you were talking about moving and creating, you know, doing the renovation. So what does an average day look like for you when you are working on your business?

Adi Arezzini 3:01

You know, this question is always interesting to me, because depending on the season, and depending on what's happening in the business, things change so much for me, when you're a CEO of a company, and if you're passionate about what you do, and you really care, your hand is kind of an everything. And it shouldn't be you should have be able to have people on specific jobs and specific specific positions in order to control the organization and to make things flow, right. And I have that to some degree. But as you're growing, you're always going to have new tasks that you almost have to then organize and create a job for. And until you do that. All these new tasks, all these new projects, they go on the CEO. So you like for example, you start a business and you're like packing your own products and sending them to the warehouse and sending them to the customers. So then you have a job, which is warehouse Packer. And then you're doing all the customer service. And then you are like, Okay, good. Let me train someone else to be a customer service rep. And you build out the functions based off of things that you're doing that you want to promote yourself out of. But what I found interesting is that I've been in business for seven years, and I'm still doing that I'm still, like, I do so much admin work that no one would know. Because I haven't, you know, figured out in a full on position that I'm paying somebody to do only that thing. So and I can have a situation where we have to fire somebody. So I go into HR or we need to hire people and I'm working with HR manager or we have a situation that needs to be handled, everything comes up to the CEO. It really shouldn't. And that is the building of an organization. And it takes time until you reach that level of like, Wow, you really have executives underneath you that can handle those things that isn't come up to you. But I haven't gotten there yet. So I'm still building that.

Michelle Hagen 5:06

That's so refreshing to hear. Because even for people to understand that you have built a multi million dollar business, and yet your hands are still so much in it. And I think that that is kind of a facade that people think like, Oh, well, once I reach or we reach a certain number, I'll be able to step back more, or that's where you think like, Oh, I go, I'll go on vacations or, you know, sometimes I think that social media gives us this facade that people aren't working as hard as they are behind the scenes. And like you just described, your hands are still very much in the business.

Adi Arezzini 5:42

Absolutely. And I work 10 to 12 hour days, and I haven't taken a vacation in forever. And my husband and I are long distance. And we have been for six years, and I've sacrificed my own personal marriage, and not had children. And because of the business because I know that how much I needed and that the business wasn't ready and that I need to build it with people that I trust. And so coming up after we moved to the new location, I'm hoping by April 15th, I can then move to where my husband lives, which is Portland, Oregon, and then run Teami remotely and come back every few weeks and do that. But I've been working on that for six years. So it's not, it's not a short thing that I've been working on.

Michelle Hagen 6:30

Wow, that's, that's just amazing. And then I think it's a real, that's just another amazing insight to like, let people here. And we talked about talking about that messy middle of we all have these dreams of creating things, and we just have like that entrepreneurial spirit and you built like physical products. And there's people who are trying to, you know, create coaching or do online things. But there's this middle portion that nobody really talks about, we're all taught like how to start it, what you should be doing on Instagram, but then there's no one that talks about the middle. What advice do you have for someone who's living in that middle that's trying to reach like the next level of actually being like, I am known by more people than just being this tiny company?

Adi Arezzini 7:16