Upgrade your PASTA!! Everyone knows pasta is heavy on the carbs. But, there is a pasta called Banza sold in the US, made from channa (chickpeas) that has more protein and fiber compared to regular wheat pasta.
I am also excited to talk about entrepreneurship and the power of persistence.
Entrepreneurs and their Journey
I love stories of entrepreneurs and their journey. I enjoy listening to interviews of self-made business people and how they overcame their struggles. For eg, did you know that Sara Blakely, one of the first female self-made billionaires, used to go into stores and personally place Spanx products in strategic locations so that people would notice them? or Lara Merriken, founder of Lara bar drove around with a 400lb mixer in the back of her truck trying to set up a place to manufacture her first order of Larabars for Whole foods?
Banza- The story
Banza is a play on words from “Garbanzo beans”, another name for chickpeas. The owners didn’t pay me or anything, so I have no incentive to write positive or negative things about them. I saw them first on a TV show, called “Restaurant Startup” on CNBC. The 2 brothers developed this pasta out of their home kitchen and came on the show to fund their product. They got a $75,000 investment from the show and also got some money from an online crowdfunding campaign.
They wanted to get orders from around the country and so attended various food shows and events. About 2 years ago, I attended one such event – ‘Making it in Michigan Conference and Trade Show’ to study more about packaging my product. I saw one of the brothers offering samples of his product. I stopped by to say hi and said that I had seen him on TV. He was very friendly and wished me luck in my endeavors.
If you are thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, remember the problems you encounter never stops. It comes from different angles. But you can tackle them one by one. The Banza brothers spent a lot of time in manufacturing facilities trying to scale their product, reading food chemistry textbooks and emailing experts. One such technical problem for the Banza brothers was that the pasta was disintegrating when cooked incorrectly. They overcame that hurdle also. On the marketing side, to avoid spending too much ad dollars, they tried to approach “influencers” and people with huge instagram followers to try their product. After all these efforts and a few years later, they have now been featured in NYtimes and are in 3300 stores in the US.
Let’s get to making it, shall we? Given that the pasta is made from chickpeas, I obviously thought of using channa masala as my base flavor for the pasta.
This is a great idea for kids lunch box too:
Explore your dream
Do you have a dream? Do you want to start a blog? a company? a non-profit? I personally know so many talented women who are so talented, so creative and yet are not ready to take their idea to the next level.
Mark Zuckerberg gave a wonderful speech recently in Harvard, where he said “Ideas don’t come out fully formed. They only become clear as you work on them. You just have to get started.” I couldn’t agree more. If you are young, and just finishing college, the opportunities ahead of you are limitless. You might feel small and helpless in this big world. But stick to your passion and keep working on it.
There is an energizing book called “Crush it: Why now is the time to cash in on your passion” by Gary Vaynerchuk where he illustrates this point with worms. If you are a ‘worm’ expert and you know everything about worms – embrace your knowledge – do a blog or podcast about worms. Talk about worms, worm farms, fishing etc and people from all over the world who are interested in worms will find you. It is a silly example, but also a clever one to illustrate a point.
The starting point is your passion. You can find tools and resources to build around your passion, however niche it may be. Yes, you may not know enough about technology, or finance, or marketing; but no one knows everything. You will never reach a point where you know everything. But like Mark mentioned, “You just have to get started.”
Whether it is to build the next Facebook, invent the next Banza pasta, or start the next Antarang Foundation (a wonderful non-profit in India), I hope you find great joy in finding purpose for yourself and others. I wish all my readers the very best.