We had the good fortune of connecting with Grant LeBeau and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Grant, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Work as a priority has evolved as I left behind my 20s, married, and am now 7 weeks (and counting) into fatherhood. I feel a pressing need to advance my businesses as far as humanly possible by being ruthlessly efficient with my time. I want to spend as much time as possible with my baby daughter but need to provide as much security as possible for her. In parenthood I find it a lot easier to push work hours longer (or odd hours) and harder, skipping some quintessential SoCal distractions (like surfing during the workday) – distractions that I would have jumped at in a heartbeat in earlier stages of life.
What should our readers know about your business?
Rickaroons – family owned organic energy bar company, founded with my dad Rick. We started out of his kitchen, baking for local farmers markets and have grown to sell in Costcos around San Diego through roadshows (all cancelled due to COVID-19). No one I know would say starting a business is easy, and I don’t think our journey was any harder than anyone else’s. We have learned a lot along the way, perhaps most of all that “exposure” doesn’t pay the bills and that marketing + storytelling are as important as the product itself!
Small Biz Gone Viral (podcast that tells the story of the effects the pandemic has had on small businesses and the humans who run them) – I started this podcast as what I call “founder therapy”. It has been a cathartic experience for me personally to meet and talk with so many other small business owners and hear how they have persevered. The show is all about taking an honest, vulnerable, introspective approach to the journey of small business ownership.
Mkrday – we create unforgettable remote group experiences led by Makers (artisans, artists, craftspeople and other small business owners). For example – a Chocolate Experience done over Zoom where all attendees receive a variety of samples as well as the ingredients to DIY chocolate truffle, led by Sandra Mejia, co-founder and chocolatier from San Diego chocolate company Nibble. I want to use Mkrday to elevate and give a platform to small business owners and give value to our clients by facilitating a direct relationship with the small business owners.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Breakfast at Kono’s, kombucha tasting at Babe Kombucha, lunch at Oscar’s, dessert at Nibble Chocolate, improv comedy show at National Comedy Theater. Surf anywhere and everywhere, get cold, sneak into a hotel jacuzzi, sunrise hike, and go to the Little Italy Farmers Market.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wife Claire has been incredibly supportive, especially through the pandemic which hit my first business really hard. She has pushed me to follow my passions and take the long view, believing in me more than I do. She has made sacrifices and given permission for me to swing for the entrepreneurial fences while she provides us with financial stability working 9-5. Knowing she always has my back makes life better and increases my likelihood of entrepreneurial success.
Instagram: @rickaroons @smallbizgoneviral
Photo: Stevie Schweighardt