Peter Egan, owner of AgStandard Almonds, shares his journey from roasting almonds in a backyard to running a successful business. He emphasizes the importance of hard work, reinvesting profits for growth, and learning from mistakes, especially in inventory management.
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Hi, my name's Peter Egan. I'm 31 years old. I'm the owner of AgStandard Almonds and I earn $36,000 per year. AgStandard Almonds is a small manufacturing company. I wear a lot of hats. I am the lead roaster. I'm the head accountant. I'm number one salesman. I head the marketing department. I work the packaging line. I do sales calls. I'm the one working the trade show booth, just about everything that goes on. I'm the dishwasher too. Pretty much everything that goes on in this company, I have something to do with. I'm the owner of the company and in my eyes a good owner is involved in a lot of, in all of the processes. It started incredibly small scale. It started with roasting three pounds of almonds in a friend of mine's backyard and putting it in a package and taking it to see if anybody liked it or anybody wanted it. The feedback was great. It's had its ups and downs, but the overall feedback, people like it. They think it tastes good. They think the packaging looks nice. So we made one. The next week we made 10. And the week after that we made a hundred, and then when you can go somewhere and try and hand out a hundred things and they're gone in less than an hour, I decided to make more of them. And that was the start. My annual salary is $36,000 a year. Salary is a very interesting topic for a business owner because my goal is to have the lowest salary possible in the early days. Every dollar that stays in the business is incredibly valuable. It's how do you build from one to two? How do you build from two to four? And the more that stays in, the more opportunity there is for growth. And the more growth, the more opportunities. Longer term, the opportunity to have a larger salary is, the potential is very high if the business is successful. In the early stages, the most important part of taking a salary is mitigating the risk. And the less money that is getting pulled out for my own personal use, that's eliminating some risk. The skills and traits that help enable success in a role like mine, number one, the willingness to work hard. None of this happens without hard work. And anybody who is working toward a goal will tell you, it doesn't just happen by accident. You don't stumble upon it one day. It's a conscious effort to wake up in the morning, decide what you're gonna do and then do that. And if it works great, you build on it. And if it doesn't, try something different, and iterate, and change what you wanna do until you find what that success is. One of the biggest mistakes that I made was making too much inventory too fast. I've gotten a lot better at balancing what's coming in versus what's going out, and keeping those more even. When you have a series of incremental successes and you're feeling really good, it's really easy to go in and be like, okay, let's, I'm ready to go full speed. Let's start making as much as possible, without making sure that all the other aspects lined up.