17 Nov 2021 08:43

Authenticity Over Everything with Michael Chernow, Founder of Kreatures of Habit

In a book there are chapters that, together, create not just a story, but an entire world or reality that you can transport yourself into. Each of our own lives is made up of similar chapters that form the whole story of who you are and what you have become. Entrepreneurs often take elements of their own story and inject them into the businesses they start and the work they do. Few have done that as well as Michael Chernow, the founder of multiple businesses, including The Meatball Shop, Seamore’s, and now, Kreatures of Habit.

“Authenticity is not duplicable right?” Chernow says. “No one can take your authenticity away from you and you can't create it. You can't just fabricate it. It either is, or it's not… The business of businesses is storytelling, and also the business of businesses is relationships, two things that I believe wholeheartedly in. If you're not able to tell a story with your business, it's not good. Human beings for hundreds of thousands of years have always sat around a fireplace and told stories and listen to stories and some of the best times in my life, right? Like those moments where you're engaged and, you know, someone's telling a great story and people are laughing and crying and those are the moments in life that really make memories. And so how do you do that with a business?” 

To understand who Michael is, you have to peel back his layers. And with each layer you uncover, you realize that Michael’s unique life experience, his likes, interests, hobbies, and routines, they not only make up who he is, they reveal the throughline that runs across all of Michael’s business ventures. He has woven together not just one story, but many in a way that is authentically Michael. And we’re getting into all the layers right here on The Journey.

Main Takeaways:

  • Finding Lasting Inspiration to Start a Business: If you have a deep connection with the purpose behind the business that you’re creating, you may have an advantage as you hit the market and launch. When you have personally felt the need for what you’re solving, you can bring a solution to life authentically. The mission or purpose behind your company will shine through the products and marketing tactics and carry you through tough times. 
  • Authenticity Matters as a Founder: Founding a business will take everything from you — all your time, energy, and abilities. Approaching all of it with an authentic reason for “why” will give you a strong foundation to build from. When you and your resources are stretched thin — as they often are in a start-up — you can’t fake it or mask your feelings about what you’re doing. IF you are personally connected to the why of the business, you can share that enthusiasm through your work and your team will be more likely to buy in and work through cchallenges. 
  • Serial Entrepreneurship vs Founding and Staying: What it takes to found a new business isn’t always what it takes to keep running it. Some people are more drawn to going through the process of getting a new company built, staffed and launched than to sticking with a passion project for your whole life. There’s no right or wrong way to found a company, but know where your skills and passions lie and if you’re hankering for the next start-up project, maybe serial entrepreneurship is for you! 


This season of the Journey is produced by Mission.org and brought to you by UPS. To learn how UPS can help your small business, go to UPS.com/pivot.


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