Anything less than 100% commitment is 0%
If you’re going to start a business together and truly succeed, it’s going to take a few things: money, some more money, and…an insanely computer-savvy guy to build you a sweet website. (You thought the third one was gonna be more money, didn’t you?)
Aside from resources and a base, starting a company with a partner who’s also part of your personal life means you both need a desire for something more, an unwavering passion, and you need to believe in your product and yourselves more than ever you believed in the Tooth Fairy when you were 9.
But don’t just think of passion as an emotion; when it comes to starting a business, passion is the force that compels first-time entrepreneurs to stop everything else they’re doing and, in the case of Alexis Gallivan and Jennie Dundas, open up an ice cream shop.
The two didn’t know anything about business when they opened Brooklyn’s first Blue Marble Ice Cream in 2007. They actually didn’t even know how to make ice cream. But Dundas says their love for the idea and their drive told them they had to do it. “[Alexis] just had this inspiration and I shared it immediately,” Dundas says. “So we made the decision to kind of jump off the cliff together.”
And after they jumped, they quickly learned the importance of having each other. Because of their close relationship, they were able to take challenges head on -- like opening their second location just six months after their first. Dundas explains they were approached by their now landlord about the space in Prospect Heights just months after opening their first scoop shop. The rent was unbeatable, “but we just went through a winter, so we were losing money in the beginning and didn’t have a lot of resources,” she says. “So Alexis was really hesitant to jump into another location before we had proven the model could work.”
But Dundas had a strong intuition about the second shop, so she secured a loan with the trust and support of her business partner, and opened the second Blue Marble.
Nine years later, Blue Marble has three scoop shops and its non-profit organization, Blue Marble Dreams, builds ice cream shops with women in distressed areas like Rwanda and Haiti. That’s the power of passion.