“Figure it out as you go, but just believe in yourself. Have a good product, treat others with respect, and just do it.”
In this Expanded episode, I have the pleasure of speaking to Traci B. Johannson, visionary co-founder and CEO of 3SonsFoods, about building a product-based business from scratch that also supports ecosystems and environments. Her story is also an inspiring example of following the seemingly random breadcrumbs toward your calling and purpose work, as 3SonsFoods all began with fundraising efforts for rhino conservation inspired by her middle son, Luke. In this conversation, Traci shares the many obstacles she faced, including the local farmer’s market not letting her have a booth because they didn’t think her sauce would sell and navigating no income after divorce, and how she stayed in motion despite the ‘nos’. Traci’s determination to prove naysayers wrong allowed their salsas to reach a vast audience with distribution across 1,100 stores nationwide. If the people you love tell you that your vision is impossible and crazy, and you’re looking for an expansive example of powering forward with confidence (despite the internal doubt and fear that creeps up), this episode is for you.
Order your Diablo Verde sauces in time for the holidays (they make a wonderful gift!!) and save 15% with code MAKEITHAPPEN15 at www.3sonsfoods.com.
Grab our book, Cultivating Confidence: Live Life Fully Expressed, to gain the confidence necessary for bringing your vision to life.
Work through our Have Your Own Back AcuSesh™ Album to build trust in yourself, overcome self-doubt, raise your sense of worth, and have faith in your ability to bring your visions to life.
Grab our actionable free workbooks on making the impossible inevitable and navigating the Terror Barrier here.
What to listen for:
- Getting to know Traci, Ayden, Luke, and George’s mission
- Traci’s story of having limited opportunities and how that catalyzed her
- Donating to causes that are unrelated to your business
- Your vision and mission doesn’t have to make sense to others
- Getting rejected by the local farmer’s market early on
- Not letting other people’s projections stop you
“There’s other instances in my life where I have allowed other people’s opinions to create fear in my life. We have people in our lives, and they mean well, or they think they mean well. But because you’re doing it a different way, that makes them nervous, that brings up their feelings of their insecurities, and they’ll voice those concerns, or they put their fears on you. So I have allowed, in other instances, I have allowed that to influence me. But for this, thank God I didn’t.”
- Knocking on doors continuously and not giving up
- How Traci stayed in motion after divorce with no income
- Being a mother and letting your children fuel your drive
- Visualizing their product on shelves
- Working with family and facing core fears
- Not going for the “safe” decisions
“I grew up with two amazing, wonderful, vibrant parents who both had a drinking problem. So there was a lot of drama and things like that. At one point, we were on food stamps, and that fear comes back. And when you grow up in a household with drinking and drama and screaming and things like that, you learn to say, ‘yes, ma’am,’ and you’re quiet. So I have had to teach myself, don’t go for the safe decision because, in the end, the safe decision is actually the mistake.”
- Important lessons she’s learned from her sons
- Using other people’s doubt as motivation
- What she did when her ex said, “you’ll never make it without me.”
- Struggling and suffering for the things we want
- Setting boundaries with negative people
“Eliminate the time you spend with negative people, even though some of those people could be family. I’m a Pisces. I absorb people’s feelings. And so I just can’t let that in because I’ve got important things to do. I’ve got mouths to feed and animals to save and universities to pay for. When you’re running your race, you don’t look back.”
- Going to South Africa and working with rhino reserves
- How Traci and her boys have grown through this work
- Navigating being a mom and a business partner
- Challenging conversations they encountered on the path
- Starting a business when you don’t know what to do
- You don’t need a complicated business plan
About Traci and 3SonsFoods:
Traci B. Johannson stands as the visionary Co-Founder and CEO behind 3SonsFoods, LLC—a thriving family business dedicated to producing an award winning line of creamy cilantro sauces, Diablo Verde Salsa offered in Mild, Medium, and Hot, and Diablo Vegan Salsa in Mild, Medium, and Hot. Diablo Verde and Diablo Vegan, not only tantalize taste buds but also serve a noble cause: animal conservation, with Diablo Verde Salsa benefiting rhino conservation and Diablo Vegan Salsa contributing to wolf conservation.
The family’s journey began a mere six years ago, when the boys ranged in ages from 9 to 13 years old. Luke, the middle son of 3SonsFoods headed the charge with his ingenious Rhino fundraising birthday parties, in which he asked his friends for donations for rhino conservation in lieu of gifts. In 2016, the family joined forces with Luke and merging their culinary passion, they started selling their Momma’s creamy cilantro salsa to raise more funds and awareness!
Today, the boys, ages 16 years old to 21 years old, have grown into impressive young men and alongside their Mother, have steered the family business to impressive heights.
Their salsas have reached a vast audience, are distributed across 1,100 stores nationwide, and are available online through HEB.com, 3SonsFoods.com, and Amazon.
Traci’s role in inspiring her sons to channel entrepreneurship towards positive change is a testament to her unwavering commitment. In Traci’s partnership with her sons, a potent blend of business acumen and ethical responsibility has emerged. As they continue to spread awareness and inspiration, the Johansson family stands as an embodiment of entrepreneurship with a purpose, demonstrating how business can indeed be a force for good. Traci is blessed to have built 3SonsFoods alongside her 3 sons and takes great pride in helping conserve rhinos and wolves for future generations. “EAT DIABLO SAVE THE WILD!”
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