Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to share your story and your advice. First things first, though, I am sure readers would love to learn more about you. What is something about you that would surprise people?
Candice: I thoroughly enjoy a good road trip. You get to discover so many experiences you would have otherwise missed. One of my favorites being when you see a sign on the side of the highway, and make a quick turn down a dirt road to see what adventure awaits. My boyfriend and I once stumbled upon the most serene blueberry field in the backyard of a family home. They gave us buckets, and we picked pounds of blueberries while listening to the birds chirping as the sun set for the day. If we had flown instead, that moment would have never occurred.
Adam: How did you get here? What failures, setbacks or challenges have been most instrumental to your growth?
Candice: Through hard work, sacrifice, and dedication. I realized early on that it’s not necessary to be the smartest person in a niche, but if you’re the hardest working then you’re a force to be reckoned with. Over the years though I’ve been tested time and time again, whether it’s learning the hard lessons about relying on a platforms algorithms, losing the bulk of our team to larger companies poaching our employees, or the trials and tribulations of managing explosive growth early on. Each setback allows me to learn a hard lesson, rethink how we do things, and come back stronger.
Adam: In your experience, what are the defining qualities of an effective leader? How can leaders and aspiring leaders take their leadership skills to the next level?
Candice: I’m a big believer in charisma and the ability to effectively communicate with others. I’m always in awe of those who not only get the job done, but do it in a way that’s friendly and relatable. They can take their leadership skills to the next level by lifting up those around them, like pillars. The higher you build your pillars, the stronger your support system and taller you stand.
Adam: What are your three best tips applicable to entrepreneurs, executives and civic leaders?
Candice: Listen. It’s easy to get caught up in your own thoughts, ideas, and methodology. One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone doesn’t give another their full attention. When someone is sharing their thoughts with you, don’t pretend to listen and end up leaving the conversation without any clue what they were actually saying.
You’d be amazed at the strong connections you’ll foster simply by being fully present in conversations. Put your phone down, don’t think about the errands you have to run later, and instead give the person your undivided attention. In an office setting, it will increase morale. On a personal note, it will strengthen your friendships and relationships.
Learn. Soak up as much knowledge as humanly possible from a range of sources, on a consistent basis. You will never know it all, and times will keep on changing. The success of yourself and the company most likely rely heavily on you being ahead of the curve, not behind it.
Lean. You can struggle to do everything on your own, and do a somewhat decent job. Or, you can trust others to help you achieve your goal in a much more efficient and stress free way. When you need help (personally and professionally) ask for it, accept it, and of course offer it in return. Delegate tasks that are simple for someone else to handle, those that you do not excel at, and also the things that cause you massive amounts of stress. In turn you’ll actually be more productive and happy on a daily basis.
Adam: What is the single best piece of advice you have ever received?
Candice: Spend 20% of your time doing the work, and 80% of the time getting it in front of the right people. This helps me to remember not to obsess over perfection, because you can have the world’s most interesting product, the best photos, and most detailed descriptions. But if nobody ever sees it, what’s the point of it all?
Adam: What is one thing everyone should be doing to pay it forward?
Candice: I’d like to see more people sharing the lessons they’ve learned along the way with others. When starting my first business Bikini Luxe, I found that the majority of the individuals I reached out to for advice didn’t give me the time of day for fear of helping their future competition.
So now I make it a mission to answer questions from budding entrepreneurs when they come into my inbox, and share tips on social media. If everyone made an effort to educate others, society as a whole would prosper.
Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?
Candice: I enjoy brainstorming, which frequently means I come up with an exciting new business idea. I get criticized by my friends and family because each one is more complex and time consuming than the next, so to keep myself focused i’ve begun creating miniature business plans for future reference. This allows me to get all the creative details down on paper so they stop bouncing around in my head. It’s actually a lot of fun for me, and is probably a strange hobby but i’d like to say it’s all just part of the creative process.
I spend a lot of time exploring farms and planting wildflowers, which was ingrained in me from a young age. Creating the Karma Honey Project to save the bees gave me the perfect excuse to get outside and get my hands dirty, which allows me to destress and give back to the community at the same time.
I also enjoy getting outside and doing things such as hiking, playing tennis, reading a book on the beach, and perusing farmers markets. This helps me to disconnect and recharge, keeping my spirits high.