Why would you want to start your own business?
by John Yates
The one single most question asked is "Why would you want to start your own business?" The easy out answer is "who wouldn't want to own their own business?" The real question is, "What would make an individual add a stress they have never experienced onto the stress an everyday individual experiences?" The answer to that is passion.
My passion began with a small Jersey heifer, Maybell. That started a deep dive into family history and learning my passion stems from the same passion those before me had. The passion for the dairy industry would seem to be a family trait for the Yates'.
Passion alone is enough to make anyone want to dive into the pool of entrepreneurship but is passion enough to keep a business afloat? In some cases but passion backed by a mission, that is what makes the thought of ever giving up unimaginable.
Our first mission was to make dairy farming sustainable on a small scale and prove that the small family dairy matters and is crucial to have in a thriving community. That mission is what Greenbrier Dairy, to become sustainable with fluid milk the large Co-op buying milk at below cost had to go. Taking ownership of our raw product and processing allowed us to pay ourselves what we have to have to be sustainable. Each day we are showing that large scale dairy farming isn't the end all be all. The herd may be small but they are mighty!
Our social mission wasn't hand picked by anyone but it is the devil we know all too well here in Appalachia, addiction. Helping those battling addiction is a double edge sword for us. We are training a workforce that doesn't exist in our part of the world and we are bettering the community around us! This mission that has become the backbone of my passion has defined the business as a social enterprise and we sport that label with pride.
When you witness the changes we have been grateful to be apart of, the extra stress this crazy world of entrepreneurship puts on us is more than worth it. It's the changes we are making within our industry, individuals lives, and the community that made me want to start my own business.