As a part of the Morning Lazziness series about strong women leaders who attained success with their incredible ideas, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shristi Patni.
“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious”- Ruth Reichl
Shristi is a content writer and owner of F and B Recipes. Formerly the Chief Content Officer at Raletta, she is currently working on her second cookbook.
Many thanks for doing this for us; please let our users know about yourself and F and B Recipes?
From a very young age, I was inclined towards writing. Stories would fascinate me, and before I knew it, I had become an avid reader. I was always the first one to be selected for essay-writing competitions in my school and would always be found contributing articles to the school and college magazine.
I started freelancing and writing reviews on Zomato to test the waters and was fortunate enough to get an internship because of that. I worked my way from an intern to becoming the Chief Content Officer.
In September 2020, I started F and B Recipes.
F and B Recipes is a food and wellness blog that helps educate people about how to inculcate healthy eating habits, how to cook delicious recipes, and resources to maintain or enhance your mental and physical well-being.
What would you say are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur, and why?
Persistence, the zeal to learn new things and take feedback. Entrepreneurship isn’t just about inventing ‘cool’ things. Instead, it requires more effort than anything else. Being an entrepreneur means being involved in each and every stage of product development and sometimes even handling all the departments from finance to marketing. If you’re not passionate about what you’re creating, chances are you’ll give up soon after you’ve started your journey.
What are your plans for the future, how do you plan to grow this company?
F and B Recipes have just begun to grow. Since we’ve started, we’ve managed to get a monthly viewership of more than 5,000 visitors every month, and F and B Recipes Pinterest viewership has crossed 180,000 visitors this month.
Since we’ve got a great response, we’re planning to stick to the same strategy and see where it goes.
What are you learning now? Why is that important?
I’m currently pursuing a course on meal planning. Most people confuse meal planning with planning portion sizes rather than meals themselves! The course is really interesting, and the truth is told, I’m fascinated by how much I thought I knew about it, but in reality, I didn’t.
If you started your business again, what things would you do contrarily?
To start with, I would plan everything properly rather than diving head-first. Apart from that, I would spend more time and effort marketing the blog.
How have the pandemic and Lockdown affected you or your new business?
The pandemic has been harsh on everyone, and F and B Recipes was no exception since it was started in September. The biggest challenge was to build a team and coordinate with them. Since half of our employees live in other countries such as New York and Bahrain, coordinating became a challenge.
Over time, we learned how to work more efficiently. The challenges that we initially faced have made us stronger and more resilient.
How do you separate yourself from your competitors?
There are hundreds, possibly thousands of people who call themself a blogger. However, being a blogger is not just about writing down anything and everything that comes to your mind.
Blogging requires serious work. From identifying what recipes to develop and how to optimize them to promote it, there’s a lot that goes on that people don’t understand.
What sets us apart is that we’re bridging the gap one article at a time. All our articles are backed up by scientific facts and are in-depth. This gives our audience a thorough knowledge of the said topic.
If we talk about our recipes, we like to develop recipes that aren’t that common. For instance, our Octopus Stew recipe is unique. You might not even find it in gourmet restaurants!
What were the top three mistakes you made starting your business, and what did you learn from them?
- I feel I should’ve started earlier. I was really underconfident and felt as if I wasn’t good enough. There’s nothing I can do to bring back the time I wasted wondering whether or not I should start writing.
- My second mistake was to spend 60% of my time writing the article and 40% on marketing it. Later, I realized it had to be the opposite.
- My third mistake was to start my blog in the midst of a pandemic. Things would’ve been a lot easier otherwise. However, I did get to learn a lot, so I’m not complaining! (*laughs*)
Tell us a little bit about your marketing process; what has been the most successful form of marketing for you?
People don’t realize the potential of Pinterest when it comes to marketing food and recipes. It’s the best platform to grow your audience. So far, we’ve managed to get 180,000 unique views every month.
What have been your biggest challenges, and how did you overcome them?
My biggest challenge was building a team. I wanted to have people like me who were passionate about food and health.
Apart from that, most people wish to work in a corporate organization. When you tell them you’re a blogger, they don’t take you seriously.
I have a great network of people, especially on Linkedin, that helped me connect with the right kind of people that have today become an essential part of my team.
What was your first business idea, and what did you do with it?
My first business idea was opening a spa for dogs. I came up with the idea for a marketing assignment during college, and I had got not only full marks for the same but also a great response from my fellow students.
I would’ve been a pioneer of the same at that time, but I didn’t pursue it as I didn’t believe I had it in me to establish or run a full-fledged business.
What’s a productivity tip you swear by?
I am maintaining a journal! It makes me feel super productive. Every morning, I glance at the list of to-do things. It gives me a clear idea of what my day would look like. This helps me plan my day better and manage my time efficiently.
How do you personally overcome fear?
There’s no ‘solution’ or an instant remedy to overcome fear. Mountain Dew got it right, ‘Darr ke aage jeet hai.’ You can only overcome fear by doing what scares you the most.
For me, it was writing as much as I could. Today, my articles have been published on the blogs of prestigious universities such as the University of Michigan, University of Mary Washington, and Touro College.
Which writer inspires you the most?
I regularly read Brian Dean and like how informative his articles are. I also keep pursuing courses that help me hone my skills.
Can you recommend one book, one podcast, and one online course for entrepreneurs?
- Book: Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
- Podcast: Super Soul
- Online course: Hubspot’s Content Marketing Course
If you only had $1000 dollars to start a new business, knowing everything you know now, how would you spend it?
Honestly, all on marketing!
What is your favorite quote?
By each crime and every kindness, we birth our future – David Mitchell
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.