I was honored to share my story with SheVentures Podcast in support of entrepreneurs everywhere doing the hardest things every single day. I’ve very recently begun publicly opening up about my entrepreneurial journey— particularly around my mental health challenges during my last business— as I navigated a messy financial betrayal by my business partner, fought to save my company (and myself) and lived on the verge of bankruptcy for more than four years.
While there was a miraculously happy ending, the effect of the lived experience led to such deep personal burnout, I honestly wasn’t sure I’d ever fully recover. The path of healing has been long and twisty, but the invaluable learnings I’ve collected along the way now sit in my bones in a way that have reformed my foundation. This part of my life story no longer feels like it defines me (which is why I finally feel like I’m capable of telling it), but it has inextricably shaped who I am. I have integrated it and alchemized it. Scars have become superpowers.
One of the learnings I continue to reconnect with over and over is the potent grace of witnessing each other’s stories, allowing us to connect to the true humanity found in the commonality of our struggles AND our strengths. Being seen has allowed me to heal. Seeing myself in others has allowed me to heal. Because when we see our experiences mirrored in someone else, we’re offered a comforting reflection that shows us we’re not alone. And truly, if we choose connection, we never are.
If you feel to listen to the podcast, thank you. If you want to tell me your story, I’d love to read it or listen. No matter what you’re going through right now, I hope you know that you don’t have to go through it on your own. And I don’t know where or when, but I do know that someday when you’re ready to share it, your story may very well become the brave stuff of someone else’s survival guide.
(from She Ventures website)
05:31 — Bonnie Coberly describes how she was motivated to her to start her business, Healthy Bites, after suffering for years with a digestive disorder.
9:50 — Coberly admits that she was an accidental entrepreneur. In hindsight, she realizes that in trying to help her clients eat better, she unintentionally created valuable market research, and a pilot that made all the difference is getting her startup off the ground. Spoiler: It involved a lot of kitchen door-to-door-ing!
14:49 — Just how many meals per person did Coberly produce when the business took off? And how much did she charge for her meal service?
17:25 — Think the business is all about the food? Think again. Learn how Healthy Bites became as much about logistics and delivery as food (especially in 2008).
22:05 — When you go into business with someone, there is a high level of trust. But what happens when your partner breaks that trust and leaves you with several hundred thousand dollars of debt? Coberly talks openly about the betrayal.
26:47 — It could happen to anyone: Find out how Coberly dealt with this massive debt that landed in her lap.
30:36 — She shares what she should have done in hindsight to potentially mitigate her losses.
35:53 — Coberly talks openly about the depression and despair she felt in running her business. Learn how she coped even at her darkest times, when it almost killed her — literally.
39:30 — Do founders engage in martyrdom? Coberly and SheVentures host Doria Lavagnino discuss.
41:02 — Coberly gives you her top tips to get out of a slump. (You can start them today!)
46:08 — Now a consultant and holistic coach, Coberly gives us an insight into how her she helps entrepreneurs today.