Joel Friant, serial entrepreneur and founder of “The Original Habanero Shaker,” sat down with IdeaMensch to talk about his latest project. According to Friant, the American palate is becoming more open to spicy food, and his product is on the cutting edge of this trend. He stumbled onto his habanero concept through his Thai fast-food restaurant business (“The Thai Guy“). It wasn`t long before the Original Habanero Shaker was in supermarkets throughout the Pacific Northwest.
As his chili pepper business was gaining momentum, Friant became involved in real estate investing in the early 2000s, enjoying considerable success. He took something of a sojourn after the financial meltdown to regroup, which led him to breathe new life into his spice business. He took the Original Habanero Shaker online and was able to bring the company to new heights using an e-commerce business model.
Friant sees education as the key to success, but his view on learning is bit different than the conventional standpoint. According to Joel Friant, learning really only begins after college. The key, the seasoned entrepreneur argues, is to seek out mentors and teachers who make their money from business, not from coaching or selling information products. One piece of advice he offers to would-be entrepreneurs is to keep the big picture in mind and connect with potential customers rather than focus on technology and gimmicks. Of course, tools are important to marketing, but there is no substitute for that one-on-one connection with the customer.
The Original Habanero Shaker is now available on Amazon, and Friant credits his continuing professional development in business with giving him the skills to market his product online with such success. It was his commitment to lifelong learning that gave him the confidence to take risks and move beyond his comfort zone. According to Friant, this is one of the necessary ingredients of success in business.