TED Conversations

Andrew Thorp

Founder, Speakeasy Groups

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Have you reinvented yourself, or started a movement?

Seth Godin, Sir Ken Robinson and Derek Sivers all talk about the potential we have to effect the change we want and start something that attracts attention and gets followed. I believe this too, but I'd love to hear from people who've done it. What was it you changed, and why? What struggles did you have and how did you overcome them? And what lies ahead for you?


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    May 31 2011: Hi Andrew,

    I've recently made some major changes in my life, and although I'm in the very early stages, I wanted to share my idea because I've been inspired by this page (any constructive criticism is welcome).

    After 4 years of school to acquire a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Health and 2 years of unsatisfying employment as an Environmental Health Officer - more recently known as a Health Inspector - I'm currently in the process of putting together a business plan for a food distribution network that focuses on locally sourced foods, beginning with vegetable propagation and preserves, and expanding from there. Because I have an extensive understanding of the regulations, I'll be able to "cut through the red tape" for my clients.

    Demand for local food is burgeoning and will continue to gain popularity, and my business plan creates the shortest possible "farm to fork" connection and will help to accelerate the availability of locally sourced foods.

    My business will act as an interface for interested individuals and will include educational materials on the requirements of operating this type of business, assistance with food labeling (sending food samples for laboratory analysis to acquire nutritional information), and a supply contract where inventories and wholesale pricing schemes are determined. My business will have a low one-time fee for wholesale listing and to cover the aforementioned costs associated with bringing the food or food product to market, and this cost will be relative to the lowest application fee according to major suppliers in the area.

    While the business grows, I will have exclusivity contracts with select restaurants, and eventually grocery stores, until inventories grow sufficiently that I'm able to consistently service a larger number of clients. This is beneficial because these businesses will almost certainly be advertising in-house and this provides a basis for brand recognition and help generate interest at no expenditure.

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