Updated: Jul 20
Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Sarah Joseph, Founder @Live bio
How could you describe your career path in few words?
My professional career was a great learning path and an adventurous one. I graduated from college not knowing exactly what I wanted to do. I studied Nutrition & Dietetics, and I discovered during my last year the Food technology domain. I wanted to work in that field, it was interesting and unique. For that, I traveled to Beauvais, a rural area in France to study Food & health Engineering. I learned a lot about myself and the different department in a Food industry. In the end of 2019 after few years of experience in France and in Lebanon, I lost my job in Lebanon because of the Lebanese economic crisis. I was hoping to move back to France for good, but when the Covid-19 pandemic arises, my plan to leave was postponed. At that time, I felt it was the right time to launch my own business. I had the opportunity since we had the space and the land. I began my journey by creating a variety of olive "tapenade". Even though I felt I wasn't ready. In fact, I thought I didn't have the skills required for an agribusiness owner, but I tried, and the flavor of olive spread where incredible and saw it later on as a destiny. Live bio was launch in the middle of the Lebanese economic crisis, celebrating Lebanon innovative potentials and growth for natural and local agriculture products.
What was your most challenging experience, and has it changed your mindset?
At the beginning, confidence was my challenge. I didn't know I could create several successful recipes and produce a final product from farm to fork. From harvest, to production, preservation and finally packaging. I was afraid of my clients' opinions and comments. First, I took the failures by heart but then I kept on trying and actually I was learning more about the business. Because of my mistakes, I felt I knew more about my product than anyone else. You will always know, but you will never know what it really takes until you do it. The good thing about launching a business during this unprecedented time is that you will face many difficult challenges. It is those challenges that will push you to be the best at what you do.
In fact, despite my commitment and perseverance traits, building a small business was a challenge and a great initiative to improve myself and give me strength and persistence.
Based on your experience, what skills should an entrepreneur develop in 2023?
I think an entrepreneur in 2023 should be resilient. Countries are facing a lot of challenges from economic crisis, health risks, political conflicts and environmental challenge. For that reason, an entrepreneur with a clear mission and vision should be resilient.
A business owner who knows what he wants and has the capacity not necessarily financially, to achieve his goal should never stop when facing obstacles. He must not give up; on the contrary, he should be grateful for what he has and enjoy the ride with all its ups and downs. There were times where I reconsidered my choices because every challenge counts for a small business owner considering that he over care of his product and overthink every situation. The better way is to see how our business will turn out to be 5 years from now with a positive mindset and an open heart.
Based on your recent experiences, if you had one piece of advice for an entrepreneur's success in the context of 2023, what would it be?
My advice for anyone who wants to launch his own business in 2023 first to think about the solution they are offering for their clients. Second, the impact their business has on the community and finally the potential of their business growth. While participating in local exhibitions and workshops for SME's, I noticed that a lot of businesses couldn't pursue because of new environmental challenges or new customer trends and behavior. In my case, I didn't do a study before launching my business, suddenly I found myself working on the production of olive tapenade during the pandemic. I just thought that we have the land, and we should create some products. During the pandemic we had no other option, only to create local product to limit the import of unhealthy ones. When I was selling in the market, I knew that consumers didn't know it exists and that my product has a potential not only in the Lebanese market but abroad. Later on, I developed the business plan, improved the existing products and created new one for our portfolio. Nowadays with the rise of new technologies, the competition is everywhere. An entrepreneur should be a creator, often updated on the market trend and the customers' needs.