The Banza cofounders share their biggest tips for success

This week onwards How success happens, I spoke with Brian and Scott Rudolph, brothers and co-founders of Banza. The business was born out of a gluten sensitivity and 10 years later has expanded from chickpea pasta to foods including pizza, macaroni and cheese and more.

You can listen to my entire conversation with Brian and Scott above, and I made four key points.

Related: 7 Challenges Successful People Overcome

It’s more fun to start a business if you’re passionate about the mission

Before Banza, Brian had considered starting a technology company. The idea was started by a friend, who asked him a simple question: “If you knew you had to work on it for the next 10 years, would you still do it?”

This made him realize that he wasn’t particularly passionate about it. Around the same time, Brian discovered he had a gluten sensitivity and was determined to make a pasta he could eat. He soon discovered that chickpea-based pasta didn’t exist. People were excited about the idea, but his personal needs and passion for the product helped it evolve into a business idea he was excited about. He soon convinced his brother Scott to quit his job in finance to help him launch Banza. Ten years later, it expanded to other comfort food categories such as pizza, mac and cheese and waffles.

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Approaching challenges with long-term optimism and real-time realism will lead to longevity

Despite many initial manufacturing and marketing challenges, Brian and Scott remained confident in the tremendous opportunity they had to create family staples. They believed people would choose a nutritionally superior, great-tasting version of pasta over conventional alternatives.

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Focus on hiring the best people from the start and you will continue to attract the best talent

Brian and Scott believe that first hires are one of the most important decisions you can make, as attracting top talent creates a virtuous cycle. They are amazed by the caliber of the team that now leads and works at the company. As Banza grew, the company was structured around employee talent, not the other way around.

Invest time in building a trusted network of people you admire and trust

Brian and Scott spent a lot of time online in the early days. They wanted to learn from brands they admired, like Chobani, and weren’t afraid to send cold emails to academics who had written research papers on legume pasta. Their goal was to gain as much knowledge as possible and build strong relationships along the way. They attribute their initial success to this approach.

Related: 11 Skills That Will Make You Super Successful

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