Crazy.Thankful.Crazy Thankful.

Aside: You know you've entered the allergy-free food business when Facebook's sponsored links for you are from The National Dairy Council telling you that a milk allergy isn't the same as lactose intolerance.

It might be too soon to tell, but I think I'm starting to understand the whole entrepreneurship thing. And I believe about half of it is how you deal with people telling you you're crazy. And the less insulted I've felt by someone telling me how crazy I was and the more I've embraced it, the more I've been able to move forward. To the person who said there was no way I'd raise $6,000 on indiegogo--I made it to $5,810 and have 3 more days left. Keep calling me crazy. I'll keep proving you right.

Anyone who's managed to catch me knows I've been up to a fair amount this month. I spent the beginning of November on the West coast, seeing friends and exploring the options and opportunities for allergy-free food businesses. Back in Massachusetts, I've been knocking on every virtual door seeking funding for the Zen Cookery indiegogo campaign and popping ZC truffles into any mouth willing to try them. (Happily, they've been a consistent hit).

I've also been writing two case studies that have inspired and informed my perspective on starting up. While writing cases can be a bit like pulling teeth (as is trying to absorb the fundamentals of small business accounting), I've felt really motivated telling the stories of three Americans (one father-son pair) who did the impossible of setting up large-scale businesses in China as foreigners. This is no easy task, especially when you don't have an ounce of Chinese blood in your body or a multinational corporation to back your efforts. But these guys did it. They went sleepless. They went broke. One even went to jail. But they did it.

This month became all the nuttier as I went through two interviews for graduate school, in which I was put on the spot with question after question about this venture and my future: "What are your ambitions for the business? How could it continue once you enroll? Why do you need our program to do what you hope to do?" What floats through my head as an answer to all these "how will you ever do this?" kinds of questions is a line from Hannibal: aut viam inveniam aut faciam. Indeed, no matter the decision results next month, "if I cannot find a way, I shall make one."

All month, but especially the past two weeks, I've had to call on others like never before for their patience and support--mostly as I ask them for money, but for countless other things, too. As I ask them to tell me what they know about finance and help me craft spreadsheets. As I ask them for honest feedback on a new cookie recipe. As I call them on the phone crying and wondering why I ever thought this was a good idea.

It used to seem like some trite thing out of the Harvard Business Review or motivational speaker handbook, but 3 months in, it's becoming clearer to me than ever: success is built on people. I hope I'll be in a position this time, next year, to have a wonderful staff to help me continue baking this dream come true. But for now and for always, I'm glad to have you on my team. I really and truly couldn't get this far without you.

Happy Thanksgiving, with all my love. Today, I'm grateful for you.

And because a post involving the fundraiser wouldn't be complete without the link, click here.