Editor’s note: Entrepreneurs have to always be ready for surprises. Just ask Theresa Chu. After WRALTechWire met Ms. Chu, co-owner of Barley Labs in Durham, along with her partner Scott Beaudry, and we conducted a three-part video interview, Editor Rick Smith asked Ms. Chu to blog about the challenges Barley faces as it competes in an Intuit-sponsored contest for a 30-second commercial that will air during the Super Bowl. Incorporate with this story is the second of the three-part video interview. Part one was published today as part of a Q&A with Barley’s co-founders. By the way, voting continues in the Intuit contest.
DURHAM, N.C. – There are so many things for which I can prepare … but my dog passing some terrible gas in a very small TV studio is not one of them.
My background is in public relations and as any PR person can tell you, we basically live our work lives with the following rule: Plan for the worst, hope for the best. I’ve trained executives to be camera ready. I’ve prepped key messages. I’ve created crisis plans. But at the end of the day, I can’t plan for everything.
Let me back up. Word spread fast about Barley Labs being a finalist in the Intuit Small Business Big Game contest to win a Super Bowl ad, and we were getting a lot of amazing media opportunities. One of them was from the wonderful folks at WRAL who invited us to film interviews for a new video series they’ll be posting on WRAL Tech Wire. They also asked us to bring our girl Barley.
Here’s the issue: Barley is a sweet, sweet girl, but she’s a rescue dog that had a pretty rough life before we adopted her. Unfortunately, that means she’s an anxious dog and sometimes that manifests itself through her belly.
When we got to the WRAL studios, I was feeling great. I had prepared with my partner Scott by going through the potential questions and ensuring we were ready to answer anything and everything. By the end of the interview, we were both excited and relieved. The interview went well, and Barley behaved herself the entire time…until the sound engineer, a dog lover, came out to say hello. Barley got scared, jumped away, started barking and passed the worst gas in a very small room.
You can’t prepare for that.
But I guess that’s how this whole experience has been. When we started Barley Labs, we never could have imagined the possibility of a Super Bowl ad. How do you prepare for something you can’t even fathom? But as an entrepreneur, this small business is our life, our passion. So we are going to continue to try to prepare for everything we can, and do the best we can with the unexpected. Because sometimes the unexpected isn’t the worst—it can in fact be the best thing to ever happen to your business.