The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team.
Parker Olson is up.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Parker Olson, and In early 2020, I found myself obsessed with the benefits of functional mushrooms and needed something to fuel my ironman training. Next thing I knew, I quit my job as a Sr. Associate at Grant Thornton and hundreds of pounds of raw ingredients & packaging materials overwhelmed my bedroom…
So instinctively, as things grew a bit more and more, I threw out my bed in March of 2020 to give me more space in the bedroom, moved into a tent in the backyard and I launched Fôrij – from my bedroom.
At Forij, we are making breakfast anti-inflammatory (because aging kind of sucks). We create functional foods that genuinely improve people's quality of life. Bridging the gap between supplement and food, all of our recipes combine organic anti-inflammatory supplements (re: functional mushrooms) & wholefood ingredients to deliver natural energy, mental focus & nutrient-dense fuel.
What did it take / how did you get started?
I’ve really always known I was interested in doing something on my own. Autonomy was and is very important to me. With my W-2 job, I knew I had no control, so I started to test out other things in my life that I did have control over, like my diet. So I spent 18 months doing different diet regiments. I even mixed in lifestyle changes… and discovered, hey, I really like this.
During those 18 months I documented the process on how different dietary changes affected me. The long and short of it was out of this 18 month experiment, I felt best with the functional mushrooms. That’s what got me started. The challenge however is mushrooms don’t taste good though, so I knew there was something big here.
I would purchase the mushroom powder, which again, didn’t taste good by itself and try it in oatmeal and other things… and eventually it evolved to granola.
This still never made it into a business yet though. It wasn’t until one day I went to a conference and people started asking what I do and I didn’t have a great unique answer compared to what I was hearing from other folks, so I started to say I was working on a food product… talked to an angel investor at that conference and he liked it, and was like that is going to be huge, send me your pitch deck… and he was also like, actually you know who will love this is Sam Par. The rest was history.
I went on fiverr, got a logo put together and I threw together a pitch deck in three days and sent it to this guy.
What does the future look like for you and your hustle?
Our philosophy and future is simple - 100% whole-food ingredients + functional mushroom extracts. Every day I get to wake up and do what I love doing and that’s what the future looks like.
What drives / motivates you?
On a crusade to help people transform their health by seamlessly incorporating healthy mushrooms into their diet.
What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do?
Break all the rules. Do all your work on someone else’s dime.
You have to get creative.
You shouldn’t be afraid to have a corporate job, but you should have a roadmap as to where that is going to take you.
There are opportunities now more than ever to do part time work that can help fund your dream to leverage more of the steps.
Take that first step and follow your intuition. What is that first step? If it isn’t right, you’ll know. Building something and having it fail is really valuable.
What has been the hardest part of the hustle?
Learning how to have a hard conversation is tough. This has been the most valuable learning for me. Doing my own thing has forced me to get uncomfortable.
What are a few resources that you'd recommend?
Dave Parker - Trajectory Startup: ideation to product market fit
Keith farazi - never be alone
Matt mchane - Green light
Side or full-time hustle?
List the founders
How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?
# of Employees?
When did you start?
How much did it cost to launch?
What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised?
Any call to action?
I am always trying to meet people in the space. Feel free to reach out to me!