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Here are 10 things I’ve learned running Madison Eats

and one of them is that there are never too many tacos

MADISON EATS is 10 years old this week!! I never realized how big this milestone would feel. 

I can’t THANK YOU enough for your support over the years, but especially over the last year. From a solo entrepreneur to a company with 4 employees, I continue to feel inspired by what I do and the people I work with. 

From June 2020 - June 2021, despite not being able to operate our tours, we put about $42,000 back into the community through sales and supported 60 small businesses, half of which are owned by people of color. We resumed our downtown and bike tours in June 2021, and have been selling out almost every weekend! And we’ve almost sold out our Mexico trip for this year. THANK YOU! Keep reading for a list of 10 things I've learned in the past 10 years. 
Owner Otehlia Cassidy in the city she loves
I got a chance to talk about my inspiration for starting and continuing my work in food tourism, especially since the pandemic, on Heritage Radio Network recently. You can listen here: https://heritageradionetwork.org/episode/food-tours-exploring-midwest-one-bite-time
team work makes the dream work
I’ve learned a lot over the past 10 years, and not just about running a business. In fact, most of what I learned is about life. Here are 10 things I’ve learned in the past 10 years. 

What are some things you have learned in life or work?

1. There’s plenty of room for you and your ideas, and the sky's the limit! Don’t settle, don’t diminish yourself, and always build your fellow entrepreneurs UP.

2. There IS such a thing as too much ice cream. (Just thinking back to a tour where we “accidentally” were served 15 pints of ice cream. And ate them all.)

3. There is NO such thing as too many tacos. And the ones in the back of a grocery store are the best, imo. Speaking of tacos, click here for some we love!

4. Your community is the people who are there for you whether you are doing well, or struggling. Find them, support them back and keep them close.

5. You can work and have kids if you want to. I believe that showing them the example of creating a life you LOVE is one of the best gifts you can give your children. My kids were 9 and 4 when I started Madison Eats (click here for a Forbes article where I talked about staying sane working from home). Hopefully they now realize they can do anything they set their minds to.

6. Bigger is not better when it comes to tour group size. Dare I share that I once “lost” 2 people in the Capitol when I led a group of 24 people at one time (truth is, they kind of lost themselves, but still, I am responsible!). We found them again, don’t worry, but after that, we capped our walking tours at 14/guide.

7. Hire a team that has your back and then KEEP them. I have been fortunate to have the most supportive, smart and dedicated team and I hope I show my appreciation enough!

8. Find balance. Running a small business can be a 24/7 job, but I won’t let it be. I claim my weekends when I can, make sure to spend time with my kids, and do other things that I enjoy, such as dancing and hiking.

9. I learned how to make myself laugh for real, by fake laughing. It's a trick I use on and off camera that lifts my spirits when they're down. 

10. Keep learning and growing! Your little idea might actually be a big one, but you’ll never know unless you try. 

Bonus tip and maybe the MOST important: Don’t let anyone dim your sparkle. Do what YOU love. Find your joy. Dream big. And keep going. 

Stay tuned for a giveaway over on Instagram next week!

Published on Sep 13 2021

Last Updated on Sep 14 2021

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