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National Women's Small Business Month: Meet TL Matthew

Introduce yourself to the Visions of Greatness audience.

My name is TL Matthew and I am the CEO and Founder of SumFoods the maker of SumSweet. I speak and host a podcast, titled The Art of Mastery.

Who or what inspired you to pursue entrepreneurship?

I can't say anyone influenced me. All I remember, I was encouraged to go to school make good grades and get a good job. There was always something inside of me that drove me to start my own business. While at work, I would always count the money I was making for the companies I worked for and I found myself disgruntled, undervalued and under paid.

Tell the Visions of Greatness audience more about your products/services.

My business SumFoods is a food manufacturing business. SumFoods is a natural foods manufacturer that's changing the way people sweeten their foods. We create functional low-calorie foods with no bitterness, off-taste or after-taste. All of our products are as natural, unprocessed and good for you as we can possibly make them! At SumFoods, we use SumSweet+ (our proprietary sweetener blend) as a key sweetener ingredient for our products giving people a healthier option for food and desserts.

SumFoods offers an assortment of products from sweetener blends (so you can make your own desserts) to instant mixes (so you can go the easy route). SumSweet+ is a safe sugar option for diabetics or if you are just trying to lose weight.

I also do public speaking engagements, I find that this is a perfect opportunity to share more of my personal story and encourage others in their quest for starting their own business.

What adjustments have you made in your life and business since the pandemic?

The pandemic halted our 2020 growth plans. We were planning on setting up booths at the Farmers markets, and was planning on going into distribution with a large natural foods distributor. But, those were placed on hold due to COVID-19. Of course like everyone else our business communications went online and it's been very difficult to communicate with other businesses. What once took minutes takes hours and what took hours now take days. The transition hasn't been easy.

What advice would you give to women struggling to balance their life and business?

I've been in business for myself for 25 years. Since before my oldest was born. So, my kids have grown up with me being considered an at-home mom. But, I've always worked. My advice is to segment your day. I'd see my kids off to school, and stop in the afternoons when they came home. Then go back in the evenings to finish what I didn't get finished when they have gone to bed. My schedule has always flexed around my children's activities. I highly recommend taking time for one's self. To successfully balance your life, and feel as though you are accomplishing your desires, there are several things you can start to do. One of the first ones is to simply create a schedule.

Start using a calendar, that way you can see what you have going on and when. Plus it allows you to make time for those important things in life. I recommend using two different calendars, one for work and one for your personal life. When you have a large project to complete start planning it out and allotting time on your calendar.

Schedule in your breaks and be aware of any appointments or errand that you have to run immediately after work. This way, when you know you have to pick up your children, you won't be tempted to stay a few minutes longer at work. For your home calendar, get into the habit of scheduling family time, along with time for housework, shopping and some alone time, just for you.

Share with us one ingredient in your secret sauce for success.

Positive self-talk, self-discipline, personal accountability, setting realistic goals, and pivoting. Use failure as teaching tool.

How can the Visions of Greatness audience connect with you?


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