Defining Success: Q&A with Ryan McCoy, CSMO Nature Nate's Honey Co
From the Farm:

Defining Success: A Behind the Scenes Q&A with Ryan McCoy

At Nature Nate’s, we value curiosity, mentorship and innovation. That’s why we work with students at universities across the country to expand our horizons and help others grow. Honey allows us to give back and share our mission with others.

This month, Ryan McCoy, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, will be speaking at Texas A&M University in the Center for Retailing Studies. A graduate of Texas A&M, he will sharing with students his career journey and what he’s learned along the way. We asked him about his career, what A&M means to him and why he values helping others.

Q: Tell us about your career journey.

A: I started out majoring in engineering and ended up in the school of architecture. When I graduated, the companies I interviewed with weren’t very warm. They were systematic, programmatic and asked questions that seemed they were more interested in me as a tool than as a person. I interviewed with a guy who had a company in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space. It was all about selling and interacting with people. I told him my story and that I wanted to work entry-level and work my way up. He loved that idea and I made a career change.

As I journeyed through the CPG space, I started at a small company and grew up with the company, and it took me a while to realize what I wanted to do. I told my wife that I’d love to stay in the CPG space but it has to be small, natural, health driven and align with my values. My values are around my faith and my belief in what it means to do right by others and to give back. Enter Nature Nate’s.

Nature Nate's employees on the farmhouse porch

Ryan, on the far left, with just some of the Nature Nate’s family on the farmhouse porch in 2016.

Q: Why is A&M important to you?

A: Spending my undergrad time there made it a defining place for me. It was the first time I’d been away from home. A lot of the values I have were put in place there. It’s a good place and has students with strong values. Now, they also have the Center for Retailing Studies that aligns with big retail organizations – what we at Nature Nate’s hope to be someday. As a company, we’re excited about our partnership with them, and I think there’s a lot of value we both can get out of it..

Q: Do you think it is helpful for students to study in the Center for Retailing Studies or a similar program?

A: Yes. One thing that’s really important to me is “why” because I want to understand what it is we’re trying to accomplish. Why do you care about this? If I can understand the why behind it, there’s much more opportunity for me to bring value. When I was in grad school at SMU (Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas), I saw what companies were doing and it really gave me the “why” behind it. These students have spent the last two, three or four years of their life studying intellectual and academic things. To be able to put them into practice by actually solving a “why” question is just so helpful.

Q: Why do you value mentoring others?

A: Trust is a huge thing for me. Trust and caring. I’d rather spend a lot of time doing something that I care about or that somebody else I care about cares about. It’s about people, helping people grow and growing yourself. There’s also an aspect of teaching that I just really enjoy. I love to share what I’ve learned and align people with resources that can help them.

Ryan fills Hope Kits for women ungoing cancer treatment

Ryan, along with other Nature Nate’s staff members, fills Hope Kits for women going through cancer treatment, as part of the Honey Gives Hope give-back program.

Q: What advice do you have for someone just out of school who is entering the workforce?

A: Perspective. Imagine something that is out of focus when you’re watching a movie. The beauty of a movie is that you know it’s blurry and out of focus. You know they’re tricking you and leading you down one path so that they can switch paths and surprise you. But the thing about life is that you don’t have the benefit of knowing it’s a movie. So you have to ask questions and continue to change your point of view as you know more. Perspective is about continuing to get clarity and information so you don’t make rash and uninformed decisions. Always be looking for more perspective.

Success is what you make of it. If you let other people define success, you’ll never be satisfied. You determine what your definition of success is and you’ll at least be chasing something that matters to you.

Who you are really matters. Companies hire people, they don’t hire capabilities. That goes back to my story of why I chose the path I chose. I would encourage people to not be afraid to share who they are and what matters to them.