Successful Small Business Owners Know: The Risk is Worth the Reward

Success in small business means big risk. An entrepreneur must be willing to set a course into deep waters; often, in uncharted territory.  Successful small business owners are the ones who identify the need in the marketplace and build something great.  No fear of risk. In fact, they embrace risk.

Enter Humble Olive Oils…one of Carlsbad Village’s latest hot spots. It’s a quaint little shoppe specializing in olive oils.

I thought. Wow. Risky. A lot of square footage devoted to olive oils (and vinegars). I took part in the customary tasting. And as I did, I thought “these mom and pop shoppe owners get it.”

I spy with my Eagle Eye three ingredients to their success.

A Successful Small Business Fills a Need

The owner of Humble Olive Oils, Zac Markham, saw the need. And acted upon it. After traveling the world as a tennis pro, he found the purest of olive oils and knew he must bring these back to his native San Diego. With the help of family (and a very devoted wife!) they opened their doors in the historic State Street of Carlsbad Village…an idyllic sliver of North San Diego. Tourists and Locals alike benefit from the wide variety of olive oils and vinegars that Zac finds from all over the world. What a wonderful souvenir for tourists in search of the perfect gifts to bring back home.

A Successful Small Business Makes it an Experience

Zac has oils from both the Southern and Northern hemispheres and he’s there to educate you on all things olive oil. He promises an experience for each guest and that includes a tasting of the freshest products from all over the globe. A fan favorite: The White Peach Balsamic paired with any of their extra virgin olive oils. Mouth watering goodness! Perfect for locals who love farm to table greens.

Zac provides, well, a humble and endearing experience.

Ripe Peach Balsamic: Mouthwatering Goodness!

A Successful Small Business Understands the Risk

Humble’s owners were so sure they were “all-in” they committed to a three-year lease, paid upfront. They kept their buildout costs low by repurposing the wood from the boxes his shipments came in. Upcycled aluminum siding, pallet wood, and acid stained concrete…all make for a great ambience and contribute to the Organic Feel of the space they call home.



Upcycled Crates make for great decor.

Upcycled Crates make for great decor.

I remember our grandparents up in arms when we were getting ready to leave the creature comforts of our white-picketed fenced home in Southern Oregon. After some pondering, Grandpa firmly put his hand on the table and said, “Well, if you lose everything, you’re young enough to start over again.” Reassuring! And he was right. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. No risk, no chance at reward.


Kudos to the small business owners who are stepping out in faith. Embracing the Risk. Next time you’re in Carlsbad, check out Humble Olive Oils and Tell them we sent you!

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