Totally inspired by Sophia Amoruso’s book of the same name, Girl Boss is a series focused on fierce, determined women who go with their gut and create their dream businesses in the process.
When I was introduced to the work Lisa Goldbaum has done with her company YummyHealth, I experienced one of those moments when you become totally jealous that you didn’t think of something. You know those moments, right? The kind when someone has taken an experience you’ve struggled with and come up with a solution that works—and well.
Unsatisfied with the so-called “healthy” snack options on the market for kids, Lisa didn’t just shrug her shoulders and throw her hands in the air. Instead, she took action and created a line of quick, healthy snacks that provide kids with a burst of energy without the crash that comes after eating a lot of sugar and processed starch.
For more on Lisa and the inspiration behind YummyHealth as well as thoughts on balance, procrastination and turning a passion into a business, keep reading!
Tell me a little bit about your business. When did you start it? What inspired you to get it going?
YummyHealth is a new kind of snack food company, and the inspiration for it grew from my search to find better snack options for my own family. I was fed up with watching my kids become junk food addicts—eating too much sugar, gaining weight, not feeling their best—so I began searching for healthier options.
It turned out that many of the so-called “healthy” snacks had just as much sugar and processed starch as ordinary junk food, and the truly healthy alternatives didn’t leave much to be desired in the taste department. My kids grew pretty frustrated watching all their friends eat whatever they wanted, and at one point turned to me and said, “Mom, if it doesn’t exist, you should make it!”
That’s really what inspired me to create YummySnacks—low-sugar snacks made with real-food ingredients that are better for kids but still give them the “junk food” experience that allows them to live happily in the real world. So YummyHealth, which we created in 2012 really began as, and continues to be, a way to help my own family. It is truly a labor of love.
How do you balance life and running your business?
Balance in today’s 24/7 world is difficult for everyone, but can be especially challenging for women. I see many women burn out because they’re always putting the needs of others before their own, and at the end of the day that doesn’t benefit anyone.
I make time for myself every day, whether it’s going to the gym, grabbing coffee with a friend or even browsing social media in bed at night after the kids go to sleep. I prioritize “me time” just as highly as the other important parts of my life, like kids and work. Vacations are “no work” zones, as I’m keenly aware that this time with my kids while they’re still young is fleeting and precious. I also have to say that I’m lucky to have a great support system in my husband, who keeps me grounded and helps me to get the “me” time I need to stay sane.
Does being a woman effect your business?
For me, being a mom and caregiver drives how I run my business, since it enables me to see everything through the lens of how YummyHealth can help today’s families face the challenges of our fast-paced, over-scheduled lifestyles. Dads are increasingly taking on the caregiver role as well, so I don’t focus as much on gender as on family.
YummyHealth was founded on the idea that yummy and better-for-you snacks make it easier to avoid the temptations of junk food all around us, and I’m dedicated to increasing parents’ awareness of the benefits of reducing sugar and processed starch in the quest to end childhood obesity.
What inspires you creatively?
I am so fortunate to have had many inspiring people in my life, both on a personal and professional level. I’ve had the privilege of working with some very talented mentors and entrepreneurs who’ve helped to show me what’s possible. I’m also so inspired by the kids, parents and families that we are having an impact on. I love hearing from people who have tried YummySnacks, and who are also inspired to make better eating changes because of something we’ve done. That keeps me motivated to press on through the toughest challenges of building a business.
Do you have any procrastination techniques that you always fall back on? How do you break out of them?
My entire life is run by electronic lists, alarms and calendars. My family laughs at how many binging sounds go off in my house and car on any given day, and if it weren’t for these devices I wouldn’t be anywhere I was supposed to be and nothing would ever get done! I get a unique thrill from being able to cross something off the to-do list everyday.
Do you have any tips for other ladies who are looking to turn their passion into a business?
The important thing is to figure out what you’re really trying to be, and whether there’s truly a market for it. Starting a new business is very time consuming and expensive, and you want to make sure what you’re bringing to the table is unique and filling a need that either isn’t being filled, or isn’t being filled well. Do your research and look carefully at what’s out there. Get the opinions of others you respect—and who will not hesitate to give you a reality check if needed. And make sure you have a plan for funding, since costs are always more than you think, and everything you carefully plan for will take longer than you think! That being said, if you really believe in your gut that you have a winner, push through!
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