On this episode of Behind Her Empire, mindbodygreen co-founder and co-CEO Colleen Wachob shares her perspective on managing stress and navigating self-worth as an entrepreneur and the importance of celebrating the wins in your business.
Wachob and her husband founded mindbodygreen in 2009, a digital media and lifestyle brand at the forefront of the wellness movement. To date, mindbodygreen has over 15 million monthly users and the Wachobs were pioneers in the industry.
“We wanted to kind of reframe the conversation, reawaken the conversation,” Wachob said. “When we look at wellness, and longevity, we're like it is literally our job to be at the forefront of this conversation and we don't have time for these protocols, for these routines, as parents as entrepreneurs, but regardless of what life stage you're at, how do we think about well being as something that we integrate into our lives and not something else that we add.”
Prior to building mindbodygreen, Wachob spent a decade at Fortune 500 companies like Gap, Walmart and Amazon. During this time, she was working long hours at Amazon and wasn’t listening to the sounds of her body. She suffered from a catastrophic pulmonary embolism at 32.
“As a woman especially with children, you always have to kind of listen to those signs from your body when something's out of whack,” Wachob said. “So I think I dismissed that in my brain even though I knew it could be part of this puzzle. But that started a really long healing journey for me, of looking at my entire life and evaluating what was working, where I needed to be shifting…My hope and having gone through that ordeal and kind of sharing it is that we, especially as women can get better about listening to the whispers in our body when something's off so that it doesn't take such a catastrophic event to make a change.”
This near death experience made her realize she needed to make changes in her life. Her first step was to prioritize her health and mental wellbeing which meant regular check-ins with herself — similar to how you’d run a business.
“If you have business objectives, business goals, KPIs, it's like why are you giving all of your valuable mindshare only to your business,” she said.
Wachob said that as entrepreneurs, you need to use those same frameworks and principles in running a business and apply them to your own life.
She added, “what's important to you is going to evolve not just through the decades of life, but through the quarters of life and I think prioritizing that time to check in and evaluate the type of life you want to have. We're only here for 4,000 weeks, we’ve got to make sure we make the most of it.”
Once Wachob was finally in tune with her body, she jumped right into mindbodygreen. She knew that it was going to be tough, but she believed in what she and her husband built.
“What was wonderful about those early days was we had blinders up to all of the naysayers,” she said. “It took about a year to get even just 100,000 unique visitors on a monthly basis.”
That’s why Wachob advises any entrepreneur looking to start their own business to understand their purpose because while the journey can be tough, the ‘why’ can help you overcome those obstacles.
“If our business was not connected to my life’s work and literally principles that have healed and transformed my life,” she said. “I don’t think I could do it… There are so many ups and downs on the journey and it’s not, to me, the physical work that I have any issues with… it’s more the mental mindset, that can expand in ways that at times are unhealthy. So if it was not a mission, that I was deeply connected, deeply rooted and deeply passionate about, I don’t think that I would be able to do this for 14 years.”
She understands that starting a company is difficult, but it’s important to celebrate all of your wins, big or small. Oftentimes, she said that entrepreneurs are so focused on the future and all of the things that can go wrong,that they forget to enjoy any of the victories.
“I get so excited about celebrating any type of win and any type of insight because it does lead to that momentum and discovery of new insights,” she said. “And unless you are part of a very well funded organization that can just throw a lot of money at problems, your business is likely not going to be one of linear growth and if you are experiencing that, you know one of my life lessons is I wish when we had those days, that I celebrated and enjoyed it a little bit more because I think when those moments happen, whether it be platform synergy, or whether it be an ad that's really resonating, a new partnership that maybe knocks it out of the park for you enjoy the win.”
dot.LA Reporter Decerry Donato contributed to this post.
This podcast is produced by Behind Her Empire. The views and opinions expressed in the show are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of dot.LA or its newsroom.
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