Today’s entrepreneurial culture makes us feel like we have to hustle 24/7, work harder and harder every day, and generally give up everything to grow a successful business and be a successful person.
The former owner of a CrossFit gym says her deep knowledge of health and fitness fueled her passion to begin the Whole30, a nutritional program designed to change your life in 30 days. She knew that good nutrition and a growth mindset were the keys to unlocking people’s potential, but there was a time when Melissa’s personal relationship with food had become dysfunctional ; she used food as a way to cope with her emotional turmoil after she became sober.
It was Hartwig’s struggle with addiction in her early 20’s that led her down the road to redefining what healthy is.
“I discovered this real love for taking care of myself. I knew that I had to be respectful of my body.”
YOU COME FIRST.
Melissa admits being in business is tough, even tumultuous at times. Working 24/7 had serious consequences on her health and happiness. It took years to learn why it’s critical you pay yourself first. How can you serve anyone when you aren’t taking care of yourself? You come first. Your business comes second.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR: HOW SHE DID IT
We hear stories of people shooting to fame overnight. How did she get so lucky? Melissa’s path to the bestseller list took nearly a decade. She spent more than eight years writing free blog posts, connecting directly with her audience on social media and investing countless hours into creating free resources. She says what propelled her business and book into the New York Times bestselling category was her ability to authentically connect with her audience.
“It’s important to remember that your social media presence is more important than your website.”
The single mother of a three year old boy believes in taking the time necessary to get to know your audience and take even more time creating a really good product.
“It’s slower and it’s not as sexy, but that is what will ultimately gain you the loyal following. You have to have something to offer them something that actually works.”
Developing an audience that trusted Melissa is what ultimately led to her success. Her loyal fans were the first to buy a new copy of her book.
“Our entire business plan is based on what we are noticing our community needs. Our community will collectively ask us for new resources, or a new product or a new book.”
TAKE THE HEDGEHOG STRATEGY: MELISSA’s GOLDEN NUGGET
“The hedgehog only has one defense strategy. It doesn’t run or fly or spit poison; the only thing the hedgehog can do is curl up into a ball and tuck out of sight. It only does that one thing, but it is brutally effective and that’s how I like to think about running my business.”
It was Melissa’s ability to deeply connect with her clients that helped her develop her latest venture, Food Freedom Forever. The new book being released this October was born from listening to her Whole30 audience. It focuses on sustainable habits that last and includes a 3step plan which shows readers how to stay on track in the face of temptation.
The 42 year old published author who has a fierce but gentle spirit shared three strategies to growing your business the right way, and most importantly the healthy way.
HARBOR A GROWTH MINDSET
Your habits define you. The power of a routine will do two things for you. It will give you executive function and will power to handle life when it comes at you in unexpected ways. You run your day, not the other way around.
PAY YOURSELF FIRST
This isn’t about money.
Melissa says, “It’s about paying yourself from an energetic perspective, a time perspective and knowing that you have to care for yourself first, otherwise you are essentially no good to anyone.”
This includes your loyal fans, customers, coworkers, friends, family and spouse.
“So many entrepreneurs will grow their business to the detriment of their own health and happiness. That makes no sense. You have to pay yourself first.”