Erica Groussman is a mom, wife, and wellness maven. She is the co-founder and CEO of TRUWOMEN, an indulgent nutrition company where they create natural and clean nutrition bars that tastes like classic desserts. Her products and the way she runs her company are empowering women and creating healthier products for a healthier world. She is also the founder and CEO of Molluscum Away, a natural patch and ointment treatment to combat molluscum. Her family and her quest for total wellness inspired her to create both her businesses. In her free time, she is a fitness guru and is a wife to entrepreneur Mark Groussman and mother to her two kids.
Where did the idea for TRUWOMEN come from?
As a mom who is always on-the-go, I couldn’t shake the fact that most snacks either taste good, yet use ingredients I couldn’t pronounce, or they use clean ingredients—but taste like cardboard. And I knew I couldn’t be alone in demanding clean treats that I could proudly crave. The more women I spoke with the more I realized I was not alone.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I wear many hats – Mom, Wife, CEO – so no day is ever the same. Since the TRUBRANDS team is lean, we all jump in where help is needed. I typically try to keep a consistent morning routine, beginning bright and early with a workout, then getting my kids ready for the day and taking them to school. Then check my work calendar to start checking off my items for the day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Just get it done. It’s so easy to fall into the trap that you must have all your ducks in a row before starting, and that is just not true. I learned that I just need to start and focus on putting one foot in front of another. I now see that no matter the grand plan I craft, because of culture, logistics, and so many other moving elements, it’s creates less tension to just start and let ideas naturally evolve.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I love the burst of new business that is happening right now. We’ve finally reached a time where hobbies and careers are no longer at odds with each other. People can find what you love, spend time doing market research to pinpoint consumer needs, and begin building your path to making money doing what you’re most passionate about. There is so much technology that now facilitates anyone to get started.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur is one of the most living-giving endeavors I’ve journeyed through. I love championing products that I have an affinity for and connecting like-minded businesspersons, so having the opportunity to do that for my own company is truly so special. If I could give any advice to someone who is looking to become an entrepreneur, it’s to make yourself available, get around people who are smarter than you, and ultimately take risks for the things that keep you up at night.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Stop Saying Sorry! Now don’t get me wrong, there is a proper time and place to apologize, but like most women, I had become accustomed to profusely apologizing for things that do not necessitate apologies. For instance, I’d frequently ask a coworker for a project update and then follow-up with an “I’m sorry for asking again”. It wasn’t until someone pointed it out to me, that I noticed my habit within the workplace to use “I’m sorry” as a blanket to ensure that no one was offended by my strong and confident work persona. It was during this interaction that I realized over-apologizing took away from the sincerity of a true apology and misrepresented my performance as a leader within the company.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Put your kids to work! I remember making a little business selling friendship bracelets, as well as making a whopping $6/weekend from my neighborhood paper route. And I attribute so much of my entrepreneurial spirit to those early life lessons.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I work out! I’ll take 30-minute breaks to spend time to better myself. It helps me focus more and makes my mood better.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I listen to my customers! I ask what new flavors they want, and where they would want them sold. Their responses help me find new places to sell my nutrition bars.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One of the biggest challenges was balancing motherhood and entrepreneurship. I just couldn’t let myself wind down and turn off. I can access work at the click of a button from just about anywhere, so it takes true discipline to be mindful of creating boundaries. But I realized that I could not pour out for an empty cup and made it a priority to take time for myself to recharge.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Protein bars aren’t the only food category that had a big gap. A lot of packaged food struggle between finding the balance between healthy and delicious, particularly when it comes to children. That would be an interesting area to explore for a business.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I spent was on a class bundle for Barry’s Boot Camp, a high-intensity interval workout that tones muscle and maximizes fat loss with a combo of running and weights.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
The calendar app is lifesaving. It allows me to sync my personal and professional life and keep track of all the moving parts. It simple, we all have one on our phones, but I think keep your day organized is the foundation of achieving anything.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
One of the most inspiring books that I highly recommend, especially for those with ambitions to build a lifestyle brand is Start with Why by Simon Sinek. It discusses how some people and brands are always able to be more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others. It centers the books around ‘The Golden Circle’ a powerful concept that allows brands to be built, movements to be launched, and people to become inspired. Simon Sinek did a very popular Ted Talk around the book and it is a great way to get a high-level overview of the book in a few minutes.
What is your favorite quote?
The common quote, “don’t sweat the small stuff” seems to be more relevant than ever. As a mother, wife and entrepreneur, there is bound for something, and often multiple things, to not go as planned. It’s crazy how much better life gets when you can just let the small stuff go and focus on all the things that are going for you.
- Just get it done. It’s so easy to fall into the trap that you must have all your ducks in a row before starting, and that is just not true.
- Stop Saying Sorry! Over-apologizing takes away from the sincerity of a true apology and misrepresents your performance as a leader of your company.
- Listen to your customers
- Don’t sweat the small stuff
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.