Julie Gordon White is an award-winning entrepreneur, bestselling business author, and TEDx speaker. She is the founder and CEO of Bossa Bars – female formulated energy bars that help women navigate the menopause years. Prior to founding Bossa Bars, Julie advised thousands of business owners as the founder & CEO of BlueKey Mergers & Acquisitions, and through her bestselling book, “EXIT! 12 Steps to Sell Your Business for the Price You Deserve”. Julie also founded The WELL for Women Entrepreneurs, to teach female founders how to crack the code of growing to a million and someday selling for a million through step-by-step training and coaching programs, media, speaking, and signature events.
Julie has felt that entrepreneurial pull her whole life; She wrote her first business plan and started her first business when she was 10. She’s had corporate careers as director of marketing for an international hotel group, ran a funeral home, and worked as a business broker in addition to her coaching programs for high-level women entrepreneurs. Her favorite moments have been serving as a proponent for girls and sharing in the success of other women. Julie has been fortunate to do that through her TEDx talk and serving as an expert for Google Small Business, as well as a host to Intuit QuickBooks Momentum to $1 Million Community. As an advisor to other professionals, a podcast host, and keynote speaker at industry (as well as her own event) conferences she has been able to focus on her passion for spotlighting the success of women. All of that, in addition to being an empty nester, mother of 3, gave her the freedom to ask myself: What’s next?! In August of 2020, she started her latest business, BOSSA BARS to empower and support women in the pre – through- post-menopausal years to fight the stereotypes and have the best moments in their lives so far.
Where did the idea for Bossa Bars come from?
Like most entrepreneurs, I had a problem that needed solving. I found myself in my late 40s, sitting at my desk staring at the wall trying to remember what the hell I was just thinking and finding mistakes on emails. After the standard but ill-advised searches on Google, I self-diagnosed that I was likely in perimenopause. Knowing that menopause can last for 4-10 years is a lot to accept. And then, COVID hit, making us all acutely aware that not only is our health precious, but we also don’t have time to waste on things that don’t matter, so I decided to manage menopause just like I manage everything – like a BOSS. As one of the 31 million US women between the ages of 45 – 64 who find The Pause to be generally miserable, I felt I had to take control. When I crowdsourced symptoms and solutions with my friends – no one had found any solid success in tackling the weight gain, brain fog, hot flashes etc. that comes with this change the outside world really doesn’t want to talk about.
Through a bit of trial and error, my saving grace was the energy bars I started making to address my intense sugar cravings. Having a reasonably sized, healthy, and satisfying treat resulted in me losing 10 pounds, less brain fog, less fatigue, and overall feeling 10x better.
Those results motivated me to share what I learned and experienced, which led to the idea of BOSSA BARS, in hopes of building a community for and around the women who are looking for the same answers.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
• 15 Minute guided meditation as soon as I wake up, centers me for the entire day.
• Coffee date with my hubby as we catch up on the morning news
• 20 Minute workout in my home gym, but being honest, in startup land this is one of the first things I tend to sacrifice which is not good!
• My week is built around theme days to keep me focused and efficient.
o Monday – PROCESS: Admin &Logistics
o Tuesday – PEOPLE: Meetings Stack Internal & External
o Wednesday – PRODUCT: Development & Logistics
o Thursday – PROMOTION: Marketing & PR
o Friday – PROFIT: Finance & Follow-Up
o Shut down at 7:05pm in time for the first pitch of a San Francisco Giants game and dinner!
• 1 Hour of emails before bed
• Lights out by 11:30
How do you bring ideas to life?
I do my research then dive in – and bring in expertise where needed! For Bossa Bars I started by researching the key nutrients that women with decreasing estrogen and energy can benefit from. Next, I started hacking together a recipe in my kitchen. To be honest, the first batches were a total miss, but after adding a little more moisture and chocolate it all came together. And then I turned it over to our experts to adapt it for production at scale. The hardest part was actually keeping my husband from eating all the samples!
What’s one trend that excites you?
That people are finally starting to pay attention to the estimated $15B menopause market! And women are speaking up about their experiences and what they need to navigate this time in their life instead of suffering in silence.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Flexing my Resilience. The mindset must be, that failure is not truly failure, but opportunity, and you must be willing to learn from those experiences and carry on. 2020 was a huge challenge for so many, and yet, there are entrepreneurs who are thriving. There are always new opportunities and needs that weren’t there before. Be open, leverage your capabilities, pivot if necessary, but stay the course; Difficult phases pass.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Think Bigger! Dare to expand your vision and step into fully believing anything is possible. I’ve learned this over the course of my career and it is what I tell the female entrepreneurs I work with now; Don’t just think about starting your business but think about selling your business for seven figures. Women often start a business for flexibility to allow them to live the lives they want. But, if you’re going to do all of that work and expend that kind of energy, don’t leave money on the table.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Menopause is empowering!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Learn, apply, repeat! Lots of people learn things but they don’t apply them quickly. Continuous learning is critical but if not applied with a sense of urgency, it’s wasted.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Social media advertising has been key to spreading our product message nationally and in the future, internationally. Because of the customer profile we are serving, we also believe heavily in word of mouth. Women have always shared info with each other especially when they find something that works – social media allows for that digital word of mouth influencing.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
In the 2008 recession, boutique mergers and acquisition firms literally evaporated overnight. It was initially very devastating, both financially and emotionally for 2 years. Of course, in retrospect, it was a huge gift because it allow me the time to write a book on selling companies, and the mental space to think, then pivot. That’s when I decided to start coaching women entrepreneurs on how to grow a million-dollar service business. There’s always a silver lining in hard times, so our work is to find it and act upon it as soon as possible.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Find the intersection of what you love to do, are great at it, and start a premium version of that service or product – preferably a service because they are a lot easier to start and grow. Premium pricing is really important as part of the equation because underpricing leads to entrepreneurial dissatisfaction and burnout. It also forced you to bring the most value to your clients and customers as possible, which is a win-win for everyone.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
My weekly home delivery grocery service. I LOVE that I have all the healthy and yummy food that I love delivered to my doorstep. It saves me time and keeps my nutrition on track which is everything as an entrepreneur. The more systems we can create to reduce stress and generate energy the better; especially as a female entrepreneur.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Shopify is my favorite app because it allows me to run my two companies from anywhere, anytime. Freedom is an entrepreneur’s number one value, and these apps allow me to think big and grow big from the beach!
I love Shopify because it also allows us to connect directly with our customers – something we wouldn’t be able to do if we were selling through retail stores.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I love business books and I rarely read fiction. My favorites are 7 Laws of Spiritual Success by Deepak Chopra, Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish, and Clockwork by Michael Michalowicz. These books have taught me a well-rounded view of building something valuable and bigger than myself.
What is your favorite quote?
“Every oak tree started as an acorn.” – Unknown
- Step fully into believing anything is possible. If you’re going to do all of that work and expend the kind of energy it takes to build a business – think bigger and don’t leave money on the table.
- Freedom is an entrepreneur’s number one value so take advantage of software and services that allow you to run your business better from anywhere, 24×7. The more systems we can create to reduce stress and generate energy the better.
- Find the intersection of what you love to do and are great at, and start a premium version that brings the most value to your clients and customers.
- Continuous learning is critical but if not applied with a sense of urgency, it’s wasted.
- Menopause is empowering!
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.