Episode 91 // Food Freedom Forever with Melissa Hartwig

September 27, 2016

Today we’re so excited to welcome Melissa Hartwig, founder of the Whole30, back on Being Boss to talk all about her new book on how to make a lifestyle that feels healthy, satisfying, and sustainable. Writing a book is a huge project, so we talk to Melissa about that creative process and how you can be sure you’re healthy and taking care of yourself while doing it.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
"Commit to being in charge of your process instead of letting the process run you over."
- Melissa Hartwig

Discussed in this Episode

  • Melissa's new book, Food Freedom Forever, and what it's all about
  • Getting past the idea of "Good" food vs. "Bad" food
  • Finding "food freedom" to play with and enjoy food again
  • The process of writing a book and self-care during the creative process
  • Setting boundaries and sticking to them
  • Going back to the basics in your business and addressing a mixed new and old audience
  • Team management in huge business growth and the value of staying small
  • The link between fitness, health, food, and entrepreneurship
  • The process vs. the end-game


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Braid Creative

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Almanac Supply Co.

This Episode Brought to You By:


Emily Thompson 0:01
Hello and welcome to being boss episode number 91. This episode is brought to you by fresh books cloud accounting.

Being boss and work and life is being in it.

Kathleen Shannon 0:18
It's being who we are doing the work, breaking some rules. And even though we each have to do it on our own,

Emily Thompson 0:25
being boss is knowing we're in it together.

Kathleen Shannon 0:29
We're so excited to be talking to our friend Melissa Hartwig. Melissa is a certified sports nutritionist who specializes in helping people change their relationship with food and create a lifelong healthy habits. She is the CO creator of the whole 30 program, the New York Times best selling co author of the whole 30 and it starts with food. And she's the author of food freedom forever and the whole 30 cookbook. Melissa has been featured on Dr. Oz the today show the New York Times Wall Street Journal all over the place. She's the best and we're so excited to be talking to her today about food and food freedom and creative entrepreneurship growing a business empire like the whole 30 and everything that she's learned along the way from boundaries to habits and routines. This is not an episode you'll want to miss. I want to pause for a second and tell you guys that now is the time to get your finances in order. The end of the year is coming up. And it is time to look at your income and expenses. And stay on top of your numbers to avoid mountains of stress at tax time. Now if you guys don't already know you can link fresh books cloud accounting to your credit and debit cards and automatically import your expenses. So the next time you expense that business lunch or tank of gas, watch it magically appear in your freshbooks account. It saves so much time whenever it comes to itemizing and deducting at tax time. Try your free trial of fresh books today by going to freshbooks comm slash being boss and injure being boss in the How did you hear about us section? Try it for a month. See if you like it, I think you will. Alright, back to our episode. So we can just go ahead and jump in. And thanks for joining us.

Melissa Hartwig 2:21
Thanks for having me back. The last conversation we had was one of my favorites of the whole year. So I'm really excited.

Kathleen Shannon 2:26
That means a lot and I was thinking about everything we talked about last time. And I feel like I still have all the same questions for you. But I want to start with something that is brand new, which is your book. This is I'm most excited to talk to you about your new book coming out. And I feel like the way that these shows and interviews always work on podcasts is everyone like there's some good chit chat and you talk about you know all the things and then you promote the thing. But I'm super stoked about what you've got going on. So tell us about your new book coming out.

Melissa Hartwig 3:00
I'm also incredibly excited about this, because it's something I've been thinking about writing for the last at least two years. Food freedom forever is the title. And it's really all about how to take any short term dietary intervention and turn it into a lifetime of sustainable habits. Because honestly, that's the hard part, right? You can do people can do anything for 30 days, you can do the whole 30 you can do a vegan reset, you can do some kind of, you know, whole food, we kind of dietary challenge. But when it's done, you feel amazing, you look amazing. You don't want to go back to your old habits, you want to keep eating this way. But inevitably, we all kind of do slide back into old habits. And then it makes us feel like a failure. And it makes us feel like there's something wrong with us. And we're stuck in this old kind of yo yo diet mentality. So food freedom forever is all about a plan a three step plan to help you take what you learn during the whole 30 or whatever dietary reset you choose, and actually make it stick.

Emily Thompson 4:08
I love this, like Kathleen and I just came back from New Orleans. And she probably said to me about four times while we were there, I really need to go home and do a whole 30

Kathleen Shannon 4:18
specifically, every morning every morning, whenever we woke up, I was like, Oh, I need a whole 30

Emily Thompson 4:24
right because like traveling like that. That's always like the worst time like really going back into eating just sort of whatever. And this I don't know, but then having that mentality that you have to do the whole thing to do it right. And I've joked a couple of times about how it jokingly but also not how Hillary kinda ruined my life in terms of like it made it better, but my old life is certainly gone. Where you know, I don't feel as comfortable eating the way I was or even like just destructive behavior period, like knowing that you can clean things up. That way, so. So I'm excited to hear about this more like long term solution for all the things that we know that we're doing well for ourselves, but may not be doing all the time.

Melissa Hartwig 5:11
Yeah, I feel like the official whole 30 tagline could be whole 30 awareness is a beyotch. Because it shows you and I think this happens to me at least once a year where it's usually summertime, and I'm walking around downtown, and I see like a woman eating an ice cream cone and I get irrationally angry for a split second, where I'm like, Man, I wish I could just go back and just eat the darn ice cream cone and not know how it's going to impact my digestion, and then it's going to make my face breakout. And then I'm going to get all like slumpy and tired and not feel very good afterward. Like, I wish I could just go back and eat whatever I want to eat. But it's not true. I don't wish I could go back and my life is so much better and happier for having had the intervention and knowing exactly how food impacts me and being able to make conscious, deliberate decisions. But yeah, you know, I think we all go through this process of, you know, doing the reset, doing the whole 30 feeling so much better, and then trying to figure out how we take this brand new information and actually build it into a lifestyle that feels both healthy and satisfying, but also really sustainable.

Kathleen Shannon 6:20
I feel like you've done a lot of talking about posthole 30. And you've mentioned that there are attitudes around food, like there is no good food, and there is no bad food. And I feel that the whole 30 almost like fundamentalists, who are probably even more strict and stringent about it than even you are Melissa who invented the whole thing, and get really into dangerous and I don't even know if I should call it dangerous. This is where really being specific about language is so important. But that's what I want to talk about is how a lot of whole 30 fundamentalists might think that food is good or bad that gluten is good or bad. And I've seen you do a lot of talking Melissa about how food isn't good or bad. It just is what it is. Right? So do you address more of that in the new book,

Melissa Hartwig 7:14
I say exactly that in the new book, because what I found was that if you go into the whole 30, with this idea that I'm eliminating these foods, because they're bad, when you go to reintroduce them, you will feel guilty about bringing them back in. And that is none of that is part of the whole 30 mentality or your food freedom. So

Kathleen Shannon 7:37
I emphasize in food freedom forever that these foods are not good or bad. They're simply unknown. And the reason you're eliminating them is to figure out how they work for you. So when you do bring them back in, and you do bring in your Justin's peanut butter cups or your ice cream or your bread, there is no guilt about bringing it back in. It's simply part of the experiment. And changing the way you think about these foods and changing the language of food. Where you're losing the idea of good or bad the food is good or bad, or I'm good or bad when I eat these foods is absolutely imperative to losing that old diet mentality and really embracing this life of what I've described as food freedom. So it's mission critical that you that you change the way you think about it, but also that you change the language you're using about it. I know for myself, and especially while we're in New Orleans, there's some really good food down there. And it is not as paleo compliant as I like to be. But I know that I enjoyed every single moment of it. And that's what I really took away from the whole 30 it's really hard, I will admit, even with the healthiest mindset going into it, to come out of it and not feel a little fear almost around what you're going to introduce next and how your body might respond to it. But I feel that I do have enough awareness that I know that I'm not allergic to gluten, and then I can actually kind of handle it. Okay, and it's maybe not my first choice every single time I go to eat, but that whenever I want to enjoy it, I'm really going to enjoy it.

Melissa Hartwig 9:19
Yeah, exactly. And I think the important point here and the one that I emphasize so much in this new book is that the goal of your food freedom, the goal of life after your whole 30 is to create a diet that is as broad and expansive as possible, while still keeping you looking and feeling exactly as awesome as you want to look and feel. So where is that line for you? It's almost the way mark Sisson describes it as like, how much can I get away with and that is the goal. If I told you, well, you could every single week you could have two glasses. whine after work, you could eat two bowls of ice cream and you could have bread, you know, with three meals and you would still look just as awesome and feel just as awesome as you did when you were on the whole 30. Like, wouldn't you want to do that, especially if those things were like your favorite things in the whole world, and they were so incredibly worth it. That's what I want you to do after your whole 30, I want you to find that line. And when you're in New Orleans, and you've got this once in a lifetime experience to eat this delicious, local special food, maybe that line gets pushed a little and you think you know what, I'm going to live with a little bit of bloating, a little bit of sluggishness and a few cravings. Because this food is so incredibly special and delicious, that it's worth it. So like, I also want you to be flexible. And where you decide that line is. And then if you end up crossing the line, and you wake up one day, and you think, Oh man, I really pushed my boundaries here. And I no longer look or feel as awesome as I want, then you know exactly what you need to do, you come back to your reset for as long as you need to get back to that place of feeling awesome. And in control.

Kathleen Shannon 11:07
That's something else I was going to mention is what I've really learned since my whole 30 I honestly don't know that I can go through another one. ever again, I shouldn't say that. That's pretty absolute, but I've been through too. And every morning I woke up like, Oh, I need to do a whole 30. And then I caught myself in that attitude and realize that it wasn't quite the best attitude to go into a whole 30 with. So I came home and I said you know what, I'm going to do a whole two, I just need two days. And that's kind of been where my whole 30 journey. And food freedom has come into play. Without having read the book yet I know I'm gonna learn a lot of new things once it's out and about. But, Melissa, I'm curious how has food freedom shown up for you.

Melissa Hartwig 11:54
It's interesting. In the process of writing this book, I spent maybe six months of like, but in chair writing time, I discovered a comfort and ease with food, the likes of which I've never experienced in my whole life, like I was really solid going into it. I haven't done a full whole 30 in about two years. I don't know that I'll ever need to do another full one ever again, to be honest, because I'm loving the balance that I found. But as I was writing the book, I started to really play around with where that line was for me. So I'll give you an example. I used to really love rice cakes. And I used to love them because they were a diet food because they were like the foundation of you know, jelly or peanut butter or whatever I would put on them that didn't have a lot of calories and didn't have a lot of like, carbohydrate or fat or whatever I used to be worried about. And I haven't had a rice cake in like eight years, because I no longer have that diet mentality. But in writing this book and cruising through the grocery store one day, I came across some rice cakes, and I thought I used to really like those. And so I bought some and I came home and I put some butter and jelly on a rice cake. And it was amazing. It was delicious. And I loved it. And I thought why haven't I been eating these once in a while doesn't have a negative psychological impact. It doesn't have a negative physical impact. So what that I used to think of it as diet food now I just think of it as delicious. And I love it. So I'm eating rice cakes again. And like it's that kind of like playfulness and ease and curiosity that I think has furthered my food freedom to a degree where I feel like I'm having so much fun with my food again, and it's so relaxed. And I'm, I'm so comfortable with where it is. And if I make the wrong call, if I play around with something, and I'm like, Well, that didn't go well at all, no big deal. I just like learn and I move on. So that's where I am now in my food freedom as that food is just really fun and easy and simple again, which feels awesome.

Kathleen Shannon 14:05
Alright, can we talk about writing a book?

Unknown Speaker 14:09

Kathleen Shannon 14:10
So Emily, and I signed with an agent. And we are under the process of writing a book. And we're not even like past the proposal phase. And I'm already starting to see how the process of writing a book could really take its toll. But I think it's the same process for anyone who is creating anything that is close and near and dear to their heart that is under a tight timeline, and requires a lot of us. So I'm curious to hear some of like how you focused on your own health or struck a balance or maybe forego balance all together while you were writing this book.

Melissa Hartwig 14:47
Yeah, I mean, congratulations, you guys. I think it's amazing. And I know that you guys will rock it. But yes, I wish that I had had a little bit more advice when I wrote my first book. In food freedom, which is the third book I've written, I actually emerged from the process of writing this book even healthier than I was when I went into it. And I cannot say that about the first two books. And I think just the experience and the way I went into it with a deep commitment that I was not going to make myself less healthy. writing a book to help other people get healthy was the key. So I basically relied on two things. One, the power of routine, I got into a routine with this book. And like I stuck to it, I had my gym time and my family time and my writing time and my meal time and my bedtime, and like I made my life really, really simple around this routine. And then too, I had to kind of focus on just a few key elements and understand that I couldn't balance everything. So I focused on my own health, which included eating good food and making sure I was moving my body in a healthy way, I focused on my family. So when I had my son, my attention was with him, I focused on really, really good sleep. And I didn't see friends as much as I wanted to. And I didn't socialize as much as I wanted to. And I maybe didn't take as many exercise classes as I wanted to. But I vowed to kind of let those things go for the most part, so that I could focus on keeping myself healthy, while meeting this really crazy deadline. And those were the two things I think that were of most value and why I came out of writing not we also did two books at once, by the way, like the whole 30 cookbook comes out in December. So I was working on both of those at the same time. So to be able to say I came out better rested, well fed and like fitter than I did going into it, I'm pretty proud of myself for that.

Emily Thompson 16:51
That's awesome. And I love how you can take this and apply it to sort of any, any business crunch time, I think creatives have such a hard time like finding new structure in their life so that whenever it comes to changing up your routine to like, bust out a different, bigger, better project, they sort of let their life get all crazy in the process. Whereas if you just sort of sit back, you restructure what your life looks like so that you can accomplish this new thing. You don't have to like gain 15 pounds or like lose sleep or anything during the process of doing something new. It just takes a mindfulness to do it right?

Melissa Hartwig 17:28
It does, you have to commit to being in charge of your process instead of letting the process run you over. And by that I mean I said no to a lot of things. And a lot of them were things that I would have said yes to under obligation, or would have said yes to because I really wanted to, but I was fiercely protective of my own time and energy and health. So yeah, I really took charge of my day and my routine. And I feel like it really did serve me.

Kathleen Shannon 17:59
So one thing that I'm noticing so far in our book writing process and what it feels like and it might feel this way for any creative entrepreneur who has kind of their quote, unquote, day job, even if that job is working for themselves and serving their clients. And then whenever there's any extra special project that you don't really account for in how you make money. Um, like maybe you're developing a digital product or a course or, you know, a huge program like the whole 30 that is actually free. I wonder whenever you're creating something like that for me right now I'm starting to see where Oh, I didn't really account for a room for creating this book in my revenue model. So it didn't really make its way into my schedule. And so now I'm finding myself actually working on it, like maybe on Sundays, or trying to squeeze it in in between the other things. So I'm curious, Melissa, were you able to just make the book writing your number one job? Are there other things that create revenue for you that you had to attend to at the same time? And how do you kind of balance your workflow, even like, within all the things that you do?

Unknown Speaker 19:08

Melissa Hartwig 19:10
That's a meaty topic, for sure. I. So I do have passive revenue streams, I think it's incredibly important to create and develop those. Because obviously, when you have these big projects that are both part of your passion, but also really worthwhile in the long run for your community, it's important that you can actually make a living while you set time aside to do that. So having passive revenue streams, like affiliate income, or subscription services, you know, are really important for that. I turned a lot of day to day responsibilities over to my team and I have a very small team, but they're incredibly competent. And I basically let them know you know, what I was going to be available for and what I wouldn't, and then kind of blinded myself to it. So I wouldn't feel an urge to step in and take control where I already kind of issued the empowerment to them. Do you know what I mean? Like, okay, you can, you know, Shana, you can take over the social media for this. And then I didn't get involved in it, I trusted her to do an amazing job. And she did. But I think I saw the book as being the most is the way I could serve my community the best. And so what I essentially the way I approached, it was, hey, community, I'm going to be a little inaccessible for the next six months, and I'm going to stay connected. And I'll stay around, but you're not going to see quite as much of me, but trust me, like it is for the greater good. And then I just put myself into the book, you know, when I think people understood that my time and my energy was, you know, focused on this one big project that I ultimately believed was going to be the absolute best thing for the growth of the program and for my connection with them. All right, let's,

Unknown Speaker 20:55

Kathleen Shannon 20:56
let's pivot a little bit. I'm curious to hear just for you, since the last time we chatted, has anything really changed for you? And for whole 30? I mean, obviously, you've been focusing on the bug. But Has anything changed in the past year for whole 30? Or is is anything? Is there anything about? Sorry, let me rephrase that. Is there anything that is surprising to you about how the whole 30 has grown in the past year.

Melissa Hartwig 21:22
Um, I think I'm always surprised from year to year at how much we've grown and how much our audience has expanded. The last we are running the September hole 30 this year. And in running it, I realized how many people are brand spanking new to the concept A and B, how many people don't know me, or who I am, they just know that the whole 30 is this awesome program, because they heard it from their sisters, hairdressers cousin. So you know, the the audience that we have is so broad now and so expansive, it's gone well beyond our original audience of kind of CrossFit and paleo people. And now it's like, moms and grandmothers and sisters, and husbands and aunts, and kids. And so hearing from so many people who are so new to the very idea of whole 30, who didn't find us through paleo, or primal or fitness, I think is is, is surprising, even though I don't know why I'm surprised because we've been getting so much more kind of mainstream media attention. So I've had to take a shift, and my team has had to take a shift backward in assuming that people who are coming to us don't know anything about the whole 30. And don't know anything about the idea of eating real food or an anti inflammatory diet, or, you know, this idea of changing your health and changing your habits. And we're kind of almost re issuing all of these super basic resources and guidelines and pieces of advice like from the ground up, which is kind of cool to see, because we have so many, you know, new people who are so jazzed about the concept. So yeah, that's been surprising, but in a pleasant way.

Kathleen Shannon 23:04
I love that though. Because even as someone who has been following you guys for a long time, it's always good to go back to the basics, right? In fitness in money, and how we manage our day to day lives. Whenever you go back to the basics, you're really able to like refine and hone your processes, and really learn something different every single time. So I just think that it's really good even for your established audience. I'm a little bit curious about how you're able to, okay, whenever I think about growing a brand, I always like to think about like, there's the inner core, right, so maybe those early adopters, those people who were following you from the beginning, and you still know their names, you know the names of their children, you know, those people and then there's kind of like that outer ring, so maybe the first few people, or first few 1000s of people who were subscribing to your newsletter list or in your Facebook group. And then as that ring gets bigger and bigger, what does that do for kind of that inner core for you or even your own focus?

Unknown Speaker 24:12

Unknown Speaker 24:13

Melissa Hartwig 24:13
I think I like to continue to connect with that super inner core, and I will on social media, like throw out references or throw out, you know, kind of jokes or inside jokes and like, it's really nice to know that there are people who have been around for that long, who still kind of get that. What I've had to do, though, is changed the way I and we message assuming that people don't know who we are. So I can no longer throw something out on social media and assume everyone knows that my voice is kind of sarcastic and really dry humor and maybe a little snarky and definitely self deprecating, like, I've had to change the way I communicate a little bit to both continue to like Throw a knot out to the people who have been around a long time, but also be welcoming and inviting and give the newer people an idea of exactly who we are and what we do. So it's exactly as challenging as it sounds, I think. But it's also, it's a welcome challenge, because it forces me to always stay connected to Who am I? How do I want to present myself in the world? How do I want to connect with people? How do I want to be seen? And if what I've been doing as sort of a nod to the inner circle isn't connecting with the people who are just now coming to hole 30? That's not serving me. So in a way, it's been a really, it's challenging, but it's been a really good exercise for me to think about, you know, how do I want to show up in the world to people who maybe have no idea who I am or what I've been doing the last seven years,

Kathleen Shannon 25:54
I mentioned that we're writing our book proposal. And it was really interesting trying to describe ourselves to someone making the assumption that they have no idea who we are, they have no idea what being bosses, they maybe don't even know what a creative entrepreneur is, you know, and really getting super basical, like you're describing what you do to your great aunt, who's hard of hearing. And doesn't have the internet. So I think that there are a lot of opportunities in that. And it sounds like that's kind of what you're going through a little bit is kind of having to like refine that core brand message and really revisit that. And I think that's a good exercise for anyone to do pretend as if you had to explain what you're doing to a million people who have no idea what you're doing. And how does that resonate also with the people who have been following you forever? I'm gonna do that myself later today.

Melissa Hartwig 26:49
I think it's so incredibly valuable. And I brought it I just brought on a chief marketing officer a few months ago. Her name is Karen Scott, she's amazing tons of experience. And she actually made us go through as a team at our last off site, this that exact exercise, you know, what adjectives would we use to if we a full 30? Were a person? How would you describe us? And what are the most important, you know, if you had to pick just five of those what are the most important and it's nothing I've ever done before, because I am whole 30 and whole 30 is me. Except it's grown so far beyond me. And it had grown so far beyond me years ago, and I just didn't take the time or have anyone on board on my team to kind of force us to go through this exercise as a group. So it was incredibly valuable, and really fun to kind of go through and say like, how would we describe ourselves? You know, how what would our personality look like? What do we want people to visit us and take away from the experience? I think it's, I think it's really valuable. And I'm super grateful to Karen for like having us go through that as a team?

Emily Thompson 27:57
Well, I want to talk about the team management then for a second. Because you have grown and do you see yourself as as like the person who manages the team? Do you have someone who's managing it for you, I mean, this growth that you've experienced, I mean, over the past year has been big, but like look at it from like three or four years has been really pretty massive. How have you used? Or how have you made that transition in your business and like the team and management standpoint,

Melissa Hartwig 28:27
I mean, so the growth of the whole 30 over the last three or four years has been tremendous. And my team has grown like a teeny tiny bit, honestly, we still run really, really lean and like, there's a piece of me, that's like, don't tell people that you want them to think you run this giant Empire. But like, you and I have talked about the value of the book rework, and the kind of principles behind, you know, being lean, and being nimble and being flexible and being super closely connected to your community. And I still run by that principle, you know, I've brought on the chief marketing officer and one or two operations assistants over the last year, but like, we're a small group, and I want to continue to be really small, because it allows us to be incredibly responsive. So everyone that works for me, is incredibly independent. They all have, they all take massive amounts of ownership in this business in this company. Each of them has a really entrepreneurial spirit and and of themselves. They're very well self directed, they work well together. But, you know, we, I think we just run our ship that way because it allows us to stay so closely connected to the community. And when the community says like, Hey, this is something we kind of need, we're able to look at it and say, okay, we can do that. And six months later, or two months later, we're giving them exactly what they've asked for. So none of that has that philosophy of mine hasn't changed in the last few years, just because we've grown if anything, I think Get it just continues to remind me like how much can we do and still keep ourselves like as simple as possible on the back end.

Emily Thompson 30:10
I love that whenever, whenever I think about like being boss and how we're growing to, that's how I feel like I don't want to grow into this like 100 employee company or any like that makes me want to break out into hives. I think like I love the idea of keeping things very lean and very small. I don't think that's something you should, you should, you should want to want to hide by any means. We're talking to our episode with David Heinemeier Hansson, who helped write rework. That was one of the things that he brought to the table too, was this idea that you want to keep it as small and as lean as possible, so that you can really nurture relationships in a way that you can't whenever you get bigger, so I love I love the fact that you know, you've grown, your brand has grown so much, but your business in terms of what it takes to make it all do and the amount of energy that your people I mean, I'm sure they're consistently adjusting energy, but it's not more people making it work. It's just making it work with what you have. And I think that's huge.

Melissa Hartwig 31:14
I was talking to another entrepreneur at an event back in May. And she very casually said, like, Oh, I have to bring in like this amount of revenue just to support my entire staff. And I thought to myself, Oh, my God, that gives me hives. Like, I love the idea that I can say no to things. We don't have any advertising on our website, none. You know why? I don't have to? And I don't want to, would it be a good business move to do that? Absolutely. Like, sure, it would be that's passive income, I don't have to do anything like it would with our traffic, it would be great. But guess what I don't want to, I don't think it serves my community right now. And because of the way I run my team, I don't have to. And I never want to be in a position where I have to say yes to something that doesn't feel right. Because I have to support the infrastructure that I myself has created.

Emily Thompson 32:03
That's, that's fantastic. All those like graders out there who feel like they have to have a big team to do things like that. So, so not how you have to look at it.

Kathleen Shannon 32:16
But when that's coming, excuse me, one thing that's coming out of this that we're talking about right now that I'm starting to think about is how your company culture internally, no matter how large or small your team is, will kind of be reflected on the outside in your community. So if your company is small and lean and efficient, and getting things done and likes working with each other, and everyone has ownership over what they're doing, that is going to be seen and felt by your entire community. And this can start with just one person. So if you are a one person shop, what kind of culture Do you want to create for yourself? That is then reflected in your client work or in your community? I think that's something that's super important to think about.

Melissa Hartwig 33:04
I never thought about it like that. But that's absolutely brilliant. And you're absolutely right. And it never, you know, I've always said with businesses, um, yeah, look at these CrossFit gyms. And I think like the the, the community vibe, and like the feel that you get when you walk into a gym comes from the top down, right, it comes from the owner down, it never occurred to me that in a business that's virtual, it would work exactly the same. But I think you're exactly right. And I, I certainly hope that that's true, because I feel like we have the most positive, supportive, welcoming community. You know, on the internet, I think our community is just the absolute best. And it would be awesome to think that that comes because our team also like work so closely together and loves what we do and loves each other. And we're respectful of our differences, but also not afraid to air them. Like, I hope it works that way. I love that idea.

Kathleen Shannon 34:02
So I want to talk a little bit about the link between fitness and health and food and entrepreneurship. I think because fitness and health and food and all those things is such a passion of mine. I'm constantly using it as a metaphor in my business. Right

Emily Thompson 34:18
just like talking about food Kathleen.

Kathleen Shannon 34:25
I'm so I'm curious. Melissa, if you've seen any links between, you know, how you work out, is it ever a metaphor for how you're going about your business? And yeah, I'm curious to hear from you on that.

Melissa Hartwig 34:39
And I don't know that I would have thought about it like that. But you know, the way I think the way I approached my fitness is basically you know, more isn't better, better is better. And I need to be satisfied both physically and like emotionally and psychologically and I only do as much as I have the capacity to recover from. And some weeks that's like, a lot of stuff. And I go really hard. And maybe it's, you know, a yoga class plus a workout or workout plus the hike. And then other weeks, it's not that much because I don't have the emotional or physical capacity to recover from it. And I guess if I were to think about it, I would I run my business the same way more isn't better, better is better. And I only take on as many obligations or give a not as much of myself to the business as I have the capacity to recover from. And I'm very, very careful in both instances, to put my own health and happiness first. So I guess they wouldn't, it doesn't come naturally to me to think about what I do for my business from that kind of fitness. metaphorical perspective. But if I had to, I think I run every area of my life kind of the same way.

Kathleen Shannon 35:54
I love that I love more isn't better, better, is better. And I'm learning that a lot from I think it's because I just joined a gym, or I've been working out at a gym for the past six months that really adopts a lot of the philosophies, Melissa that you talk about, whenever it comes to your fitness, I know that like for example, after you have a baby there are so many people on Instagram who are like flashing their six pack six weeks after having a baby. And and really even just watching your journey postpartum. And just really taking it easy. And this year has been what is it the year of fitting bendy,

Melissa Hartwig 36:30
strong and bending strong you're bending.

Kathleen Shannon 36:33
And so really just doing what works best for you. And I love how open you are about. It's not about you know, wake up and grind. And the gym is my boyfriend. It's like nope, the gym is the gym. And if I feel like us today, I'm going to take it easy. And I think that that's so applicable. Like as I'm starting to adopt that in my fitness and getting away from doing things like counting macros. And it's easy to fall into the vanity side of things. And it's the same with business, it's so easy to fall into the vanity side of things with social media and wanting to create the six figure model and all of this, but you can only do what you have the capacity for right. And so it's gotten me thinking a lot about burnout and how I approach my business as well.

Melissa Hartwig 37:24
Yeah, you're exactly right. And if you had asked me this question, five years ago, I would have said to you, I work my butt off in the gym, and all I do is kill it. And it's always harder. And it's always more. And by the way, when it comes to my business, I'm always working and I don't take breaks because I'm working while you're sleeping like I had the same mentality back then, when they were very parallel. And now I have a totally different mentality and they're still parallel in a really positive way. So yeah, I think that's smart.

Kathleen Shannon 37:51
Well, and so circling back around to the book, then I'm sure that a lot of these concepts are coming into the book like how do you let go of those bad habits and that guilt and that anxiety around pushing hard and that more is better.

Melissa Hartwig 38:07
I mean, that gets complicated because there are physiological factors that push us in that direction, right being under slept under nourished, overtrained, having life stress, all puts us into this kind of stress addiction cycle where neurotransmitters are depleted and stress hormones are off and like you have to create more stress just to feel good. So, you know, the first step obviously, is changing some dietary and lifestyle factors like I did a couple years ago to kind of break that cycle. But I also you know, in in the food freedom book, and I'm only really talking about food there. But it's really about understanding that this is all part of this big picture cyclical process, that it's not linear, it's not I'm going to do this, and then this will automatically change and it will stay changed for the rest of my life. It's, you start this process and you do really well for a while. And then you start to do not so well. And then you just come back around to kind of where you started and get back on the process again, and understanding that the part where you're not doing so well isn't failure. It's just part of the process. It's a natural part of your progression, that it's three steps forward, and maybe a step back or two steps back sometimes but like you're always kind of moving forward and that you've got the rest of your life to continue to work on it and develop it and change it and grow it and play with it and have fun with it. So I'm trying really hard to encourage people just to change the mindset of like, I have to get there because there is no there the process is the there you know,

Kathleen Shannon 39:46
amen. You know, I as I'm getting older, we all want the promised land, right? And what I'm learning is that there are these phases that we go through in life. There's the kind of death and rebirth like Oh shit, what am I doing? Where am I, a lot of creatives might feel this at the very beginning of their business. Or maybe they had a catalyst that took them into this death and rebirth phase of like, maybe they got fired from a job or you know where food is concerned, maybe they got sick and knew that they needed to change something. And then there's this like dreaming and scheming phase where we're starting to gather research and materials and ideas. We're asking people what they think we're gathering opinions and experiences. And then there's the doing the work, the hero's journey. And that's where we're implementing everything that we've learned along the way, and trying it out test and change. That kind of in is an n equals one experimentation, where we're seeing what works for us. And then we might have a little bit of moment in the promised land. And for the whole 30, it might be on day 30, where you're like, Yes, I have arrived, but you better believe you're going to be thrown back into that death and rebirth phase. And I've learned that it's not about just sticking in the promised land, but really tightening, and getting through those phases faster or with more ease or without just flipping the fuck out every single time something goes wrong, right? Because things will go wrong. So I'm just trying to like make the cycles tighter. And with less anxiety.

Melissa Hartwig 41:22
Yeah, it's almost as if you've already read the book, which is funny, because I haven't sent it to you yet. But yes, and, and what I want to do is reframe it for people, right? Like you haven't failed or fallen off the wagon, you're not a disaster, it's part of the learning process. And it is a an incredibly valuable part of the learning process. The the death and dying part is incredibly valuable. Because every time you come back from that you come back from that stronger. And ideally, what you're doing is spending more and more time in what you call the promised land what I call food freedom, which is basically you're just living it, right you've, you've done the work, you've done the you've done the therapy, you've done the n equals one experimentation, you've done the, you know, testing, whatever you want to call it. And now you're just kind of like implementing what you've learned and living it. And every time you start that cycle again, you will spend more and more time just living it until as you've discovered, and I've discovered like, I don't really need to go back and do a full reset ever again. Because I've just, I've found that I'm really happy just living this balance. And if I do get knocked off, and I end up at some point, I will end up dead and dying again, like, Okay, I have a plan to come back from it. And like that's okay, let me know, I spent basically all of 2015 going through like a divorce and a business split that was death and dying. But I use that time to do my therapy and to do my planning and to do the hero's work. And then I came out of it and found like man, I'm in a way better place than I ever have been. So I don't think about any of that as a failure. It was just a really valuable learning experience. And if you can reframe it to that, I think everything changes.

Emily Thompson 43:12
Yeah, that mindset shift is everything, like every entrepreneur that we talked to, or everyone that we're telling about whole 30 because goodness knows we do. I mean, it really is about that mindset shift of like, you know, every little stumble is just a chance for you to get back up, not so much of the world telling you you need to stay down, which is not how you need to look at it. That shift is everything.

Melissa Hartwig 43:39
And what I tell people is like the Think of the whole 30 as a safety net, that reset in terms of your food will always be there if you find yourself so far off track, and you don't know how to come back. But just because it's the safety net doesn't make it a trampoline. So I tried really hard to counsel people like okay, if you but like it's okay to come back to it. But if it's a pattern where you're repeatedly coming back to it over and over, I will encourage you with a little bit of my signature tough love to like take a look at what's going on. Because that balancing process isn't healthy either. So it's it's a little bit of a balance between like, Well, no, it's not a failure, and it's a necessary part of the learning experience. But also, if you find yourself learning the same lesson over and over and over, like, maybe it's time to get a little bit of help and take a look at what's going on there. Alright, Melissa,

Kathleen Shannon 44:30
what uh, what book are you working on? Now? I know that you've just launched this one. Surely you're writing something else now? Yeah.

Melissa Hartwig 44:39
Right. It's like asking a woman who's just had a baby when she's going to have another baby. No, no more books. Right now I'm just focused on supporting the food freedom forever book, and I'll be doing a tour in October and a little bit into November and then I'll be going back out on the road when the whole 30 cookbook comes out. comes out December 6, then I'll be going back out in January to support Doing the January hole 30. And kind of doing some promo for the cookbook. So my, basically through February I'm spoken for, and I think I'll probably spend all of February in Mexico on a beach somewhere totally disconnected.

Unknown Speaker 45:12
Yes. Where can people find the book,

Melissa Hartwig 45:16
hole thirty.com slash books, that's where all of the books are located all of the information, but they're sold everywhere books are sold. So we've had amazing support from Amazon, Barnes and Noble target Costco books, a million Indigo chapters,

Kathleen Shannon 45:31
the book will be published in the US, Canada and the UK. And you can find it everywhere, including ebook and then as soon as I read it, it will be available on audiobook as well. Exciting and you guys keep your eyes peeled, because Melissa, I know that you go in Rogue with a sharpie and sign your books in bookstores. So

Melissa Hartwig 45:50
I do I call them stealth signings. And sometimes the employees of the store are quizzical about what I am doing. But when I explained they're usually very happy about it.

Kathleen Shannon 46:01
All right. And to close this out, what is one piece of advice, whether it's mindset habits, routines that you would give to someone to be more boss,

Melissa Hartwig 46:11
establish a morning routine. That's an easy one. I don't care what you do, as long as you do it consistently. Figure out what works for you in the morning to make you feel like you are running the day to make you feel powerful to make you feel creative, to make you feel accomplished, to make you feel energized. And then do it and stick to it religiously.

Kathleen Shannon 46:30
Love it. Thank you so much for joining us. It's always so good to catch up with you and get to talk to you and congrats on the book. I cannot wait to get my hands on it and read it. front cover to that cover.

Melissa Hartwig 46:43
Thank you. I'll be sending one year away for sure.

Kathleen Shannon 46:46
Thank you. And hey, when are you starting your podcast?

Melissa Hartwig 46:51
So podcast I'm hoping to launch in January. And we're still kind of finalizing some of the details right now. But it's I don't want I can't really say exactly what the topic is yet, because it hasn't been totally finalized. But I'm pretty sure it's gonna be epic. So I'm really excited about that, too.

Kathleen Shannon 47:06
I you know, I was just assuming that you were starting a podcast. I didn't.

Unknown Speaker 47:12
But I'm glad everything works.

Unknown Speaker 47:13
How did I gather to hear about this? I talked

Melissa Hartwig 47:15
about it. No. Yes, we have. We've just been talking about it over the last month or two. Yeah.

Kathleen Shannon 47:20
Nice. All right. Thanks again, Melissa.

Melissa Hartwig 47:24
Thanks so much. This was always a pleasure. Thanks both of you.

Emily Thompson 47:29
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Kathleen Shannon 48:45
Thank you for listening to being boss. Please be sure to visit our website at being boss club where you can find Show Notes for this episode. Listen to past episodes and discover more of our content that will help you be boss in work and life. Did you like this episode,

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Emily Thompson 49:05
Do the work. Be boss and we'll see you next week.

Kathleen Shannon 49:26
Real quick before we go on, that was awesome. I think that your luxurious hair is rubbing against your mic quite a bit. We're getting a little bit of

Unknown Speaker 49:34
sorry, let me put it to the side. There we go.

Emily Thompson 49:37
Your hair is magnificent by the

Unknown Speaker 49:39

Unknown Speaker 49:39
It has its own yes

Unknown Speaker 49:41
Instagram account.

Unknown Speaker 49:43
It does. It does. I saw it. I

Unknown Speaker 49:45
loved it.

Unknown Speaker 49:47
Well, thanks. Okay, I flipped it to the side I think Thank you

Kathleen Shannon 49:50
when it's speaking of your hair. One thing that I've always admired about you Melissa is your boundaries.