People come into our life for a reason, season or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.
When I met Judy, a visionary behind BonJu, I could not possibly imagine how much she would change my life. Their green smoothies are made of leafy greens, fruits, and superfoods and taste fantastic. But I am getting ahead of myself so let’s get back to the beginning.
Judy and I got in touch a few months ago when I decided to try their green smoothies and write about my experience. I was both excited and apprehensive because I tried green smoothies before but never liked the taste.
I drank their green smoothies for a week instead of breakfast. They had such a good and fresh taste and they kept me full until noon. At the end of the week, when I had no smoothie left, I could not imagine the next morning without it. I ended up going to my local grocery store to get some fresh spinach leaves and other ingredients for my first homemade green smoothie. Since then, I have been drinking green smoothies every morning. Besides feeling good and light, green smoothies have helped me to lose most of my pregnancy weight. I am not even on a diet- I eat healthily, drink a lot of water, walk a lot and carry my daughter often. I think that carrying around her 9 kilos of weight is an exercise on its own.(© BonJu)
The funny thing is that the aim of this experiment was not to change my habits. I just wanted to see if drinking green smoothies on daily basis can improve your life.
But that is the thing about Judy. She does not only sell green smoothies, she sells a new way of life. She has this special aura of a person who loves what she does. Spending time with her is inspiring and, if you resonate with her energy, she will motivate you to follow her passion.
I interviewed Judy over the phone to give you an idea about her business and her as a woman, mother, and a businesswoman.
Why did you start BonJu?
“It started five, six years ago when I became interested in the connection between health and food because a member of my family became seriously ill.” She took online courses about health and nutrition and vegetarian cooking at Cornell University & Rouxbe Cooking School and is now on her way to becoming certified Health Coach at the Institute for Integrated Health.
The more she was learning about the connection between food and wellness, the more she was passionate about it. At that time, she was working in P&G as a marketing manager. She used her one day off to work on her green smoothies idea. She permitted 50 people from three different companies around Geneva to be her “guinea pigs” for her one week Green Smoothie Challenge (you can read about it on her Judy Goes Green blog). Afterward, 99% of participants admitted that they felt different just by substituting breakfast daily with a green smoothie.
“I don’t think that you really know what is your purpose until you try.” Judy replied to my question about purpose. “And you should also follow what gives you hits of happiness. Every time someone told me that they
FIGURE OUT WHAT MOVES YOU & PRACTICE IT.
felt well and it worked for them, I got a hit of happiness.”
She has also decided to be less active on social media because they can make her feel that she is not doing enough. “Looking at the spark of others takes your spark away and I can’t be productive in this way. In order to be creative, focus on people that need your help, and serve them. That’s where I get my inspiration.”
TELL YOUR FEARS YOU’LL BE BACK & CARRY ON
“I learnt to park negative voices.” She muses. “When they come, I tell them that I will get back to them. Then I start doing something else and I never go back.”
“Being in the present allows inspiration to come. Meditation and running help me getting back to here & now.”
FAMILY/ FRIENDS/ WORK/ FITNESS/ SLEEP- PICK YOUR THREE AND STICK TO IT
How do you balance family and work life?
“I try not to think about it. I am with my family during the weekends. I think you can’t have everything. I heard that you have to choose three areas out of family/ friends/ work/ fitness and work and stick to it. I chose family, work and fitness for now. The rest I mix- there are some friends with whom I share my passion for fitness, others who I connect with about work. The only thing I really lack is sleep.“
Is it easier for men than for women to start a business?
“I don’t think so. My husband supports me fully and believes in me. I think we, as women, have too high expectations of ourselves. Men are much easier on themselves. For example, they take time to relax after they come home from work. While women don’t allow themselves to rest because they would feel lazy or they believe that there is too much to be done.
THROW YOUR BAG OVER THE FENCE. FAIL FAST, FAIL CHEAP.
What is your advice for those who want to start a business but don’t have much money?
“Start slow and steady. I did not jump in it without thinking. We did a lot of number crunching and I can tell you, you can start on a budget. I recommend that you do as much testing as you can when you work and have a steady income. Create a financial model while you are working. I worked 80% for P&G and spent one day in the kitchen of a restaurant, learning from a chef.” (The chef is now working for her and the owner of the restaurant, where she was working, has become her business partner.)
“Come with several ideas, choose one and test it. Give yourself a month. Test your idea as much as you can and try to get an extra hand to help you with your project. If the idea does not work, move on to the next one. People think that they have to be ready but they just have to JUMP!”
I like her honesty and inspirational approach to business. She inspired me to believe in myself, concentrate on activities that give me “bouts of happiness” and follow my dreams.