How This Founder Learned to Trust Her Gut and Grow Her $3 Million Probiotics Company

When it comes to business, Harris would rather listen to her own instincts than to advice from well-meaning MBAs: “If they knew exactly how to do it, they’d be doing it,” she says. “We’re learning as we go, and trusting our gut has been the best lesson so far.” Here, Harris holds a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast–scoby for short–which ferments kombucha.
Amy Lombard

After Ashley Harris and her family began experimenting with probiotics at a doctor’s recommendation, they saw digestive issues clear up, eczema disappear, and moods improve. She wanted to help other families overcome similar ailments, so in 2015 she founded LoveBug Probiotics, a New York City-based supplements business that grew its revenue 2,621 percent in three years, and landed deals with major retailers like Target and CVS. Despite having limited business experience, here’s how she pulled from her previous career as a 19th-century European paintings​ specialist at Sotheby’s to get LoveBug started. –As told to Anna Meyer

We launched selling our products on Amazon and on our website. But those early days were tough. The space is competitive, and my startup didn’t have the kind of budget for marketing that other probiotic companies have.

With my art background, I focused on creating bold-colored packaging and tongue-in-cheek branding messages like “Feel good from the inside out” and “Yeast is a beast.” It helped us stand out among competitors that had very clinical marketing and branding. Our approach resonated with customers, and incoming positive Amazon reviews helped more and more eyes land on our page. By the end of that first year, my startup took in around $115,000 in revenue.

Amy Lombard

In 2016, my instincts and art background served me again: I traveled to Anaheim, California to an industry trade show, Natural Products Expo West, to create an over-the-top display booth with Ikea furniture and bookcases that I put together on the spot. Throwing a corporate banner over a folding table wasn’t going to cut it. Compared to the bland, run-of-the-mill corporate booths around us, we stood out and buyers from national retailers all came looking, and after hearing my story, became interested in doing business.

Fast forward three years, and by the end of 2018, I grew the brand 2,621 percent, landed deals with national retailers like Target and CVS, put product through the doors of more than 10,000 retail locations, and brought in over $3.1 million in revenue in 2018.

Courtesy Company

As a first time founder with a background in art and literature, a lot of well-meaning people with MBAs told me how I should run my business. I felt pressured to listen to them, but I learned to trust my own instincts. If they knew exactly how to do it, they’d be doing it. My team and I are learning as we go, and trusting our gut has been the best lesson so far.

In addition to growing my business, I like to experiment with fermenting probiotic-rich foods in my own kitchen. From wild yeast in a homemade bread starter that produces an insanely satisfying sourdough bread, to lacto-fermented pickled vegetables that add the needed balance to a dish, or to the yeast and grape fermentation that makes a varietal of wines–fermenting has been a joy to experiment with.

Fermentation requires balancing acidity, temperature, and time, and I’ve grown to view my business the same way. It’s not just about how fast you can scale, it’s about putting the right things in and letting it grow.


By: Anna Meyer


Source: How This Founder Learned to Trust Her Gut and Grow Her $3 Million Probiotics Company

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After the review, check out our list of the 10 Probiotic Supplements! Want to know what I think of this probiotic? This is an in depth review of Lovebug Probiotics. See what real experts and actual users have to say about this probiotic supplement! People are always asking me which probiotic is best. In this review I’ll go over everything you need to know about this one. Here’s a breakdown of what I’ll cover: First, I’ll give you my overall rating of the product based on how it compares to all the other probiotics I’ve tried. You don’t want to miss this part! Then, I’ll tell you how easy or difficult it is to use. This includes the size of the pills, the taste and what form they come in. There are so many options nowadays, so I break it down for you. Next, I talk about the ingredients and strain profile. There are many strains out there and they all target different things. At the end of my Lovebug Probiotics review I’ll go over any side effects I got while using the probiotic. These include both positive and negative things I experienced. To sum it up, if you want to learn all about this probiotic, I’d recommend checking out the full video. Here’s our list of the 10 best probiotics!…



Shopify Cracks The E-Commerce Code, And Its Billionaire CEO’s Fortune Doubles In Just Six Months


Tobi Lutke, the Canadian CEO and founder of e-commerce platform Shopify, has a net worth that’s doubled to $3.2 billion in just six months, thanks to his company’s skyrocketing stock.

  • The e-commerce platform’s stock, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, has skyrocketed up 106% since mid February, when Forbes measured net worths for the 2019 list of billionaires. Shopify provides the online shopping engine for more than 800,000 customers, including Kylie Jenner’s beauty store Kylie Cosmetics.
  • Lutke, who was born in Germany, owns nearly 9% of the Ottawa-based company. He founded Shopify in 2004 after he and a friend had attempted to start an online snowboard shop out of Ontario and realized there were no efficient tools to help small business owners operate online. As winter ended and snowboard sales plummeted, Lutke told Forbes in a June 2018 interview that he decided to create Shopify.
  • Shoppers have spent over $100 billion on Shopify-powered sites since it began operating, according to the company.
  • Shopify had $1.1 billion in 2018 revenues, a 59% increase from the previous year.
  • Shopify’s $42.3 billion market capitalization is now larger than that of many big tech brands, including Twitter, Snap, Square and Lyft.
  • According to the Financial Times, Lutke prefers that his employees refrain from regularly checking Shopify’s stock price.

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Angel Au-Yeung has been a reporter on staff at Forbes Magazine since 2017. She covers the world’s wealthiest entrepreneurs and tracks how they use their money and power.



Shopify COO Harley Finkelstein breaks down how the Canadian e-commerce platform creates economies of scale to give small businesses benefits that help entrepreneurs compete with giant retailers. » Subscribe to CNBC: » Watch more Mad Money here: » Read more about Shopify: “Mad Money” takes viewers inside the mind of one of Wall Street’s most respected and successful money managers. Jim Cramer is your personal guide through the confusing jungle of Wall Street investing, navigating through both opportunities and pitfalls with one goal in mind — to try to help you make money. About CNBC: From ‘Wall Street’ to ‘Main Street’ to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Get More Mad Money! Read the latest news: Watch full episodes: Follow Mad Money on Twitter: Like Mad Money on Facebook: Follow Cramer on Twitter: Connect with CNBC News Online! Visit Find CNBC News on Facebook: Follow CNBC News on Twitter: Follow CNBC News on Google+: Follow CNBC News on Instagram: Shopify COO: Servicing 820,000 Merchants | Mad Money | CNBC



Growth Mindset is a Habit You Want

In Carol Dweck’s famous study on growth mindset, Dweck taught high school students about brain plasticity and about how the characteristics of intelligence are not fixed. The idea was to convince students that they had control over improving their academic ability. Years later, these students scored higher on standardized tests.

It’s tempting to think of the Dweck study as a near instant fix. You teach students, or yourself, the details of growth mindset. This takes about an hour. And then afterward your performance magically improves.

Although Dweck’s study has been supported by future studies, for example this one, I suspect there is a crucial missing element to the story. What behaviors did the students change after the lesson? Knowing this is the key to understanding how you can improve your own life.

My story is about my mom, now a retired 3rd grade teacher. She took that same concept of teaching growth mindset and reworked it for 3rd graders. The reworked lesson plan came down to three YouTube videos. I’ll share those below and then share what happened in the class room after the lesson was over. In my observations of my mom’s classroom, all of the magic was in the behaviors that the students built afterward. In other words, it’s not knowledge that transformed the students, it was new habits.

#1. Success Is Not an Accident

First, my mom inspired her class with someone who embodies self-improvement. Steph Curry came into the NBA too short, too small, and too slow to be a star. Now he’s an MVP and World Champion. And it was all because of his practice habits.

I don’t think you need to be a third grader to be inspired by this.

#2. Your Brain Changes!

Then she threw a two minute video on neuroplasticity at the class.

This is a classic self-improvement tactic — practically all self-improvement books are written to start with an inspirational story and then to immediately pivot into an explanation of why anyone could achieve the same thing.

So my mom was hitting her kids with Curry for inspiration and then brain science for plausibility.

Here’s where I’m hoping you are finding your own future growth plausible: your brain can change. That’s what brain plasticity is. So no matter how bad you are at something right now, you can change that so that future you becomes very good at it. That’s basically what the concept of Growth Mindset is about.

#3. The Power of Yet

After the first two videos, my mom’s class was sold on growth mindset, but they didn’t know how to put it into practice.

Thankfully, Jannelle Monet was a guest on Sesame Street and gave the simplest behavioral pattern for practicing growth mindset: use the word Yet.

The Growth Mindset Habit

The three videos above are not enough to change a child’s life. They have to be followed up by a change in behavior.

That’s the entire misunderstanding with Carol Dweck’s study. The focus is on the initial lecture, not the follow on behavior.

One of my mom’s strengths as a teacher was that she brought a consistency to classroom management. And one of the changes she made to her classroom was that she started insisting that the class adopt the word yet.

Every time a kid says yet, they are representing that they are open to learning something new.

The lesson that my mom put together was the launchpad for a new habit. And that new habit was then reinforced hundreds of times over the school year.

You can’t A/B test my mother because she is retired. But I can share that her kids had one of the highest test score improvements of any class in her district.

Regardless of the merits of standardized testing, something about her teaching that year worked especially well. And anecdotally, that something revolved around the word Yet.

And for that reason, the word Yet has become a big part of my own self-talk. I hope you adopt it too.

Coach Tony By: Coach Tony


Source: Growth Mindset is a Habit You Want – Better Humans – Medium

Watch, learn and connect:

Should you tell your kids they are smart or talented? Professor Carol Dweck answers this question and more, as she talks about her groundbreaking work on developing mindsets.

3 Things Successful People Do To Leverage Failure (Infographic) – Terina Allen


I am scared way more often than I am brave. I am uncomfortable much more frequently than I am comfortable. I am unsure about so much more than I am certain of. I have dropped many more balls than I have ever caught, and I have failed at more initiatives than I have succeeded. And it is because of this, not in spite of it, that I thrive. We know that successful people, like everyone else, make mistakes, feel pain, quit, cry, lose and have all the same insecurities and self doubts that all human beings experience. We know success is not synonymous with perfection………………

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How To Succeed Without Data, In A Data Driven World – Chaka Booker


There are some words that inspire confidence when you use them. “Data” is one of those words. Throw “data-driven” in front of “decision-making” and you’ll suddenly find yourself more credible. If someone is sharing an idea, ask about “the data” and your IQ shoots up several points. I believe in data. I understand how data can identify trends, minimize risk and lead to better decisions. Data comforts me. But the fixation on data has a drawback. It leads to the belief that decisions made without data – aren’t as strong. Never mind that bad decisions, based on data, get made all the time……

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The Walt Disney Of Retail: Meet The Billionaire Building The Malls Of The Future – Samantha Sharf


To understand The Grove, the 575,000-square-foot shopping Xanadu in central Los Angeles, let its owner, Rick Caruso, introduce you to its neighbor, the iconic Farmers Market. He takes you to a butcher stall where, some 80 years ago, Caruso’s father was sweeping the floor. Next he points to a pizza stand founded by Patsy D’Amore, who baked L.A.’s first pie in 1939. “I grew up on his knee,” he says. Dapper in a custom suit and red-and-black-striped tie, Caruso weaves his way through the chaos, frequently stopping to ask merchants, “How’s business?…..

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Mature Entrepreneurs Know When To Be A Hedgehog And When To Be Fox – Chris Myers


There are few things I love more than a lively academic debate, especially when I have experience on both sides of the argument.

One such debate that rages in certain circles is that of the fox vs. the hedgehog. The comparison is based on a fragment of an ancient poem written by the Greek poet Archilochus.

He wrote, “the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”

Unfortunately, since the manuscript was incomplete, there wasn’t much in terms of context to guide readers towards the ultimate meaning of this statement.

It wasn’t until political theorist, and philosopher Isaiah Berlin came across the passage that it reentered popular discourse.

In his appropriately-named 1953 book, “The Hedgehog and the Fox,” Berlin argued that hedgehogs are defined by their adherence to a single overarching idea, whereas foxes tend to draw on many diverse and occasionally only tangentially-connected concepts to form their opinions.

This concept was further simplified by author Jim Collins in his 2001 classic “Good To Great,” where he argues that the discipline and focus of the hedgehog mentality is key to success.

Others, such as psychologist Phil Tetlock believe that the skills of foxes (such as comfort with nuance and contradictions) result in a superior ability to accurately forecast the future and thus, are superior to the skills associated with hedgehogs.

The debate struck a deeply personal chord for me since I can safely say that I’ve been both a fox and a hedgehog at different points in my career. My experience and eventual transition from one to the other has left me with a distinctly different impression: to be a great leader, you must be both a fox and a hedgehog.

Throwing rocks

My co-founder and I often reminisce about our days as analysts, long before becoming entrepreneurs with a focus on operations. One of the things that we’ve both regretted is the fact that in the past we were what we call “rock throwers.”

Since we were outside consultants and analysts, it was incredibly easy for us to sit on the sidelines and act as though we had all the answers. We knew our stuff, to be sure, but we were narrow in our focus. We often scoffed at CEOs of the companies we worked with, drawing on diverse experiences and data points, and laughing to ourselves when confronted with their supreme confidence and bluster.

In short, we were foxes. It was easy for us to see what couldn’t be done, embracing realism to such an extent that every move that was taken by the leaders we covered seemed foolhardy.

Sure, we had facts, theory, and supporting data on our side, but we were boring. We could see so many potential pitfalls with any plan that inaction was often the most prudent course of action.

It was only after we began running our own company that this mentality started to change.

Embracing the big idea

The shift was felt almost immediately once we became entrepreneurs. No longer sitting on the sidelines, we had to make decisions. Suddenly, conversations shifted from why things couldn’t be done to how they could be.

We had turned into hedgehogs overnight. We had a single grand ambition: to revolutionize small business in America. It was a bold idea and one that required the steadfast optimism and can-do attitude that only an entrepreneur can muster.

We believed that any obstacle we encountered could be overcome, no matter how painful. All that was required was a steadfast commitment to our goal and confidence in our decisions.

Our sudden shift from fox to hedgehog mentality was jarring, and soon we found ourselves falling into the same traps that ensnare so many would-be disruptors. Challenges that we thought we could push through became insurmountable, and we saw ourselves doubling down on lackluster strategies merely because they were ours.

To be frank, we were on the path to failure. In an instant, all of the insecurities and second-guessing associated with the fox mentality came flooding back in, and we were ready to call it a day.

Then, a lesson from the ancient past returned and changed everything.

A lesson from the past

I’ve made no secret that I’m a fan of the humanities. I believe that contemporary business lessons can be gleaned from the stories of our past, and therefore tend to gravitate toward ancient texts rather than modern business books.

My epiphany came when I was reading Herodotus’ The Histories and his depiction of Xerxes’ invasion of Greece.

It’s a long and detailed story, but I’ll do my best to summarize the essential elements that led to my realization.

When the Persian King Xerxes, known as the King of Kings, decided to avenge his father’s defeat at Marathon by invading Greece, his uncle and advisor Artabanus was staunchly opposed.

Artabanus was a fox, focusing on everything that could go wrong and the prices that would have to be paid: stretched supplies, weakened morale, challenges associated with crossing long distances.

Xerxes, on the other hand, was a hedgehog, believing so thoroughly in his godhood and the mission at hand that he could not conceive of defeat.

Ultimately, Xerxes pushed forward with the invasion, only to be hampered by both Leonidas’ group of 300 Spartan warriors at the battle of Thermopylae and eventually defeated by Themistocles and the Greeks at the naval battle of Salamis.

So Xerxes abandoned much of his army and went back home in defeat. The overconfident hedgehog was defeated. But this did not mean that Artabanus was the clear ideological winner. Despite being right about his warnings, he was still largely forgotten by history. Sure, under his direction the Persians might not have been defeated, but they still wouldn’t have won.

The great tragedy of Xerxes and Artabanus is that they were both wrong. One was the quintessential hedgehog, while the other was a steadfast fox. Apart, both offered a path to failure. Together, however, they could have succeeded.

That’s when it dawned on me. To become a successful leader, I had to become both a fox and a hedgehog.

A First-rate intelligence

It was F. Scott Fitzgerald who remarked “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”

The fox vs. hedgehog debate is pointless. Instead, leaders must strive to embody the best of both philosophies and hold the opposing ideas in mind at the same time.

This combined philosophy saved our company. We were able to change our perspectives and strike a delicate balance between our unrelenting optimism and the nuanced approach that we perfected in our earlier careers.

This ultimately helped us to say no to specific opportunities and strategies while still possessing the ability to make big, bold bets. It may seem like a subtle shift, but it enabled us to abandon under-performing lines of business, pivot to more profitable lines of business, and ultimately survive nearly ten years on.

So, to answer the question posed in this headline, no, you don’t have to choose between being a fox or a hedgehog. The key to success is to embody the best of both.



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Achieve today – Success Quotes

“For me, winning isn’t something that happens suddenly on the field when the whistle blows and the crowds roar. Winning is something that builds physically and mentally every day that you train and every night that you dream.” —Emmitt Smith ________________________ Enjoy today. Achieve today. Tomorrow is promised to no one! original graphic […]

via Success Quote – Jan. 24, 2018 — Goal


By David DeSteno We’ve all wished for more willpower sometimes. If only we had more self-control, grit, or the ability to delay gratification, we would be more persistent in pursuing our goals. But there’s a problem with this scenario: Willpower doesn’t usually work. Willpower alone can’t ensure that you’ll delay gratification or resist temptation […]


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