It’s a beautiful day, Healthpreneurs, and I’m super excited to bring you another incredible episode of the Healthpreneur Podcast! Today, I speak to Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, and founder of the F Factor Diet. This renowned diet is the only dietician-created program for weight-loss and optimal health that is based on – wait for it – scientifically proven fiber-rich nutrition. That’s right, fiber!
Fiber doesn’t tend to get a lot of cred in the weight-loss space, and Tanya is on a mission to change that. She has written two bestselling weight-loss books on the subject, has been in private practice in Manhattan for over 20 years, and is a lecturer, consultant, spokesperson, and national media personality.
Tanya and I get into why F Factor works and why she’s so pumped up to help people improve their health while maintaining their quality of life. She reveals what catapulted her business to success and how she juggles business life with family life while still leading her kids and clients by example. What Tanya discusses is totally relatable. Tune in for some solid business and personal takeaways!
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In this episode Tanya and I discuss:
- The F Factor’s 4 disruptive principles.
- Her inspiration for helping others without compromising quality of life.
- What’s lacking in the curriculum of health practitioners.
- How mentorship changed the trajectory of F Factor for the better.
- Work/life balance as an entrepreneur parent.
- Being a parent and business owner that leads by example.
4:00 – 9:00 – F Factor, why it works, and how they’ve been successful
9:00 – 15:00 – Tanya’s inspiration to help others and F Factor’s proven methods and principles
15:00 – 24:00 – The X Factor for success, mentorship, strategy, and inherent entrepreneurship
24:00 – 31:00 – “Doing it all,” managing expectations, having support, and leading by example
31:00 – 36:30 – The Rapid Five
What You Missed:
Our last episode featured Alicia Streger who built and sold a successful fitness business where she learned the nitty-gritty about one-on-one coaching, systems, and processes. Sick of trading dollars for hours, her business evolved to a group training model so she could live a healthier and happier life.
Today, Alicia helps fitness pros build their businesses with strategies and tactics that get real results.
This episode will greatly benefit any Healthpreneurs looking to grow their business while maintaining the love and passion behind their mission. Tune in and enjoy!
Hello, Healthpreneurs! Welcome to the Healthpreneur Podcast. Today we are talking with Tanya Zuckerbrot. I think you’ll enjoy this conversation because Tanya and I both have a passion for nutrition and have a good discussion about entrepreneurship. She’s a natural-born entrepreneur, and that has impacted her business. She’s a great example.
She is a registered dietician. One of hundreds of thousands of dieticians, most likely, around the world. So, what separates someone like Tanya from every other dietician out there? That’s what she’s going to share in this episode.
In case you don’t know her, Tanya’s an internationally-known dietician and the creator of the renowned F-factor diet. It’s the only dietician-created program for weight loss and optimal health that is based on scientifically-proven fiber-rich nutrition.
She’s worked in private practice in Manhattan with the who’s who of that society for more than 20 years. Her success has been profiled in the Sunday Style section of the New York Times and elsewhere.
She’s the author of two bestselling weight loss books, “The F-Factor Diet: Discover the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss,” which was published by GP Putnam & Sons; and “The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear,” which was published in 2012 by Hyperion. In addition to that, she has appeared on national television channels like NBC Today, CBS News, Live with Kelly, the Dodge Ross Show, The View, Rachel Ray, and more. She’s been on pretty much all the big shows you can imagine.
She holds a master’s degree in nutrition and food studies from NYU, New York University, and completed a two-year dietetic internship at NYU’s medical center. She’s got lots of great accreditations and experience, but I think you’ll find our interview inspiring because what she did out of the gates is extremely powerful to remember.
If you’re a dietician, nutritionist, health coach, trainer, or work with people and want to stand out and be successful in your respective market, this interview will find you well.
So, without any further ado, let’s welcome Tanya onto the show, and let’s get into it.
Hey, Tanya. Welcome to the Healthpreneur Podcast. How are you?
Tanya: I’m great, Yuri. How are you?
Yuri: I’m very good, thank you. I’m excited to have you on the show. We were shooting the breeze for a few minutes before we got started, and it was great to connect with someone that I’ve never met before. That’s part of the reason why I have this podcast.
It’s a selfish way to have cool conversations with people like you. I like to think that I’m very well-connected in this space, but there’s always new people that I love meeting. I’m excited to have you here.
So, what’s new and exciting in the world of Tanya Zuckerbrot?
F Factor, why it works, and how they’ve been successful
Tanya: So much. I’m excited to say that, despite being in this space for 20 years, there seems to be a genuine new interest in F-Factor. I think it’s important because the “F” in F-Factor stands for “fiber,” and fiber was misunderstood and not that exciting for most people.
People thought about fiber only for its health implications, or its ability to, say, lower cholesterol. But now people are beginning to understand the power of fiber for weight management. We all recognize that there’s an obesity epidemic in this country.
At any point, on any given day, 70% of women are trying to lose weight. Now that people understand that fiber not only has health benefits, but amazing weight management properties, there’s been this newfound interest in F-Factor as a company and as a program I’m trying to educate people about why F-Factor works, and its four liberating principles.
Yuri: That’s awesome. We’ll get into your story in a second, but I want to ask you: How have you gone about making fiber sexy?
The image that comes to mind for a lot of people is Metamucil, or perhaps psyllium husk. What have you done that has worked well to get this message in front of people in a way where they say, “Oh, this is cool”?
Tanya: I think people’s interpretation of fiber is misunderstood. No one has taken this nutrient and made it seem relevant. In part, I think the relevancy is due to my company’s marketing. We have a very young company with attractive young women, and that natural, fun, lifestyle sexiness came across in our social media.
Whenever we would have appearances somewhere, there was an energy that came with our company, but in addition to that, it is the science. That the science has caught up and taken fiber out of the clinical space where it was only thought of for its medicinal properties, and brought it to the forefront, where almost every single health magazine and segment on television is talking about the benefits of fiber for weight management.
People are desperate to look and feel their best without compromising their lifestyle. That is where F-Factor has become this amazing solution for hundreds of thousands of people.
Yuri: That’s awesome. Walk us through what your business looks like, so the listeners have a better understanding of how your business operates.
You have a great book. You’ve got the program. You’re still seeing patients or clients in the clinic as well. Walk us through how that works for you.
Tanya: Sure. We have different verticals of revenue, different arms of the company.
One is our center here in New York City, the F-Factor Center, where I have four dieticians who work underneath me. I am proud to say that we are the highest-earning private practice in the country as far as nutrition goes. Frankly, I think it’s because we deliver such an exceptional product.
It’s a very high-touch service. We’re available 24/7 to our clients. We are dealing with the who’s who, but more than that, F-Factor works. We have a private practice. We have books. I’ve authored two books which include the F-Factor program.
Additionally, we are now launching our app, the F-Factor app, which will allow clients not only to keep track of their net carbs, fiber, and calories and track their success on the F-Factor program, but there’ll also be able to look up restaurants in their area that offer F-Factor-approved dishes. Our clients will feel prepared to dine out successfully at any point of the day.
Then we have F-Factor products that will be coming out.
Yuri: That’s awesome. Very cool and comprehensive.
A lot of people in our space traditionally get into practice, they take a room in someone else’s clinic, and are just a dietician or trainer. That’s very limiting sometimes.
How did you get started? I know your mom’s Columbian, your dad is from Brooklyn, and food has always been a big part of your life, from what I’ve seen. Was that a big trampoline into this space, or did you have your own health challenges that motivated you to figure things out for yourself?
Tanya’s inspiration to help others and F Factor’s proven methods and principles
Tanya: I think my interest in this space was less about my own anecdotal experience, but I will speak to that. I did have a struggle with weight, but I don’t have one of these stories where I lost over 200 pounds.
My interest in being a dietician stems from a passion for food, but more than that I have a passion for helping others. Whether as a dietician or not, I think I would have found a career path where I would work with people one-on-one to enhance their quality of life in some capacity. The reason I fell into nutrition was, like many college students, I gained the freshman 15.
Upon coming home, my mom being a Jewish mom, commented on the fact that I’d put on some weight, and suggested that I take it off. My mom knew that during my entire childhood, I was always cooking.
My mom tells stories that she would leave me at home with the babysitter when she’d go out on a Saturday night, and when she would come back, the babysitter would be asleep on the coach and I would be in the kitchen with Julia Child’s cookbook making crepes Suzette, at age 10.
So, I have always had an interest in food. But because my mom was Columbian, my mom never dieted. We always had home-cooked meals, but I did not grow up in a household where calories were ever mentioned, so when I went to college, that’s why I gained so much weight.
I was never conscious of dieting and intake. As a freshman, you can make a sundae for your breakfast if you want, because you have complete autonomy when you’re in that dining hall. When I came back and my mom suggested I lose the weight, it wasn’t through dieting, but through healthy cooking.
By cooking healthy recipes that summer I lost the weight, and that’s when I had this “aha” moment. As I say it now, it seems so obvious, so forgive me for your listeners, but it was basically, “Wow. What you eat can impact your weight.”
Yuri: What a thought.
Tanya: I know, who would have thought? From there, I started to become interested in nutrition for weight management and health. I thought upon graduating, I went to University of Michigan undergrad, that my calling would be – because of my love for healthy cooking – to open a healthy gourmet shop. I thought that was going to be my legacy and how I would give back to the world, by making healthy food.
I looked for continued education after my undergrad degree. This is when I was still at Michigan, and there were two schools that were of interest to me, two programs. One was the Culinary Institute of America, and the other one was the food and nutrition studies program at NYU. But because I was in Ann Arbor for four years, and I wanted to return to a big city, the Culinary Institute was in upstate New York wasn’t as appealing to me.
The issue was that I misunderstood the curriculum. I misunderstood that the food and nutrition studies program was more than just studying kale and apples. It was a science-based program, so when I arrived to NYU and I received a list of prerequisites which included anatomy, physiology, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry, I was flabbergasted.
I did not have a science background, nor did I think I was interested in science. But I stuck it out and at the end of my education at NYU, including my residency at a hospital, I found that I was inspired to understand that nutrition is more than just vitamins and minerals. It’s more than just calories in/calories out.
Food is medicine or it’s poison. Hippocrates said it way better than I just did. I just paraphrased him poorly, but I had this great appreciation that I could apply nutrition intervention to people’s lives, and not only help them to become healthier and manage a healthy body weight, but to improve their quality of life, have better energy, sleep better at night, and, of course, look and feel their best.
The issue for me was, how can we encourage people to be healthy without making them feel that we’re compromising their quality of life? That’s the push/pull. When people think of healthy food, they think of tasteless food. When people think of weight management, they think of deprivation and denial. They think of being hungry.
That’s why I’m so proud to say that F-Factor provides a solution. We are changing lives every single day, improving people’s health, and helping people lose weight without hunger or compromising people’s quality of life. That’s because F-Factor is based on four disruptive principles, which I mentioned at the beginning of this interview.
Our four disruptive principles are counterintuitive to everything people have been encouraged to believe in the weight loss space.
Right now, if you’re trying to lose weight, I’m sure someone at some point has encouraged you to cut out carbs, alcohol, and dining out. They probably recommend that you adhere to a rigorous gym regiment.
And you know what, Yuri? Even though people are attempting to embrace those recommendations, maybe one of them and sometimes all four, the result is, as a nation, we are fatter than ever.
So, we know that cutting out curbs is not the solution. We know that working out harder is not the solution. We know that having to give up alcohol or dining out is not working. F-Factor is delivering a system that allows people to live their lives, but, more important than live their lives, it’s changing their lives.
Even though our four disruptive principles sound counterintuitive, when people challenge me, I get excited. I can substantiate all those principles with published journal studies or science that explains why we believe some of those faulty premises are wrong, and why F-Factor’s principles produce health and weight loss that no one has ever seen before.
The X Factor for success, mentorship, strategy, and inherent entrepreneurship
Yuri: That makes sense. That’s awesome. You’ve created this amazing system, which is the F-Factor approach to health and losing weight without being obsessive. If you were sitting down with a dietician who just came out of school and starting their own practice, what advice would you give to them if they were thinking of writing a book or coming out with a program?
As you know, it’s a very competitive space. You’ve done a great job differentiating yourself and standing out. What advice would you give to that RD, or any health professional for that matter?
Tanya: It’s funny because I hire RDs here and I always say that there’s an X factor – no pun intended – with the F-Factor. This X factor makes people exceptional caregivers. We all know certain doctors who are brilliant but have a horrible bedside manner.
What makes a dietician successful is, yes, you need to have that formal education. You need to be able to speak with authority. You need to know the science, and that’s because you need your clients to have faith in the instructions you’re providing them, or believe the advice you’re giving them is credible, authentic, and based on science.
So, education, obviously, is paramount.
After that, there needs to be the characteristic to provide tough love, yet be wildly sympathetic and nonjudgmental. Especially in the space of nutrition, we know that emotions can override logic. How do we know this? Because many people at this point know that they should be eating more apples and less ice cream, and yet, we still see the way that people are snacking and eating.
Even though there’s a logic to this, emotionally, many people respond to food, because of the kind of day they have. Therefore, as a counselor in this space, you need to be sympathetic and caring.
I think it’s a certain personality type. But when you ask what makes someone successful, I think it’s knowledge. You also need to know how to market yourself. That, unfortunately, is something that’s lacking in the curriculum of many health practitioners.
We learn biology, but we don’t learn marketing. We learn anatomy, but we don’t learn PR. Therefore, there are many people who are in my space that want to have a greater reach, but they just don’t have the skill set. How do they build their own brands?
Yuri: I couldn’t agree more. It’s a disservice to the practitioners, because it’s like, “Hey, you’re equipped with all this stuff. Good luck finding clients now! Let us know how it goes.”
Tanya: Right, 100%! So many people say doctors are the worst businessmen. Well, of course they are! Here they have this altruistic motivation to help others. Here they have in-depth science background. But they were probably never taught how to do QuickBooks. It’s just not part of the curriculum. I would love to see some of these medical schools offer more business classes.
I think the reason why I got ahead of the pack as far as the women I went to school with, was because I’m inherently an entrepreneur. If you ask me what my childhood business was, you’ll crack up because I always had a different business. I used to sell bracelets. I sold barrettes.
My first business…ready for this? I sold rocks. I went to my backyard, I took rocks, I put them on a table in my front yard, and sold them.
I just think some people have this predilection for wanting to create something and start a business. Therefore, when I went into private practice, I hired a consultant. Because I hired a consultant, I recognized where my skill sets lacked to build this business. Do you want to hear who my consultant was?
Tanya: Her name is Maye Musk. Does that name ring a bell to you?
Yuri: Is she related to Elon Musk?
Tanya: It’s his mother.
Tanya: I didn’t know it at the time, because, first, I’m not that big of a car person. I’m not even sure where Tesla was as far as car manufacturing at the time, but Maye Musk, his mom, was one of the top dieticians in the world. She was the chair of the Greater New York Dietetic Association, and she was doing modeling on the side. She’s drop-dead gorgeous.
She was elegant, well-spoken, and understood the business side of nutrition more than most people in my space. I was attracted to her because I’m also a very visual person and she was very stylish. I didn’t see a lot of that when I was in school.
This woman was such a mentor to me, and she helped me create my business model. A lot of dieticians just charge by the hour. She was the one that instructed me to create packages, saying, “Tanya, everyone just wants the diet. Once you give it to them, people think that they’ll follow them on their own and lose weight on their own. They’re not going to be accountable to you and it’s going to be very damaging to your brand. If you’re handing out diets and people aren’t following through, it’s your reputation on the line.”
If people buy a package, you control and guarantee their success. They’re going to win because they’re going to get everything out of it that they want. Also, in the follow-up visits, you’ll be able to constantly provide them with more tools, tips, and solutions to enhance their experience.
By having packages, you ensuring that you’re building a rapport with these clients. Of course, you’re generating revenue by having them come week after week, but it’s more about guaranteeing their success. And successful clients are what has fed my business. It’s always been a word of mouth business.
To anyone that is going into the field, if you feel that your school curriculum did not pre-qualify you to have the tools you need to be a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman, invest in yourself. Hire a consultant to help you create a business plan, so you’ll have some direction.
With my clients, I say, “Map out your day. Write down everything you’re going to eat for the day.” Because that’s a closer guarantee to success. You know you’re going to write down something that’s going to support weight loss. You’re not going to write down “a fudge sundae” if you’re thinking clearly about the day ahead of you.
So, when you just go into business blindly and you don’t map out a strategy, what are you working towards?
Yuri: You just mentioned so much good stuff there, so I want to break a couple things down. First, for everyone listening, if you’re offering any kind of coaching – life coaching, nutrition coaching, or fitness coaching – what Tanya just mentioned in terms of packages instead of one-off sessions, is a game changer.
That’s such a great piece of advice, Tanya, because I’ve seen so many people who say, “Here’s what it is to work with me for one hour.” But then, as you mentioned, it doesn’t serve the clients. It’s the same reason I don’t do one-on-one coaching or consulting. We work with people over 12 months because that’s how I know I can produce maximum benefits and results for someone.
It’s the same for you. So smart. Listeners, if this is the first time hearing this, let that sink in. It’ll be a big game changer for your business. Tanya, thank you for sharing that.
The second thing you mentioned was being a natural-born entrepreneur selling rocks. If you can sell rocks, it’s like selling ice to Eskimos, right?
Let me ask you this: Do you believe that being an entrepreneur is in your DNA? Is it in people’s DNA, or is it something you can learn? Or is it in there with a bit of a twinkle and, over time, you have to unleash it as you go through life?
Tanya: I think it’s just in you. Being an entrepreneur, there are aspects that are exhilarating and exciting, but anyone who’s an entrepreneur will also tell you that it’s gut-wrenching and scary because your success is based on many outside factors other than just how hard you’re willing to work.
You need to be resilient, and as an entrepreneur, since we’re creating our own road map, we’re often learning on the job or through trial and error. There is no direct path to success. I think you can be inspired to become more entrepreneurial, but some people like the safety of a 9-to-5 job. They want to check in and check out.
They value other things. For example, a better work/life balance. Well then, being an entrepreneur’s not for you. There’s no such thing as getting to work at 9:00, being at the gym by 6:00 and being home for dinner at 8:00 when you’re an entrepreneur. You need to be prepared to live and breathe your company, and that is not for everyone.
Work/life balance as an entrepreneur parent
Yuri: That’s very true. I totally agree with you. Let me ask you about the work/life balance thing, because you’ve got three kids, correct?
Yuri: How have you run and built this business while having kids, and how do you juggle all that?
Tanya: Some days I juggle it well, other days much less so.
I’m divorced, and I recently just got married, but there was a period where I was raising my kids, working full time, and trying to be social by showing up for charities, lunches, dinners, and friends’ birthdays.
People would say to me, “How do you do it all?” I would laugh and say, “What do you mean?” They’d respond, “Well, you’re doing it all.” I’d say, “Oh, you assume I’m doing it well. I’m just showing up, people!”
I think that’s where I should learn to be more forgiving of myself. The truth is, any person that works hard will tell you, when you’re working that hard, there’s a pull to be at home. Then, when you’re at home, you feel guilty that you’re not at the office.
“Doing it all,” managing expectations, having support, and leading by example
So how do I do it all? I think it’s about matching my expectations. I will say something that even applies to my clients: All you can do is try your hardest. I can’t compare myself to anyone else. It’s about being my personal best, but being where you are.
I’m not one of those people that I keep the pictures of my kids behind me at the office, because if I’m staring at them all day, I’m going to feel guilty. I’m going to be constantly reminded that I should be home. But when I’m home, I want to put my phone down and give my kids 100%.
What I will say is that it’s not so much quantity as much as quality. I’m not home as much as many stay-at-home moms are, but when I am home, I try to be as wildly present as possible. When I am putting in long days at the office, I can give 100% to my clients and my team here. But as far as juggling it all, I don’t think anyone can have it all.
It’s about being okay with whatever the outcome is. I always say that in life, we regret the things where we didn’t give 100% or could have done it better. When you regret that you could have done something differently, you’re suffering in the present for something that happened in the past that you can’t change.
That’s why I try to help my clients live with less regrets, so I can empower them more. When we talk more about F-Factor and the diet we can speak to that, but just as a person who’s trying to juggle work and life balance? It’s just about being okay with the outcome, knowing that I couldn’t have done more in the situation.
Does that make sense?
Yuri: Yes. It totally does, and I think that’s a sign of introspection and maturity that not a lot of people have. Guilt and shame are rampant, obviously, in everyone’s life, so it’s great that you brought that up.
Tanya: I don’t want to give myself too much credit because I have a great support group to tell me it’s okay. I have probably the most Type A personality you’ve ever met. Nothing’s ever good enough for me.
While you were saying that, I thought, “Wow, I sound really healthy.” That’s not me at all. I think it’s all the people in my life that are looking out for me because I am so hard on myself. I’m constantly beating myself up. I guess the response is to find good people to support you and let you know that it’s okay.
Yuri: Totally. You’ve mentioned a few things, like how you had a mentor/consultant as you got started, which made a big difference for the way you built out your practice and your programs. You talked about getting the right social support around you. That’s so important.
That’s one of the most common themes that’s come up repeatedly in this podcast. We’ve talked with some very successful entrepreneurs in our space, and time and time again they talk about the importance of mentorship and the importance of surrounding yourself with great people. You become a product of your environments, and if you’re surrounding yourself with the wrong people, that’s who you’re going to become.
I wanted to ask you one more question about the kids, because I’ve got three young boys and I’m always fascinated by parents who are entrepreneurs. What has having kids taught you about business, or influence, in general?
Tanya: As a mom, you try and lead by example. I say this to parents a lot when they bring their kids here, even for weight loss. I’ll say to parents, “What are you eating?” They’ll say, “Well, this isn’t about me.” And I’ll say to the mom, “You can’t expect your kids to eat carrot sticks if you’re eating potato chips, so it does start with you.”
The apple doesn’t fall from the tree. As much as people think they look up to celebrities or supermodels, your children look up to you. The work I do makes such an impact on people’s lives. At least that is my motivation; to make the world a better place, to inspire people to be their personal best, and not just through weight.
I see F-Factor as something much bigger. It’s the recognition that you never have to settle for mediocrity in life. Not in your health, not in your weight, not in any aspect.
We can speak to that in a minute, but I think my children see that I have a very altruistic motivation to help others, and therefore, they’re so understanding when I’m not home. It’s not like I’m out selling clothes at a department store for a commission. I think they see the value in what I’m doing, and I think that they’re inspired and recognize that we all can help others.
And as far as being a mom to daughters, I want my daughters to see that they can juggle family and career. I want my daughters to be empowered to be financially independent, but I want all three of my kids to find career paths where they’re extremely passionate. We know success follows, especially as an entrepreneur, when you must live and breathe it.
I mean, this comes out of my pores. I love F-Factor so much. I could talk about it all day long.
One, because I live it. I follow the program and that’s the authenticity of it. Speaking to anyone that has their own brand, you need to believe in what you’re doing more than anyone else. But it’s that passion. I think my children see pride when I’m successful at something. I think they’ve learned resilience.
They have seen me come home very late at night looking depleted, but they also see me get up the next day, resilient, and wash my face to go back to work. Whether you’re a dad or a mom, the lessons that we experience and the highs and lows of being in business, teach our children hard work.
They teach our children resiliency. It shows them drive. It also teaches them to create plans, so that they can be actionable and always work towards their goals.
Yuri: That’s great advice. You talk about authenticity and leading by example.
That is the best way to lead others. You can’t say stuff and not do it. You have to walk the talk, and it’s very transparent that you do that. Tanya, this has been awesome. This has been very illuminating.
You’ve touched on so many things, so for everyone listening, go back and listen to this again at .5 speed and take down a couple notes if you’ve missed anything. There’s some good stuff that I hope you’re picking up.
The Rapid Five
Tanya, are you ready for the Rapid Five?
Tanya: Let’s do it.
Yuri: All right, here we go. Five rapid fire questions. You have no idea what they are. Whatever comes top of mind is most likely the right answer.
Number one, what is your biggest weakness?
Tanya: Potato chips.
Yuri: Cool. In business, what’s one of your biggest weaknesses? Unless “potato chips” is applicable there, too.
Tanya: I can’t multitask. I would like to learn to not be so myopic. I literally cannot even look at my phone and hear someone speak to me. I would like to figure that out.
Yuri: Second question, what’s your biggest strength?
Tanya: I’m wildly self-aware, for better or for worse. I know what’s exceptional about me, I know what sucks about me, and I know what’s mediocre.
Yuri: I’ll just say something about your “weakness.”
I think having that myopic focus is a big advantage, especially in today’s day and age where there’s so many shiny objects and distractions. So, I’d give yourself a little bit of leeway on that one, because I’m sure that’s served you very well.
Tanya: Well, thank you. I don’t give one of those canned questions when you ask someone in an interview, “What’s the worst thing about you?” then it’s the best thing.
Here’s another weakness. I think people are surprised by this, because I could be so disciplined with what I eat, because obviously, I’m a dietician, but I’m not always disciplined with what I allow to fall out of my mouth.
I’m very reactive, and I would like to be a little bit more thoughtful with my words, especially with my team. I take everything here so personally. It’s my brand. It’s my name.
My message is correct, but my delivery’s not always as soft as I would like it to be. So, I need to work on that.
Yuri: Well, thank you for sharing that. That’s not easy for anyone to admit, so thank you.
Tanya: That’s a big vulnerability. There you go.
Yuri: There we go. Awesome. Number three, what’s one skill you’ve become dangerously good at to grow your business?
Tanya: I believe that I’ve become much better at hiring people. Before, I always hired with my heart and not my head. If I liked you during the interview and could see going out to lunch with you, that was enough for me, because it’s such a small company.
At the beginning, I wanted to build a company where I enjoyed everybody that I worked with, but that didn’t necessarily qualify someone for being right for the job. I never cared about references. I think I’ve become more thorough in looking for success in someone’s past that qualifies them to help build my company.
I think I’ve become better at identifying what makes a good candidate. Before I was much laxer with that. I would defend it by saying, “Character can’t be learned but skills can,” but that just put my company in such a poor position because everyone was learning on the job.
Yuri: It’s a fine balance really, because you want to hire up, right? You want to hire people that are better than you, but a lot of people don’t have the revenue to support that. They bring in people that they have to train for years, so it’s always a fine balance, but that’s a good perspective.
Number four, what do you first thing in the morning?
Yuri: Are you an early morning person or do you sleep in a little bit?
Tanya: I am. It’s funny, because I don’t even think it’s the caffeine. I think it’s the Columbian in me. I go for the coffee. I think if you were to give me decaf, I’d enjoy it just as much. But I have the routine. Get up, grab my phone, grab a cup of coffee, and have breakfast with the kids.
Yuri: Yeah. I wonder if you had blood drawn, if it would actually be coffee… This is obviously a terrible stereotype, but…
Tanya: No, mine would be wine if my blood was drawn.
Yuri: Nice! Red or whites? What’s your favorite wine?
Tanya: White, but I’m not too picky.
Yuri: Yeah. Nice, very nice. Finally, complete this sentence, I know I’m being successful when …
Tanya: The people around me are happy, both my clients and my team. To me, when my clients are successful and the energy outside of my office is a positive one, that means I’m good at my job. That means I’m creating a work environment where my team feels empowered and inspired.
It means I’m treating them well, so as a businesswoman, I feel successful. But as a technician, as a dietician, I know that I’m succeeding at what I’m being asked to do.
Yuri: Awesome. Love it! Tanya, thank you so much for joining us today on the podcast. This has been a great interview.
Where is the best place for people to follow your work, check out your book, or see you in practice if they live in New York?
Tanya: Visit our website, which is http://www.ffactor.com/. Follow me on social at TanyaZuckerbrot and F-Factor on Instagram. Our two books are available on Amazon.
Yuri: Very nice. Tanya, once again, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us. I just want to acknowledge you for all the amazing work that you’ve done and for all the impact you’ve had with clients locally and around the world. Just keep on keeping on, because you’ve got great passion.
You’ve got a great message, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for you. It’s looking pretty bright!
Tanya: Thank you, Yuri.
Yuri: You’re welcome.
Great interview, right?
You can tell she’s passionate and you can sense the energy. One of the things I want to bring home in this post-interview ramble, if you want to call it that, is one of the things that she did right out of the gate. She hired a mentor.
Elon Musk’s mother, right? Maye Musk. She had Maye as her mentor right out of the gate as a consultant to show her how to build out her business. Again, it doesn’t matter what business you’re in. To have that type of guidance is imperative for success.
Now, yes, you can obviously achieve success all by yourself and you can figure things out all on your own, but wouldn’t it make sense to piggyback on someone else’s years of mistakes, lessons, and learnings?
It does. It absolutely does. I’ve seen this time and time again. The people who succeed, whatever success is for you, have a mentor. Success doesn’t have to be monetary, but those that achieve the level of success they want get there faster when they’re piggybacking on someone else’s coattails.
They’re hiring a mentor. They’re hiring a coach, and that’s what I do with Healthpreneur. The highest level, the first class of service I provide for our Healthpreneur community is through our Luminaries Masterminds. We’ve got an amazing group of health and fitness leaders who are in different verticals: naturopathy doctors, medical doctors, health coaches, trainers, you name it.
What I provide for them, in addition to great resources, templates, and proven processes to grow their business, is just giving them guard rails by saying, “Listen, guys. Stay on this path, because it’s very easy to get distracted by the next thing, the next shiny object, and if you don’t have someone to reel you back in, it’s easy to get off course.”
One of my big objectives with the people that I work with is to say, “Listen. This is what you want to work on in the next 90 days, right? Let’s focus on that. Just turn the blinders on to anything else that comes up.”
That’s tough to do when you’re on your own. I work as a business strategist overseeing your business, to some degree, and I can see what you can’t. Oftentimes, as the business owner, we’re so close to the bark of the tree that we can’t even see the forest.
But it’s very easy for me to sit on top of the mountain and look down at the forest and say, “Hey, listen. Did you know there’s actually a cliff coming down the road?” You’re unaware of it because you’re looking right in front of you. You’re in the trenches. You’re in the weeds of your business, and that’s why it’s so important to have someone else’s perspective.
But not just anyone else’s. Someone who’s actually walked the path, who’s accomplished what you want to accomplish. That’s important when hiring a coach or a mentor.
If you’re interested in seeing if you would qualify to work with us in the Luminaries, you can email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll send you more information. I’ll send you an application to fill out, and if you’re a good fit, we can discuss that.
The message today is to find that mentor. You’ve heard it time and time again if you’ve been on the podcast for a while. I would say that 80% of the people we’ve interviewed advise the same thing: Surround yourself with great people and find a mentor. Everything else takes care of itself.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this interview. If you have, and you haven’t subscribed to the podcast yet, please do so today. We’ve got some awesome episodes coming your way. We’ve got lots of amazing episodes and solo rounds that we’ve already created that are ready for you to download right from iTunes. Go to Healthpreneur Podcast on iTunes, and just hit the little “subscribe” button. You’ll be all set.
That’s all for today. I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. Thanks so much for joining me, for your attention, and for your loyalty. I appreciate all the work you do in the world. Even if I don’t know you personally, I know that you’re listening to this because you have a gift.
You have expertise and wisdom that can transform people’s lives, and I want to commend you for going out there and doing what you do. Continue to be great, do great, and I’ll see you in our next episode.
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