Know your worth and the value in that for yourself and others. This will help lead you to deciding what is meaningful to fit into your life amongst your other priorities and what is not.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Beth Warren, MS, RDN, CDN, a nationally recognized dietitican-nutritionist, founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Secrets of a Kosher Girl. She’s got three thriving private practices in NYC. Beth’s recipes are unbelievably great, she’s known for healthy versions of foods we love without compromising taste. Beth is also the mother of five children and balances her home/work life beautifully.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
In my mid-twenties, while working in a marketing role at a big financial company, I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing. I wanted to use the areas I love, food and helping people, to reach others in a way that makes their lives better.
Remembering how much I enjoyed a nutrition elective I took as a college student, I realized I could pave a path towards a career as a dietitian while keeping my growing family life a priority. I worked hard to receive a post-baccalaureate masters degree in nutrition and a registered dietitian-nutritionist certification.
I knew right away that I wanted a private practice. Seven years and five kids later, I never could have imagined my business, Beth Warren Nutrition (BWN).
I figured out how to incorporate my upbringing with a nutritionally-balanced whole foods plan that curbed cravings and kept me full and satisfied while living my busy life. I use the same principles with my clients of various backgrounds and ethnicities. I can see how successful these principles are, affecting their weight and overall well-being.
Aside from finding a career that met my goal of achieving a work-life balance, I was excited to discover it was also an area that I could explore other passions: my love of public speaking through media work and workshops, my love of writing (my second book, Secrets of a Kosher Girl is out now) and my love of cooking through demos.
I admit that I don’t always have it together, no matter how seamless it may look from the outside. I face obstacles each day as I juggle family and work life. I may not always get it right, but I feel I’m doing what I’m meant to be doing.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
What’s most interesting to me is all the different people that I get to meet, over 100, and seeing and learning their different lifestyles, backgrounds and personalities. Some of them are really funny and entertaining and I love each one! I discovered how much you can learn from someone else. Often times people thank me for helping them, but I learn from them too!
What was your biggest challenge to date either personally or professionally and how did you overcome it?
It’s always when it comes to juggling when things come up for the kids at school with my work schedule. The hardest is when these things come up at the last minute. I was asked to be on TV when it was my son’s school play and to travel on a major media trip overseas that would fall out on my daughter’s performance. Those were both tough calls to make as I literally move mountains to be there for my kids. But there are those times that if I can make it work out and the work option is important to do for many reasons, I make sure the right parameters are in place to make it happen. First, I have to set up a strong support system and I thankfully have a lot of close family members nearby to attend. Then, I sit down with that child and have a discussion to see how they feel about me missing the show, both in their body language and words. Finally, thanks to current technology, I’m able to scope out the moments no matter the situation or time difference, to watch live via FaceTime and talk to my child about it right after. Plus, we record it. These situations are never ideal nor would I be able to miss out for my children often, but it’s all about the balance and making the right call, for the right moment, and what’s right for that child. Thankfully, on the few occasions this has happened, it all worked out.
What does leadership mean to you and how do you best inspire others to lead?
Leadership means guiding by example and allowing others to learn from your actions, not just your words. It’s being consistent and clear, with an ability to let-go and delegate to others. It’s about empowering others by acting as an inspiration for them so that they want to follow you, and not feel like it’s because they need to follow you.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
There are many people to credit for where I am today. It’s impossible to raise a family of 5 and run a growing practice with multiple staff and locations without help. My husband and I shift schedules when something with the kids or our own work schedules pops up. Plus, the team at BWN, and my assistant Sarah Kassin has always been my number one supporter, dealing with all my transitions on a day-to-day basis or my last minute needs, from having to input breastfeeding times in my calendar, to last minute changes from a school play I had to attend, or my media appearances that would get booked on top of client days. It’s a team like the one I have at Beth Warren Nutrition that helps me get it all in. There is no way I could do this completely on my own to the extent that I am doing it without them.
Was it difficult to fit your life into your business/career and how did you do that?
I went into the field of nutrition knowing that I wanted a private practice to balance out my family life. Little did I know that becoming an entrepreneur, which is really what running your own business is, demands more time and juggling than a 9–5 pm job! But the effort is more rewarding because it not only impacts peoples’ live and allows you to establish a true relationship with each client in this type of setting, but it is a business built entirely by you and for you, making it all worth it.
Did you find that as your success grew it became more difficult to focus on the other areas of your life?
It’s a constant struggle to find the balance between work and personal life and there’s no “right” or “perfect” way to do it. You are often restructuring what you take on to make sure you leave time and attention for the other priorities in your life. I try to lead my decisions for what I take on with what fulfills me both personally and professionally and then I’m able to find the time to balance. But if it’s something that brings me a lot of angst or doesn’t feel right to do, I’ve learned to say “No,” as hard as it is!
Can you share five pieces of advice to other leaders about how to achieve the best balance between work and personal life?
1. Do what you love to do or it’s hard to provide yourself with the reasoning to push through the inevitable obstacles.
2. Know your worth and the value in that for yourself and others. This will help lead you to deciding what is meaningful to fit into your life amongst your other priorities and what is not.
3. Go with your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t and you most likely will regret doing it. Trust your intuition, it got you here in the first place.
4. Always put your family first, at the end of the day, that is what is most important. Everything comes back to the home.
5. Make sure you leave time for self-care. You can get pulled in a million directions, but if you don’t leave time for you, even a few minutes per day, you won’t be as productive, focused or fulfilled.
What gives you the greatest sense of accomplishment and pride?
Being able to have an impact on people’s lives for the better! It’s such a pleasure to be not only trusted into a person’s life, but that I had even just a little to do with a positive for their mind and body.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I am a big fan of running wellness retreats. To take people out of their environment for hours, days or weeks, to focus on all aspects of wellness to improve their well being, mind, body and soul. I am able to impact more people at once, which also translates to group support and bonding, and hit the various lifestyle factors at once. From physical activity, to self-care, cooking demonstrations and classes, mindful eating workshops, and planned whole food menus (with the occasional treats!), I can have so much more of a lasting impact, in a shorter period of time, to more people. If I could somehow make an entire “BWN Retreat Movement: Mind, Body and Soul” for the public, I would target my influence towards this initiative!
What is the best way for people to connect with you on social media?
Thank you for all of these great insights!