“It’s Okay to Go to Sleep Early” With Alyssa Warth

It’s Okay to Go to Sleep Early: This was big for me. If you’ve made it this far through the article you know I like mornings. When I first started working, I felt a lot of pressure to stay up because it seemed like there was always more work to do or more emails to […]

It’s Okay to Go to Sleep Early: This was big for me. If you’ve made it this far through the article you know I like mornings. When I first started working, I felt a lot of pressure to stay up because it seemed like there was always more work to do or more emails to answer. However, those things will always be there, especially if you are working in a startup and you know there is always something that needs done. It is important to prioritize yourself by identifying a stopping point and more importantly stick to it. Turn off your phone, close the laptop, mute your notifications — whatever you need — but give yourself the time to reboot.

I had the pleasure to interview Alyssa Warth. Alyssa is the director of e-commerce for beam. Warth is an experienced leader in the field of neuroscience and previously worked as the Head of Acquisition for More Labs in the greater Los Angeles area. While pursuing her bachelor’s degree from UCLA, Warth spent her summers interning for the School of Nursing at the University of Pittsburgh and the Western Psychiatric Clinic. After that, she went on to become the research assistant at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, where she focused on cognitive treatment and analysis of adolescent schizophrenia. In 2016, she began working as a research assistant at Brain Research Institute, conducting case studies on traumatic brain injuries with particular emphasis on athletic injuries. With a background in neurological research on the cannabinoid system, working with beam felt very natural to Alyssa. Her admiration of the co-founders’ commitment toward educating consumers on the CBD industry and empowering them to trust the company, understand the product, and share with a community is what drew her to beam. In addition, she is skilled in E-commerce growth with a focus in science and consumer goods as well as business intelligence, strategy, data analysis, marketing and media buying.

Thank you so much for doing this with us Alyssa! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

Iused to think I had a pretty average background, but looking back recently has made me realize it’s anything but. I’ve been extremely lucky with both my career timing, people I’ve met, and the opportunities I’ve encountered along the way.

I’m originally from rural Pennsylvania. I grew up in a small town called Mars (yes, it has a flying saucer statue) where I spent most of childhood memories. I moved away after high school when I started studying at the University of California — Los Angeles for a degree in Neuroscience. pivoted my degree towards a conventional neuroscience research instead of a Pre-Med path and happened to stumble upon the growth marketing scene along the way while working as a data analyst for a start-up focused on bringing neuroscience research to everyday wellness.

Through this initial exposure to the world of start-ups and the marketing needs of smaller businesses, I was able to land roles at several following companies where I honed my skills and was fortunate to learn from many amazing people in the field. This eventually led to me working for beam where I currently work as the Director of Growth and oversee all things digital marketing and strategy-related; from consumer segmentation to performance analysis of advertising and web campaigns.

In my free time, I love all things outdoors! To me, nothing is more refreshing than a weekend in the mountains or a trail run to clear your mind.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

Right before I graduated from college, I was working at a Data Analyst at a start-up in Venice, CA. At this point, I was beginning to panic knowing I didn’t know what I was going to do after graduation — I had been interviewing for a lot of corporate data and marketing roles, but nothing had come back yet, and no corporate role had seemed like a good fit. Altogether, I was lost.

Little did I know it, but this role as a simple data analyst would be the catalyst that sparked the following year-long journey in growth-marketing. Shortly before I graduated, my boss at the neuroscience star-up offered me an unexpected promotion; he needed someone with an understanding of the product (neuro-related), an understanding of the athletes we marketed to (I’m an avid runner), and a background it data to coordinate marketing campaigns for paid media, email marketing, site design etc. He offered to mentor and train me into the role — which I am forever grateful for. These first few weeks were critical to me grasping the basics of growth marketing, but also solidified my role as their Head of Growth & Acquisition. I have been able to create an entire career out of switching to this one job, and it all came about because of fortunate timing, gracious people, and a random degree in Neuroscience.

The main lesson that I’ve learned from this experience is that you can never take relationships for granted. They may be fleeting or not important in the long term if they don’t pan out, but the ability to network and build working relationships among people can position you to gain the most incredible opportunities. If I had simply discounted my role as a ‘college job’, I’d never have positioned myself to truly pivot my whole career into the growth industry.

Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

My biggest ‘mistakes’ came when I was starting my own growth marketing consulting agency a little while back. I’d worked for some time in marketing and wanted to explore the start-up realm of the industry more on my own since I sensed this was a niche that was full of opportunities. Looking back on it, however, I wouldn’t really say that there was a real ‘mistake’ (I like to think of them more as a part of the learning curve) but I definitely undervalued my company’s service. I think this is a common mistake people make when in the beginning stages of an entrepreneurial venture. Quite often we think that to get ahead, we need to make ourselves more appealing to customers, sort of like a way to under-bid other competitors and make our ideas seem more attractive. This can work, but ultimately I think it started to drain my time and resources since I had to take on even more clients to make up for the fact that I was essentially discounting my offerings. By no means am I saying that you should try to overprice your service or product, especially when starting off, but definitely do your research and price yourself appropriately. By doing this you will feel confident of your value and will avoid being taken advantage of by consumers that know the market, but most importantly, you’ll be able to divert your time and energy to really grow your business.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful to who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My mom has been my biggest advocate and toughest critic my entire life. She has had her own company since I was born so the start-up / entrepreneurial spirit was instilled in me from a very young age. I vividly remember helping her sort resumes, scan documents, and organize folders in our home basement during the summers — her work ethic truly inspired me and showed that you are so capable of creating whatever you want as long as you are passionate and willing to work for it. It continued when she encouraged me to run my first 5k — although I am a running nerd now, it was most definitely not my strong suit at that point. I remember being about halfway through and looking at her while wheezing saying that I couldn’t go any further. At that point she looked at me and explained two things 1) Since I was halfway through, my two options were to turn around and run the 1.5 miles back or continue the next 1.5 miles and actually finish the race and 2) My pain and stress were all in my head and what you focus on is what you feel so all I was doing was perpetuating my stress. Almost 15 years later, I remember calling her from college explaining that I had no idea what I was going to do and there was no way I was going to get a job after college and that time was running out. She quietly told me again, that where you focus is what you feel and because I was so focused on my stress, I was missing the bigger picture. “Things are going to work out,” she told me. “Just be patient and confident in what you want.” Although these lessons now seem so simple, she has always been the greatest reminder, friend, cheerleader, and confidant and I would never have made it passed that 5k or to my first job without her support and guidance.

Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

We created beam out of a desire to help people feel their best. We understand that people are always working hard to reach their goals whether it be professional or personal and we’re dedicated to helping you achieve them by creating accessible products that have the potential to benefit both body and mind. Our products suit a variety of uses cases from helping you stay asleep at night or relax during the day to easing inflammation or tension before workouts, we’re creating for you. Our mission is to empower people to push their limits and pursue their passions by improving both their physical and mental state.

Can you share your top three “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.

  1. Learn When You Work Best: This has been crucial for me over the past few years. Once I stopped staying up late to work and sleeping in to get enough sleep, I became so much happier and more productive. I gave into the fact that I am most definitely a morning person and finallu shifted my schedule. If I can get up early, watch the sunrise, exercise, and get the bulk of my crucial work done before the afternoon — it’s a great day. I believe this is different for everyone though and whether you’re a night owl or early riser, the best thing you can do for yourself is create a personal schedule where you can thrive.
  2. Spend 30–60 Min A Day Doing Something That Makes You Happy: This sounds pretty simple but I believe it causes a big shift both physically and mentally. Carve just 30–60 minutes out for your day to do whatever it is that you feel like, it doesn’t have to be the same thing everyday and it does not need to be productive. Just take some time to think “What do I really want to do right now?” and then take that time to actually do it. Give yourself the space and time for what you want to you can better dedicate other time for things that you need to do.
  3. Find A Morning Routine: Super cliche but really true!! There was a period in time where I would wake up, shower, grab a protein bar, and immediately start my commute. Trust me, you didn’t want to know me during that time haha! Once I found a routine that worked for me — waking up a little earlier, exercising, enjoying my coffee, journaling, and meditating — I realized how much better I felt going into my day and how much more productive I could be.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I am passionate about helping people and companies learn how to grow and scale their business while maintaining a healthy mindset, strong company culture, and avoiding burning out. I would encourage people to acknowledge the achievements (no matter how big or small) of their co-workers, to understand that everyone is working hard, trying to learn, and avoiding mistakes at the same time, and when things get tough — try to realize other side of every story or situation. We are all trying our best, we all have insecurities, and no one likes to fail. In the big picture, it is just work — don’t take anything too seriously.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

  1. Don’t Undersell Yourself & Negotiation is Always on the Table: I wholeheartedly believe that people do not negotiate enough. It is so so important to understand your value and communicate it. Deals or contracts that don’t feel good on both sides rarely work out.
  2. Things Will Always Ebb & Flow: This is some of the best advice I was given this past year and it could not be more true. There will be times in both your personal and professional life that you feel like everything is going so well and it is important to really enjoy and celebrate those times because it does not last forever and is usually followed by a time where it feels like everything is failing. This is normal. Everyone experiences it. So take the good with the bad and always celebrate your wins.
  3. Don’t Be Afraid to Invest in Yourself: It sounds cliche but it is important! People will tell you to invest in yourself all the time but we rarely take the time to actually do this. If you would feel 5–10% better if you spent the extra $5 dollars on the coffee you’re craving — go get it. If your body is some serious pain, go get a massage or have it checked out. If there is a course that would really help you learn something versus taking hours to try and figure it out on your own, do it! Where you place value, you acknowledge value. So learn to value yourself.
  4. It’s Okay to Go to Sleep Early: This was big for me. If you’ve made it this far through the article you know I like mornings. When I first started working, I felt a lot of pressure to stay up because it seemed like there was always more work to do or more emails to answer. However, those things will always be there, especially if you are working in a startup and you know there is always something that needs done. It is important to prioritize yourself by identifying a stopping point and more importantly stick to it. Turn off your phone, close the laptop, mute your notifications — whatever you need — but give yourself the time to reboot.
  5. You Don’t Need to Know It All Before You Start: The founders of beam have a great saying — “It’s okay to build your bike while your ride it.” Which I have learned is so true. I think a lot of people hesitate to get started doing what they want because they don’t feel like they know it all or have enough experience yet. However, no one REALLY knows what they are doing. We are all learning from experience and the best way to get experience is to actually do something.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

Like I mentioned earlier, mental health is definitely the topic that I’m most passionate about. I’ve personally noticed an interesting trend in many start-ups where poor personnel management combined with employees pouring their hearts into projects results in excessive stress, lower productivity, and overall lower job satisfaction. This can leave people feeling burnt out in something they were once passionate about. Having worked in start-ups for basically all my career, I’ve been lucky to never really experience a bad case of this myself, but I have seen it happen to coworkers and other companies I’ve been adjacent to. What’s interesting is that I don’t think this is necessarily something the employees need to change; they don’t need to toughen up or change their mentality. I think it is important for employees to have a healthy mental outlook on their careers and put everything into perspective, but I believe it’s all about changing company culture and learning to work effectively with people’s strengths and weaknesses.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

My Instagram handle is @alyssawarth — pretty creative, I know!

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