Movement — Any exercise keeps your equipment in better working order. Just move daily!
Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong health advocate, a wellness influencer, a globe-trotting trend watcher, and the founder and president of Trent & Company, a leading health, and wellness PR firm. Nancy is an investigative reporter turned PR guru with seven books under her belt, continuing to spot and spark trends wherever she goes. Today, she is running publicity and social media campaigns for 50 different lifestyle clients across various industries.
Thank you for joining us! Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Myfather was tremendously influential in my outlook. He was an early health enthusiast and the first person that anyone in our family or neighborhood knew who took vitamins, ate healthy and exercised daily.
At an early age, I began to exercise with him every morning and started eating what we thought were healthy foods.
He was a vegetarian in college and that inspired me…he also learned about yoga there and we had fun trying asanas we saw in books.
I loved jogging and hiking and when I went to school out West. I made friends with others who had similar interests.
Soon I was writing about healthy subjects for local papers and magazines while studying journalism in school.
When I graduated, I began my career as an investigative reporter and wrote seven books on health and fitness before transitioning into public relations.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
As a part of one of my early promotions, I was given the opportunity to introduce a major pharmaceutical product. As soon as I discovered the drug had more side effects than impact, I told my boss I didn’t want to work on it because it was bad business. He accused me of being immature and unprofessional. I quit the next day and decided to start my own business focused on real health.
When I was first working on healthy products it wasn’t the sexy, cool industry it is today. I had to educate people to be open to health-oriented brands and learn to talk about what they were interested in.
I am so grateful that people are realizing that if they want the most out of life, they have to increase their odds by taking care of themselves, physically, mentally and spiritually.
What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
Do what you believe in… there’s probably a good reason why YOU believe in it.
Hard work pays off no matter what anyone tells you…there is no such thing as an overnight success…results are never easy…trust me, overnight successes take a long time.
Never do anything that makes you feel uneasy or queasy…listen to your instincts.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting?
I worked really hard for people who didn’t have the patience for PR and who did not care about the product or campaign as much as I did. While I kept working for them because I believed in their product, the effort and passion were not reciprocal. PR is a collaborative effort and mutual respect is non-negotiable.
Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Work with passionate and compassionate people that are in it for the higher good. They will inspire and appreciate you to be the best partner and do your best work.
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?
My first account was Blue Mountain Arts Greeting Cards, founded by Susan Polis Schutz, America’s best-selling poet. Although she thought some of my creative ideas were crazy, she trusted me, she appreciated how hard I worked, and my optimism. I would never let her down and she knew it. I still work for her on some of her amazing documentaries.
Can you share a story about that?
It’s public knowledge that Susan had depression issues. I never questioned her…I thought her moods were because she was an artist and I respected that. I had no idea of the pain she went through until she wrote about it in Depression & Back and made a documentary about it; The Misunderstood Epidemic: Depression. Sometimes when she didn’t feel up to talking to a journalist, I would take her interviews for her over the phone. Reporters would tell who they thought was Susan that she sounded like me, and I acted like I was surprised. When I spoke to the reporters again as myself, I would tell them that I was honored to sound like an artist as accomplished as Susan. She sold more poetry books than any other author. Amazing!
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?
There isn’t a major wellness trend that our agency hasn’t been involved in.
We’ve been a part of the mainstreaming of trends that changed the way we care for ourselves. From spa-ing, juicing, alkaline and plant-based eating, probiotics, and greening, we have had the pleasure of turning innovators into category leaders.
We helped create the fitness craze that started in the late 80s with the Reebok Step, the Body Bar and the Spinning Bike with Johnny G.
We were at the forefront of the plant-based movement starting with the China Study, Vega Plant-Based Protein and Quorn MycoProtein Meat Substitute.
Before that, we spread yoga in all forms from gurus like Gurmukh to organizations such as Kundalini, Hot Yoga and the USA Yoga Federation. We handled the press for the national yoga championships and helped the Brahma Kumaris open the first meditation museum.
We started the juicing revolution with Jay Kordich, the original Juiceman Juicer which we launched more than 25 years ago and continued later for our work with Earth Bar and Organic Avenue juice bars.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
Movement — Any exercise keeps your equipment in better working order. Just move daily!
Supplementation — When we were first asked to promote a probiotic, I laughed my head off at the idea of ingesting bacteria…famous last words. Probiotics, prebiotic, medicinal mushrooms, glutathione, resveratrol, polyphenols, electrolytes — you need to take them all because you are not getting them through today’s foods no matter how healthy you eat.
Plant focused diet — I like eating and you can eat more vegetables than anything.
Prevention –Active people tend to focus on recovery, but prevention comes first.
Embrace stress — Stress can be good for you — You are not a lump, you are alive, a seed breaking through the ground. How you embrace stress is the issue. I see it as a mild cardiovascular work-out. It’s fun juggling too many things. Stress is a byproduct of productivity. You just have to keep punching.
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 already have but now I really am committed to getting people obsessed on prevention, aging healthfully and living more purposeful lives. If you love what you do you don’t work a day of your life.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
Actually, there are things everyone always tells you that don’t apply to entrepreneurs.
1. Work-life balance doesn’t work for everyone — It never worked for me and I hope it never does. I thrive on the intensity of the experience. Before I started my business when I first started my business and to this day. I work like a rabid animal. I am breaking inertia. I am getting people to do things they don’t want to do because ultimately it will be a better choice. Your brain has to always be on because you never know when that great idea will come. I rationalize that balance is going from one extreme to another. I work hard but I am with my family and friends, laugh, listen, learn, exercise and eat with the same intensity.
2. It’s okay to use your magnetism — It’s a great equalizer. It makes it more fun to be you when you feel good about how you look, and it makes it more fun for people to work with you. It also gives you power and clarity to make decisions and not be a victim…never be a victim!
3. Live below your means — Enjoy what you do but don’t get too caught up in the money you make. The most successful people I know live way below what they can afford because they are not doing it for the money. They are on a mission. Restauranteurs that eat up their profits, clothing designers that put all their money in clothes, that’s crazy! An entrepreneur’s payment is their idea of becoming everyone’s idea.
4. You’re always going to have to work hard — Every successful entrepreneur says you have to invest massive work…work around the clock…I never met a truly successful person who didn’t work insanely hard to build something substantial…not that they didn’t love it but you just can’t help yourself when you are on a mission.
5. Let yourself be vulnerable — You have to be open to new ideas and that means being really open and giving them time to germinate. Sometimes you let in bad ideas or bad people. But being open prohibits you from acting on the signs right away. It’s up to you to absolutely insist on learning from every mistake. If you don’t learn it could happen again.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Environmental focus — in case you haven’t noticed it…we are in trouble and a lot must be done quickly. We don’t have time to put our toe in the water. We have to jump in. Technology has a lot of answers and we have to start changing now. Meat uses more energy than plants, apparel is the most polluting industry in the country so stop buying so many clothes. Don’t use so much plastic. Really work on your personal plastic footprint. Do something…anything…and you will start doing more…
I also hate how hard it is to be healthy in this world and how our world gets infused with more and more junk…the food we eat, the information blasted at us, air and water pollution, the plastic in our ocean, our thinning soil… We must redecorate the world to be our own personal garden of Eden. It can be whatever as long as you really LOVE it.