Mental Stamina of a Great Business Mind — An Interview with Romy Taormina for Thrive Global About Why You Need to be Comfortable with Discomfort in Business (and Life)

I had the pleasure of talking with Romy Taormina, CEO and Founder of Psi Health Solutions, Inc., the maker of Psi Bands. Psi Bands are an FDA-cleared medical device clinically proven to relieve nausea due to morning sickness, motion sickness, chemotherapy, and anesthesia.

I had the pleasure of talking with Romy Taormina, CEO and Founder of Psi Health Solutions, Inc., the maker of Psi Bands. Psi Bands are an FDA-cleared medical device clinically proven to relieve nausea due to morning sickness, motion sickness, chemotherapy, and anesthesia.

Romy is a Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo alum with a business degree and marketing emphasis. She oversees the daily operations, marketing, financials, and sales at Psi Health Solutions, Inc., where she is challenged daily on how to get through the discomfort of running a product-based business in one of the most competitive industries – retail – in the world.

Romy is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Huggies Mom Inspired Grant/Award, a Trailblazer Awardee from the National Association of Women’s Business Owners (NAWBO) and Wells Fargo, and a two-time grant recipient of the US Small Business Administration State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). In addition to being CEO, she is also a mom to two teenage boys and wife of 20+ years.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? How did you get to be where you are right now?

Puking was what inspired Romy to take the leap of faith into the entrepreneurial stratosphere. Romy found nausea relief through acupressure wrist bands but was dissatisfied with existing products on the market so she set out to create a superior product, both in form and function, to help those who suffer from nausea. And Psi Bands were born. Psi Bands have been selling for 10 years with close to 1M sets sold at major retailers such as Target, CVS, REI, Motherhood Maternity; at hospitals; and internationally.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How did this quality help you overcome obstacles on the path of becoming an influential and inspiring leader?

Romy considers herself to be more of an introvert than extrovert. She’d prefer to get up on a stage as a speaker (I learned that she’s been a speaker three years in a row at Intuit’s QuickBooks Connect Conference, just as one example) and push through that nervousness than be thrust into a mix/mingle event where she doesn’t know anyone, which she considers awkward. Yet, she does it, because her role as CEO requires that she does so. Romy highly recommends the book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain. She believes that understanding one’s own internal voice as well of those of others has helped her to be more effective at networking, better able to gauge when to lead or follow, more equipped to hire the right people for the right jobs, and land more opportunities.

What does it mean to be mentally-strong in the hyper-competitive world of running a business or an organization?

Romy believes that to be mentally strong in the hyper-competitive world of running a business that you must incorporate a solutions-oriented approach to decision making. She said, “Every day, I encounter hurdles, some of which are mundane while others are far more challenging and overwhelming. Irregardless of the magnitude of the problem, I remain steadfast in my resolve to be solution oriented. Yes, we can blame others and/or complain (and sometimes I/we might do both), but it’s not going to solve the problem. Proposing solutions is going to net better results and teach us that we are resilient and can overcome. With a can-do attitude, we will be happier and stronger.”

A lot of people in the business world feel as if talking about mental health makes them appear weak. How do you feel about showing mental strength and setting example of what it takes to have strong mental stamina to succeed?

When asked how she felt about showing a strong mental stamina, Romy replied: ”Psi Health Solutions, Inc.’s mission is to help others through debilitating medical conditions. As we face daily business challenges — while receiving all the humbling testimonials about how Psi Bands have made a measurable and positive difference in someone’s life — we are reminded of our core value to help. Showing our mental strength to weather the storm comes from our hearts. We are strong because we are united in a common vision to do good.”

Is there a particular person, a book, or place of wisdom that has inspired you to become a successful and mentally-strong leader?

Romy is inspired by Malcolm Gladwell, who she had the opportunity to see in person when he spoke at Quickbooks Connect. She has read several of his New York Times best-selling books, including: Blink, The Tipping Point, and Outliers. When asked, Romy said: “Malcom has a creative way of seeing unexpected implications. He challenges his audience to look at situations in a unique way, all grounded in research. Patterns can teach all of us a lot. We don’t need to exhaust ourselves with re-inventing the wheel. As with Psi Bands, I took an existing idea and made it better. There are very few “new” ideas. They are mostly just improvements on an older one.”

Can you give us 5 tips on maintaining strong mental health stamina to succeed in the modern business world? Tell us a little about why each point matters.

  1. Stay solution-oriented. Working through problems teaches us resilience and gives us a “can do” mindset/attitude. We only have control over our own attitudes so the more positive it can be, the better.
  2. Take some time each day for yourself. Take a walk, write in a journal, have lunch with a close friend or relative, take an art class, get a scoop of ice cream with your child, drive by the ocean when the sun is setting, etc. You’ll feel more grounded and fulfilled when you experience joy in your life. And it can be the small things!
  3. Show gratitude. A simple thanks goes a LONG way. When you show your appreciation, others will reciprocate with kindness. Everyone wins.
  4. Give, give, get.The more you give, the more you’ll get in return. Make an introduction, share a lead/opportunity, volunteer, mentor, etc. There are so many thoughtful and meaningful ways to help others. The more you put yourself out there to help others and to be more selfless, the bigger the payoff for everyone. And, the better you’ll feel about yourself.
  5. Learn to say no.No doesn’t have to mean no forever. It just means no right now. You don’t have to explain yourself. “While that sounds like a great opportunity, right now I need to politely decline.” It’s like anything in life, there are tradeoffs. If you are spending time/resources on something that is not “filling your tank,” then you are not using those same resources towards something else that would.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Romy, as a mom of two teenagers, shared that she is often reminded, both in her personal and professional roles, that one must not be complacent. She said: “just when you think you have something dialed in, things change. The only thing constant is change. So, we all need to get comfortable with discomfort in business (and life).”

If the readers of this interview series would like to read more about you, how they can reach out?

Romy’s Linked In Profile:

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