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Noah Berman of Higher Mind: “You are not your consumer”

I truly feel that achieving a greater sense of gender equality will help improve and heal many of the other issues that we are facing today. While we’ve made a lot of progress, I think we are now more than ever before seeking new styles of leadership and for women to fully be able to […]

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I truly feel that achieving a greater sense of gender equality will help improve and heal many of the other issues that we are facing today. While we’ve made a lot of progress, I think we are now more than ever before seeking new styles of leadership and for women to fully be able to have power and strength. I enjoy having female co-founders and many of my consulting clients are female entrepreneurs — I believe in the movement of women rising.


As part of my series about the leadership lessons of accomplished business leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Noah Berman.

At a young age, Noah Berman was experiencing various health issues, from rashes to fatigue; he was always overweight and struggled to feel good in his body. After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, Noah visited various doctors and took his health into his own hands. He became passionate about all angles of wellness, from supplements to holistic nutrition. Noah became self-educated and started working in product development and formulation at ALOHA. After watching them successfully grow in New York, Noah began consulting for other various wellness companies across the globe including Torii Labs, Ritual, and Evermore. He continues to consult on product innovation and has recently developed and co-founded his product line called Higher Mind.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I started my journey because of my health issues. When I was a teenager I was diagnosed with a health condition called Sjogren’s Syndrome that caused symptoms such as dry mouth and eyes, pain, inflammation, rashes, and arthritis. I went to several doctors that could not help and I made shifts in mindfulness, diet, supplement, and exercise lost over 100 pounds. I effectively reversed the autoimmune condition. My experience piqued my interest in health and was the first entry-point to better understanding my health and well-being.

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

After I joined my first start-up, I found it hard to get others to take me seriously because I was so young and I was in a new position. I had a lot of people who wanted my job and didn’t understand why I was in that role. In the beginning, I had learned it was not what I said, but how I said it to get others to understand my perspective and to be on my side. We of course also worked late and night and my job was my life — it still is.

Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

It’s just because I’m passionate and what I’m doing and I’m interested in the people it’s affecting. Moreover, I believe in what I’m doing and feel connected to it. I think focusing on the audience and putting that past my own needs and wants have been important in trucking forward and not letting the noise bother me.

So, how are things going today? How did grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?

Being healthy emotionally physically and spiritually is success to me, which is how I feel. If I truly have that energy, I feel like it’s pretty hard for the business to go south. The two biggest things to change my health were doing things when I didn’t want to do them and doing them consistently. As much as my depth of knowledge around health began to grow, my awareness shifted only when I was willing to implement what I knew.

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

All I can say is don’t name-drop and that I would always be open to the idea of being wrong, or at least let go of the attachment of being right. Whenever I try too hard to make myself look good, it always backfires and makes me look bad.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I think what makes Higher Mind stand out is the quality and accessibility of our product, as well as the depth of our brand’s mission and our capacity to open up and engage with others in the world who share or are interested in a similar vision.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Reframing our relationship with productivity and what it means helps afford room to embrace the idea of not working as still a productive act. Evidence shows that working too many hours does not improve, but at a certain point reduces efficiency. This could indicate that accepting our limitations, what we can and cannot do, is important and necessary so we can use our time wisely and effectively. Investing in sleep and respite then becomes a powerful business tool. I would recommend our Higher Mind products, which help nourish our body’s ability to respond to stress ability and mitigate issues around burnout.

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?

I have almost an infinite list of people I’m grateful for and who were a necessary part of me being where I am today. That being said, I will always be grateful to Lauren Berlingeri for really opening the doors and supporting me as an individual at the beginning of my career. When Lauren met me, I was working in the vitamin section at health food in the West Village. She came in as a customer and soon convinced me to intern for a new health and wellness start-up called ALOHA. In only a few months working with Lauren and ALOHA, I became their formulator and the company had secured $5 M in seed capital. I was pulled up into a new reality overnight. My boss Gwen had run merchandise for stores like Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Sears, and DICKS for years and was showing me the ropes while well-known doctors and nutritionists from around the world started coming into the office and meeting me. It was such a fantastic and exciting time in my life that I’ll never forget or stop remembering with joy.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

My intention is just to help others connect with themselves and process, work through, and transform various health issues. I believe that the transformation of the individual is deeply important in changing the world- investing and valuing ourselves and those around us so that we can find mental peace is first and foremost how we can be a positive force.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. You don’t need as much money as you think to start a business, and raising more money isn’t always better.

I think often at times entrepreneurs over complicate what they are doing with highly intricate ideas to attract financing when it isn’t necessary or impactful. VC firms rarely get involved at a very early stage, at least in my field, and were largely a waste of time for us to talk to in the beginning. My consulting firm, The Ark Wellness is launching a tea line with a brand called Baloo Living, and the founder was able to hit over a million in revenue in her second year off of a $100,000 loan. Venture debt can be predatory and aggressive, choose wisely who when and why you take money from VCs. Shiny objects aren’t always good and things well esteemed by others aren’t always profitable and can fall out of favor.

2. More competition isn’t bad news.

The more market saturation for us means there’s more interest in the space from a consumer side. Our category, nootropics/brain health, is still emerging. Moreover, anyone who’s making a truly healthy product I commend and support.

3. You are not your consumer

I’m a huge user, and so it was hard for me, in the beginning, to really step aside and fully see, feel and understand what the consumer cares about, benefits from, and realistically is willing to spend on the products I create.

4. Consumer behavior is not always reflective consumer feedback

People don’t always do what they say they are going to do, and it’s not because they are trying to deceive you. They may truly believe that they would drink a drink with a 6/10 taste score every day for health benefits, but most of them might only end up drinking it if it lands above a 7.

5. You need to get people on the phone or video working remotely

I started working remote five years ago and it has given me a good foundation for the transition others are entering into the new virtual workforce. That being said, I wish I knew even back when I started working remotely how much can get lost over text messages.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start 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 truly feel that achieving a greater sense of gender equality will help improve and heal many of the other issues that we are facing today. While we’ve made a lot of progress, I think we are now more than ever before seeking new styles of leadership and for women to fully be able to have power and strength. I enjoy having female co-founders and many of my consulting clients are female entrepreneurs — I believe in the movement of women rising.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

@NoahBerman on Instagram and Twitter

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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