SmartyPants Vitamins "brings the yum back to being healthy." Co-Founder and Co-CEO Courtney Nichols Gould shares about seeing challenges as opportunities and about enjoying the ride this week on Dreaming Made Simple.
Dreaming Made Simple: What’s your professional dream?
Courtney Nichols Gould: My dream has a few parts: Build something that is of true service to others; work in a challenging environment that pushes me to the edges of my abilities, and surround myself with a group of people committed to the same, who tend to laugh when things get absurdly hard.
Dreaming Made Simple: How did your dream originate?
This current dream, SmartyPants Vitamins, came out of a conversation with our co-founders about the challenges of keeping kids, and all people, healthy. It snowballed from there into a challenge and an opportunity to change an entire industry that had an honorable intention of improving people's health, but some questionable practices, such as lack of transparency and quality at times. We are on a mission to bring more health to more people every day, whether through our products or through the matching grants we make for every bottle we sell. I love my job.
Dreaming Made Simple: What have been the biggest obstacles or challenges to realizing your dream? What advice do you have for others in pursuit of their dreams?
Courtney Nichols Gould: Oh, what isn't challenging! It's a daily endeavor - The obstacles are constant and ever-evolving, and there is no finish line. Really, you just get up every day, look at what needs your attention and get to it.
Here is what I would suggest: Listen to Elizabeth Gilbert's "Big Magic." It's a book and an even better audiobook about creativity that serves anyone in pursuit of a dream.
Ninety-nine percent of anything is execution. Ideas are easy. Grit, resilience and a willingness to keep going are critical. Every dream has its drudgery, so don't be annoyed or surprised by it. It's all part of the ride.
If your dream, you poor soul, happens to be entrepreneurship, then read "The Hard Thing about Hard Things" by Ben Horowitz and "Shoe Dog" by the founder of Nike. Not for the faint of heart, but I wouldn't do anything else.