When did you last think about what your 11-year-old self wanted to be when you grew up? If you follow my podcast, WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY™, or have read my new book, Facing the Seduction of Success, you know that I often ask my podcast guests about their childhood dream and how they saw their future long ago.
As curious as a child as she is today, my guest this week, Lindsay McCormick, founder and CEO of Bite Toothpaste Bits, wanted to be everything — an astronaut, an archeologist, an FBI agent, to name a few — and her dream changed almost weekly. That jumping around continued through and even after college, as she tried different jobs that interested her. (We laughed about her first job as a Christmas elf at the local mall who helped kids realize their dream of sitting on Santa’s lap, an experience often accompanied by fears and tears that it was Lindsay’s job to soothe.) In those early years, she was also a surfing instructor, a snowboarding instructor, a bartender, and, of course, the requisite Starbucks barista. Rather than see herself as unfocused, she thinks of it as a time of fun and freedom as she followed her evolving interests. She didn’t care that her childhood friends were making six figures by age 30 and she was making $600 a week and driving a 15-year-old car.
It was, however, a couple of those jobs that led her to founding Bite, whose personal care products are made with zero waste, without plastic, packed in glass and metal, shipped in paper, designed to be refillable, and made with truly good-for-you ingredients. During her summer surfing lessons, the outdoor-loving Lindsay began to notice all the plastic floating in the ocean off Malibu. In the winter when teaching snowboarding, she and her colleagues on the slopes would wonder whether there would even be snow for skiing in ten years as the planet warmed. She had already been a vegetarian and then a vegan for many years, but she wanted to do more than just organize a one-day beach cleanup with her friends. During some later jobs that involved travel, she looked at the travel-sized plastic tubes of toothpaste that she was constantly throwing out. Then she started reading toothpaste ingredient labels. An idea was born, and an entrepreneurial journey began.
In our super fun conversation, Lindsay and I touched on lots of challenges that we both have experienced as entrepreneurs and as people: how to stay focused on the most important stuff, how to follow your bliss and do what you love, and of course, balancing it all. We spent some time on the topic of choice as Lindsay spoke, without judgment, of the life choices she had made as opposed to her friends. She revealed, “I didn’t really feel pressured. I just felt like, wow, what different life choices.”
I hope you’ll tune in to hear our full conversation that touches on universal themes that weave in and out of my book. These are lessons here for everyone who lives on this precious planet.