Five Questions with Melissa Hartwig
Melissa Hartwig, CISSN
Co-Founder & CEO, Whole30
“My community is what keeps me going; every single story I hear is proof that I’m living my purpose.”
Best known for bringing the original Whole30 program to the masses, Melissa Hartwig is a FORCE of influence in the health and fitness world today. She is a Certified Sports Nutritionist, helping people change their relationship with food and create lifelong, healthy habits. A five-time New York Times bestselling author, Melissa has been featured on Dr. Oz, Good Morning America, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and CNBC and ranked #19 on Greatist’s Top 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness in 2018. Somehow, she has also found time to present at more than 150 health and nutrition seminars worldwide, and is a prominent keynote speaker on social media and branding, health trends, and entrepreneurship.
WE caught up with Melissa before she heads out to promote her newest book, The Whole30 Slow Cooker, which hits shelves on October 23rd, and features 150 all new recipes for your Whole30 and beyond.
IN THREE WORDS, DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY.
Window and mirror. Whether I’m talking about leading my Whole30 community or managing people on my team, my philosophy is the same. When something good happens—a great media hit, a new partnership, or making the best-seller list—I’m a window, directing the credit and the praise through me to my community or team. When something bad happens—an error in judgment, a poorly phrased communication, or an unintentional offense—I’m a mirror, accepting all of the responsibility and personally making corrections.
WHEN IS PURPOSE MORE IMPORTANT THAN BUSINESS?
When your business conflicts with your integrity, fall back on your purpose to make the right decision. I’ve turned down many a “smart business” or lucrative deal because it wasn’t right for my community, and I’ve learned it’s never worth it to sacrifice my integrity.
WHAT IGNITED AND SUSTAINS YOUR WORK?
My own experience with drug addiction and recovery helped me see all the ways that we use things (drugs, alcohol, and in the case of Whole30, food) to numb, comfort, and self-soothe. My own recovery and Whole30 results made me want to encourage others to start their own journeys towards health and healing. My community is what keeps me going; every single story I hear in DMs or comments or email is proof that I’m living my purpose.
WHAT THREE ITEMS DO YOU ALWAYS CARRY IN YOUR HANDBAG?
A grounding crystal. A meat stick. Lip gloss.
What’s the one piece of career advice you would give your younger self?
I wouldn’t tell her a damn thing. She’s doing just fine, and every mistake she makes is a lesson she’ll be grateful for later.
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