This article originally appeared in the January/February 2016 issue of SELF.
Looking for an easy way to eat more veggies, Nicole Chaszar, 32, began making vegan soups in her spare time. An idea was born: she started selling portable, smartly packaged soups, filled with seasonal produce and spices, at flea markets in New York City. They proved so popular that Chaszar quit her job as a digital strategist in 2012 to make Splendid Spoon her full-time gig. Less than a year later, online grocer FreshDirect picked up her brand, and Chaszar began expanding her e-commerce business. Up next? Publishing a cookbook, due out later this year. “My career philosophy is to pursue whatever interests and satisfies you,” says Chaszar, who also took turns as a biologist and restaurant cook before discovering her calling as a food entrepreneur. Now that her business has taken off, Chaszar has hired a team, including operations guru Rene Lozzi, 31, and director of communications Leah Kirts, 30, to help build the company, dream up recipes and spread healthy vibes. “We spend long hours together, so it’s a sisterhood of support,” says Chaszar. Here, the Spoon squad talks about how to stay balanced and open to opportunities.
1. Immerse Yourself
“Finding success is about living a certain lifestyle,” says Kirts. “Be engaged with every person you meet. Ask cool, successful women out for drinks. You’ll attract the type of people who share your interests.”
2. Change Focus
“In busy times, shifting my perception helps me see the upside of things,” says Lozzi. “Instead of saying, ‘This is hard, I’m stressed out,’ try to look at it as ‘I’m learning new skills, gaining more responsibility and growing thicker skin.’”
3. Try A 15-Minute Trick
“I segment my life into 15-minute chunks,” says Chaszar. “Many of them get pushed together, but the idea is that I’m either fully enjoying myself and my kids or engrossed in my work. This helps me stay wholly present in the moment.”