Fed & Fit

Ep. 73: Naomi of Picnik Austin!

Today I’m joined by Naomi Seifter, the owner and founder of Picnik Austin, which is the real food truck and now brick-and-mortar restaurant located in Austin, TX. We talk about how her discovery of a real food lifestyle rescued her from years of pain, her whirlwind adventure that led to the opening of her food truck, her vision for the restaurant, and some great advice for entrepreneurs.

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We’re back with our 73rd episode of the Fed+Fit Podcast! Remember to check back every Monday for a new episode and be sure to subscribe on iTunes!

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Episode 73 Transcription

Today I’m joined by Naomi Seifter, the owner and founder of the real food truck, and now brick and mortar restaurant, Picnik, located in Austin, Texas. We talk about how her discovery of a real food lifestyle rescued her from years of pain; her whirlwind adventure that led to the opening of her food truck; her vision for the restaurant, and some really great advice for entrepreneurs.

Cassy Joy: Today I am joined; I am so excited for you guys to meet this lovely woman. Her name is Naomi Seifter, and she is just a ball of joy and light. She’s the ouner; {laughs} ouner.

Naomi Seifter: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Founder and owner, I’m going with it {laughs} of Picnik. Picnik began in 2013 as a food trailer housed in a repurposed shipping container off South Lamar in Austin, Texas. Naomi has a personal history of combating food allergies since childhood, which has led her journey to open the gluten-free food trailer known for the grab and go breakfasts and lunch items, as well as the buttered coffees, which I’ve consumed many of {laughs}.

Naomi Seifter: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Bone broths, juices, and all with the focus on sourcing locally and using organic ingredients. The brick and mortar location of Picnik just opened on August 10th, and I was lucky enough to attend a really fun tasting dinner, so now I can even more emphatically tell you that this lady is killing it!

Naomi Seifter: Awww.

Cassy Joy: She’s doing an amazing boots on the ground job of bringing healthy, delicious, paleo friendly foods to the Austin community, and is truly one of those lovely people that I cannot help but be inspired and energized by. I’m thrilled to bring her on the show today; welcome Naomi!

Naomi Seifter: Aww, thank you so much for having me! You’re so sweet! {laughs}

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Oh my gosh, the pleasure is all mine. I really am just genuinely thrilled for you. You really are; you know, folks, I do get asked quite often. I’m sure a lot of cookbook authors and bloggers are asked; ooh, did you ever want to open a restaurant. I was like, oh my gosh, I don’t think I have it in me {laughs}.That’s a lot of work.

Naomi Seifter: It is a lot. It’s a lot. I mean, we get approached by people all the time who are like; oh, I really want to create my own concept, I’m interested in doing something similar. And I mean, I will be the first to tell you, it is a full time, 100% of your time job, day in day out, 7 days a week.

Cassy Joy: Mmm. I believe it. Well you do it really, really well.

Naomi Seifter: Well thanks!

Cassy Joy: Keep it up. And I’d love for you to share; before we jump in I want to talk a lot about Picnik and pick your brain on all things foodie wise; but tell us a little bit more about your story. I very briefly touched on it, but I’d love to know what led you to this lifestyle and to doing what you’re doing now.

Naomi Seifter: Yeah, absolutely. So you know, I was one of these kids who was; basically I was sick my whole life, and my parents were both doctors, and somehow no one ever connected the dots that maybe my sickness was related to what I was eating. Like the other day, I was watching a video of me when I was a kid; I must have been 4 or 5, and it was on Thanksgiving, and you know my voice was really, really raspy because everything I ate made me throw up. And I was talking to my dad and the camera, and I’m like, “is this pumpkin pie going to give me a stomach ache?” And it’s just so sad that that was a part of my life for so long.

So from the time I was a kid up until I was about 14 or 15, I always just had weird chronic health problems, and in my early, early childhood it manifested a lot actually with neurological symptoms; more like anxiety over gastrointestinal issues. So when I was a kid, I had all these weird anxious tendencies, and I was afraid of the weather and the wind; it was just bizarre. And now, as I’ve gotten more into gut healing and I’ve learned a lot about the connection of food and your mental state, I realize that a lot of that was because of my food sensitivity.

So when I was 14, I had some weight issues as a kid, and my family all made a commitment to go on the Atkins diet. So that was the first time I ever went on a diet; very sad that I was a teenager focusing on something like this. But I pretty much eliminated all carbohydrates, and I was eating mostly meat and plants, and that was the first time I remember in my life feeling like I was in really, really good health. I lost some weight, I had really good cognitive function, I did better in school, I felt a huge alleviation of my anxiety. But you know, at the time I was following a plan that was definitely related to, you know, leaning out and weight loss and it wasn’t at all about the integrity and quality of ingredients and food that I was eating. So that was just kind of my first exposure to it, and I did it temporarily just as a short term solution to some extra pounds, and I went back to just eating normal food.

But when I transitioned off of Atkins is when I started to really experience some super severe gastrointestinal problems. I was going out to dinner a lot with my family and with my friends, and I remember going to Olive Garden all the time, and I would eat chicken fettuccine alfredo, and I would come home and be on the couch with severe abdominal pain for, you know, 8-12 hours, and I would be in tears, and it was just horrible constipation. Anything related to a messed up gut, I experienced. And it wasn’t until I was 19; somehow I lived 5 years like that. It wasn’t until I was 19 that I was meeting with my grandparents in Eugene, Oregon, and we were having a conversation about the fact that my grandma had celiac disease. So I started asking a lot of questions; like, what are the symptoms, what have you experienced? Turns out my grandma has celiac, and was telling me all about her problems. And, kid you not; I was like, this is my life! How did I never {laughs} make that connection; how did my family never make that connection, you know. Just wild.

So I got online, and I looked at a celiac checklist, and it was like down the line, I had every single symptom that was listed. You know, I never actually went and got tested for it, because my mom had told me; really, you need to be eating at least 3 pieces of bread a day in order to have the antibodies show up in your test. So she was like, if you think this is something that you have a problem with, I would just eliminate it. So I did, and within 2 weeks, I had such a dramatic turnaround in terms of my quality of life, my digestion, my skin, anything and everything I was dealing with seemed to just magically improve when I cut out wheat.

And at the time; this was almost 10 years ago that I discovered this. At the time, there were no resources available. Now you go into the grocery store, and there’s gluten free everything available. At the time, there was none of that. So my diet was really, really clean; like, as close to paleo as possible. It was like, you know, meat, and vegetables, and I ate maybe occasionally some white rice. But I was really, really strict because I knew there was a lot of cross contamination, and there was an issue with some cheeses and lots of condiments that I didn’t know about. So I was pretty much as strict paleo as possible at that time without knowing it.

But, you know, as I became more comfortable with this lifestyle, I started to; I’m sorry, this is a really long story. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: No, I’m eating it up! Keep going! I can hear the people you’re speaking too.

Naomi Seifter: Good! Well it was crazy, because as soon as I got more invested in this lifestyle; I got more comfortable, more gluten-free products came available on the market. So I was just like, you know, all of a sudden started eating more gluten free pizza, or crackers, or pasta; all the stuff I had been missing, and all of a sudden all my health problems came back. And it didn’t make any sense to me, because I was gluten free! What could I possibly be doing wrong? You know.

Turns out with all these gluten-free substitutes, I was eating a ton of gluten-free grains, and it ended up causing me the same problems that I was dealing with in the beginning. So kind of a weird additional part of this story was, at the end of college when I was going through all of this stuff, I ended up living in a yoga ashram for almost 2 years, and I was traveling around. I started in Quebec, and went to upstate New York, and India, and lived in all these places.

Cassy Joy: Cool!

Naomi Seifter: Yeah! Because I became super, super passionate about yoga and about healing, and really trying to figure out food. And for me, that was a really incredible place after college when I didn’t really know what I was going to do with my life. So anyway, I actually during that time stopped eating meat altogether because, you know, yoga is definitely very intimately connected with a vegetarian lifestyle, and what they consider a sattvic diet; which is a diet full of purity and really minimally processed foods. But this is the same time I was dealing with a lot of those problems. I wasn’t eating meat, I was eating gluten free, I wasn’t eating any dairy, I was having a ton of problems. You know, they all kind of resurfaced. I ended up in the hospital with kidney stones in my early 20s; it’s like, you know, a disease you almost hear about predominantly grandparents getting, you know I’m in my early 20s in the hospital with kidney stones, and then I ended up hospitalized for ovarian cysts also, and I’m like; what is going on with my body? This just doesn’t make any sense.

So I left the ashram environment. I ended up teaching at this yoga studio in Miami Beach; really needed a source of income. This is crazy how it’s all interconnected.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm.

Naomi Seifter: But I was working in this; I rented out this tiny room in the back of my friend’s juice bar, and I started like a little company that just sold like eco-friendly jewelry; whatever, it was just my way to make money as I was teaching yoga. But it was my first exposure to business, and I was so freaking inspired by my friend who opened her juice bar, that I was like; oh my gosh, I’m going to do this someday! And I’m going to figure out a way to provide food for people, and provide things that I believe in, and create products I believe in, and really create a really, really healing menu to provide to people. Because she was just so inspiring to me. Her company is called Under the Mango Tree, and it’s just this tiny little shop in the middle of Miami Beach.

But at the same time, I was just really trying to figure out what was going on with my health. I know I wanted to offer healing food; I’d been on a raw diet, and I’d been gluten free, and I was vegetarian, I did all this stuff. And you know, I kept getting online and Google searching just healing diets; what do you do if you can’t eat grains, what do you do if you can’t eat soy, what do you do if you can’t eat all these allergens, and I kept stumbling upon this word, “paleo”. Basically that was my first crazy ah-ha moment; like, blew my mind. Had a chance to start reading some resources. I mean, there weren’t a ton of people or things in publication at that point. The first book I bought was Hayley and Bill’s, I think it was Make it Paleo, maybe Make it Paleo the original, and Diane Sanfilippo’s book, I’m horrible at saying her name.

Cassy Joy: You nailed it.

Naomi Seifter: Yeah, Practical Paleo. Those are the two main resources that I had available, as well as Mark’s Daily Apple online. I was like; oh my gosh, I’m going to try eating meat, I’m going to get rid of grains, I’m going to do all this stuff, I’m going to see what happens. I just had such incredible results in terms of my body completely changed, I lost like 30 pounds, I’ve never gained it back. All of a sudden, things took such a dramatic turn for me. So I learned really clearly at that time; it’s not just about being gluten free, it’s not just about being dairy free; it’s like a complete overhaul of every single ingredient that you put in your mouth.

So that was really the backbone of how I found my way to the paleo diet, and my exposure to my friend’s juice bar was the thing that caused inspiration for me in terms of really creating my own business someday that was dedicated to helping the health of people.

Cassy Joy: What an amazing story!

Naomi Seifter: {laughs} That’s a lot of information!

Cassy Joy: I love it! I think I got chills like 7 times. {laughs}

Naomi Seifter: Oh my gosh, that’s so sweet. But it changed my life, and it made such a dramatic impact for me that I just felt like; you know, I started waiting tables again when I moved to Austin. My fiancé and I basically picked a place on a map, and we thought Austin would be a good place. But it was like, every single day I was waiting tables, and I waited on people who were like; oh, I’m gluten free, or I’m dairy free, or I’m this, or I’m that, or I can’t have canola oil. And I was like; how is it possible that this is not available for people?! And I had this inspiration from my friend; and I was like, you know what, I have to go for it!

So, you know, crazy enough, my grandma had passed away a couple of years before. She left me a little bit of money, and I told Kevin, who is my fiancé, I’m like; this is what I’m going to do, and I’m going to buy a food truck, and I’m just going to start really small and I’m going to figure this out. I was by no means qualified to be the person to do this {laughs} you know what I mean? Like, by no means was I the person qualified to do this. But I’d worked in restaurants since I was 16 on and off, and I was really passionate about food and I had to learn to cook for myself through just the process of, you know, doing through all those allergies that I was just like; you know what, if anyone is going to do this, I might as well try.

So I took that amount of money, and bought this little; this is the crazy part of the story. I bought this little pink food truck out in San Antonio, and it was like a food truck that people used for like snow cones.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm.

Naomi Seifter: And I bought it, and I was like; yeah, this is going to be my business. And originally I called it pressed and squeezed; like pressed as in coffee press and squeezed as in juice squeezed.

Cassy Joy: Cute!

Naomi Seifter: I don’t know, yeah a cute little name. but nothing was flowing, and I couldn’t find a location for it and nothing was working out, and something that’s huge for me to talk about is I feel like my whole journey has been like divine intervention, hands down. Because when things are not meant to be, they do not flow. And when you finally tap into what you’re supposed to do and the direction you’re supposed to be doing it, it’s like the universe, everything opens up for you to really achieve what you’re destined for.

So I was looking for a place for this food truck; couldn’t find a place. And I ended up finding the location that we have our current location on South Lamar, and I was so passionate about it, I ended up calling the landlord. I’m like, is there any way I can put this pink food truck there? And he’s like, no there’s no way, we don’t want to turn this into a trailer park, it’s not going to happen.

There was an existing business that was parked there; it was a little company called La Beaute.

Cassy Joy: Uh-huh.

Naomi Seifter: And it was in a little reclaimed shipping container, and he’s like; that’s the only one that we’re willing to keep on this lot. So I came home that night, and I told Kevin; I was like, I’m just really struggling. I can’t find a place for this food truck; the landlord doesn’t want it. That’s the space I know I’m destined for. I just don’t know what to do; maybe I’m supposed to give up. And he was like, you know, if you feel that way, I’ll support you, whatever you think is right. Anyway, I drove by the next day and there was a freaking for sale sign on the trailer! {laughs}

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Naomi Seifter: That was parked on top of the hill! I was like, you’ve got to be kidding me! Obviously this was meant to be, this is what I was destined for. So I ended up selling the other truck, I made an offer on this shipping container. I thought I had enough money to get open; I literally didn’t even have enough money to get me through the first 2 weeks of planning. It was such a huge expense, but my mom ended up making the decision to help me out through the first year of business, and we opened our doors in April 2013.

Cassy Joy: Oh my gosh, more chills Naomi! Amen! I mean, I’m with you. I really do think that when things are supposed to happen, it just all of a sudden will; doors open for you. That’s awesome, what a very, very cool testament.

Naomi Seifter: Yes! And that’s happened this way for me over and over and over and over over the course of the last 3.5 years. It’s like; you know, whether it’s you have the wrong person in a role as an employee, or maybe you haven’t partnered with the right people, or you find a location that’s not working. Whatever hiccup it is, that would be applicable for anyone starting a business, I think it’s really important to listen to those cues and just really listen to; I call it divine intervention, you know. Being led by god or by the universe. And I think it’s really important; when you’re swimming upstream, sometimes you just have to reevaluate where you are, and figure out a different path. And really listen to the cues being given to you.

Cassy Joy: That’s so true. That’s so true. I mean, just to kind of further underline your point; thinking about, people asked me, what was it, Jimmy Moore, who wrote the Ketogenic Cookbook.

Naomi Seifter: Yes!

Cassy Joy: I was just talking with him on his podcast, and he was like, “Oh, Cassy it just seems like you came out of nowhere” {laughs} “You just all of a sudden have this book and this program and this podcast and all this stuff.” He was like, “How long ago did you start your blog?” I was like, I actually started it 6 years ago.

Naomi Seifter: {laughs} Yes!

Cassy Joy: {laughs} And I’ve been working for a really long time, and I’ve been talking with my publishing house for almost 4 years about writing a book. But what I was supposed to write wasn’t clear. And it was; it is frustrating, but it was like a holding; that’s where I was supposed to be then. I was supposed to be in a holding pattern so that I was forced to kind of listen to what people were really looking for and asking for, and then I put myself out there some more. People said what they liked from me, and it’s always going to be; maybe it’s going to be out of left field. You’re not going to see it coming.

Naomi Seifter: Totally.

Cassy Joy: You know, it wasn’t until you do. You take all of those swimming upstream cues, and you decide to finally float the river down!

Naomi Seifter: Yes! {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Just going to ride it down. And then all of a sudden, the idea will be given to you. And it takes hard work to get there, but it will be clear. I think that’s such an awesome, really cool point. Ok, so tell us a little bit more about Picnik brick and mortar; what the restaurant experience is like, what your vision was for it, and really what you want the customer experience to be and how it all came to be now.

Naomi Seifter: Yeah! So you know after 3.5 years of working out of our little spot on South Lamar, I just felt pretty limited with what I was able to provide for people. You know, one of the logistics that we built out in that space was that we didn’t have a kitchen on site. So all of our food was prepared at a commissary kitchen and basically shuttled in every single day. There are some logistics that make that a little tough. It’s great for a grab and go coffee shop, but it’s a little bit tough from a customer experience perspective, because we deal with so many customers who have tons of different allergies, sensitivities, food preferences, food aversions, whatever it is. So when we’re having to do the work off site, if someone comes in and they request one of our dishes without bacon, for example, we can’t do that for them. It’s not super easy for us to customize things; it’s pretty much you just have to choose things exactly as they are.

We just started to learn over the course of 3 years, especially with the movement of AIP and ketogenic and Whole 30 that in order for us to really cater to as many people as we want to cater to, we needed to get into a space where we could provide food that customizable for people. So, I started looking at real estate over 2 years ago, which is insane. But I was looking at anything and everything that presented itself in Austin, and you know, real estate is really, really tough. You have to think about the location that you’re in, the demographic that’s in your area; parking is huge in Austin. Like, if there’s not accessible parking you can come across some serious problems. And then also, just a space that would be big enough and laid out in a way that would cater to the fact that we were going to use it for a restaurant space. So it was really, really hard.

But we had the most incredible blessing of finding this space on Burnett road, which is just a crazy restaurant strip in North Austin, so high traffic, the right demographic. It was actually a second generation space, so it was a restaurant that was built out not even a year ago that the concept didn’t work, so we ended up basically buying the furniture, fixtures, and equipment as well as taking over the remainder of the lease term for the next 10 years.

Cassy Joy: Whoa!

Naomi Seifter: Yeah! In order to get this space. So it’s crazy complicated when you’re dealing with real estate. And it’s funny; you know, I was talking to Mark Sisson after PaleoFx or during PaleoFx, because they’re in the process of building out Primal Kitchens, and we had a big discussion about real estate. But it’s a serious issue for a lot of people when they’re trying to build a business, not only from a perspective of just the complications of finding a good spot, but also the logistics of permitting and the time it takes in order to get things up and running, and paying dark rent, and paying employees before you’re able to get a business up and running. It’s a serious situation, so we were just really ,really blessed to find a space that allowed us to kind of do things a little bit faster and open up our doors in 9 months rather than a year and a half.

One of the things I really wanted to do with this restaurant was to make it not only customizable plates for people who have food sensitivities, but also really kind of increase our offerings to more people. We got a ton of request for vegan items, or vegetarian items from customers when we’re at the trailer, and since we’re really 100% focused on paleo, we had a whole demographic of people that we really couldn’t support.

So something that was really important to me was kind of to get away from the strict title of paleo, but more open it up to this conversation of “real food.” So you’ve seen us kind of do this evolution with our branding; we’re now Picnik says real food plus good vibes. Everything is paleo friendly; but it’s also vegan friendly. If we have any starches or grains on the menu, it’s all going to be safe starches. Like white rice, quinoa, we haven’t gotten to white potatoes yet but it would be white potatoes or sweet potatoes. So we’re still; even if we make breads, for example, it’s going to be made with potato starch or white rice flour. It’s not going to be a whole bunch of random gluten free grains and things that are tough for people to digest. It’s like; we want to keep that same philosophy of what we do with paleo friendly food, but also expand our opportunity to reach out to more clientele.

So that’s really what you’ll start to see at the restaurant. I’m really, really passionate about comfort foods, and that was something that I kind of developed as a result of my fiancé. When we first got together, when we first opened Picnik; I’m like, let’s make rabbit soup, and let’s make ceviche, and let’s make all these things that normal, standard American palates don’t really gravitate well towards. Kevin was the first person to tell me, “Why don’t you have a chocolate chip cookie on your menu?”

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Naomi Seifter: You know what I mean? So you’ll see, we’ve really started to learn what people resonate with and what they respond well to. So it’s basically an entire menu of things I would want to eat every second of the day. Like pancakes, and orange chicken, and meatloaf, and chicken nuggets! All of these fun kind of comfort foods, but just done with better ingredients.

Cassy Joy: Yeah! And I can personally vouch for the orange chicken, the meatloaf, the Brussels sprouts. {laughs}

Naomi Seifter: {laughs} It’s so good.

Cassy Joy: Oh my gosh, so much. The tomato basil soup; oh, your juices. That green lemonade, really, Naomi, I could drink that by the gallon! {laughs}

Naomi Seifter: Oh, thank you. It’s probably my favorite thing on the menu. I drink it every single day, probably breakfast and dinner. It has such amazing flavor because we actually use the whole rind, as well, so you’re getting all that essential oil and lemon zest, and a little bit of collard greens to give it flavor, and green apples. It’s just like, oh my gosh, I love it too.

Cassy Joy: Oh my gosh, it is awesome. You guys have to go and try that. And then to boot; I hate to geek out over just the food, but I can’t help myself!

Naomi Seifter: Yes!

Cassy Joy: To boot, you have, you’ve turned your famous blondies into an ice cream sandwich.

Naomi Seifter: {laughs} Yes! Again, that was Kevin. He is so influential to me. First, I made that blondie recipe like 3 years ago, and I made it for him at home, and it was one of these happy accidents that I just made this recipe and it worked really well the first time; versus like our muffins took a year and a half to figure out. But I made it, and he was like; these are really good, you should bring them to the shop and see if anyone likes them. And for like 3 months afterwards, people were asking for them. So brought them in; it’s become our top selling dessert every since, and so for the past 3 years I’ve watched Kevin every single weekend; I almost said every day, but he’s standing next me and he’s like, don’t you dare!

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Naomi Seifter: I’ve seen him every weekend eat one of the blondies with vanilla ice cream. He just loves the combination, and it’s really a great combination in terms of; you kind of have the amaretto from the blondies, but you have the cooling of the ice cream. They’re just really good together. So anyway, I was like, why don’t we just put the two things together and make an epic ice cream sandwich, and now it’s literally the only dessert we have on the menu for the time being, but we probably sell it to 95% of the tables that come in.

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Naomi Seifter: Yeah. {laughs} Even with full fat grass-fed dairy gelato. It’s not even dairy-free, unfortunately. We’ve had some requests for a coconut milk one, so that might be in the works. But yeah, we sell it to probably every table that comes in.

Cassy Joy: That’s hilarious. It is so good, you guys. If you go to Picnik, you have to get it. It was awesome.

Naomi Seifter: Yes! I love that you’re excited about it.

Cassy Joy: I am! I’m excited about it all. That is just so neat. I’m curious; we don’t have that much time left but I’d like to pick your brain on a couple more things.

Naomi Seifter: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: When it comes to your clientele; at the food truck and now the brick and mortar restaurant; do you find that, are people starting to show up not really knowing what paleo is, or just coming because they really like the idea of real food and they’ve heard about these amazing hot buttered coffees, and they just want to try something?

Naomi Seifter: Yeah, I mean, it’s crazy. When we first opened, it was probably 99% paleo, and at this point we just cater to really such a broad demographic of people. They might be vegan, they might be paleo, they might be health conscious. They might just love butter coffee, and then they go out and eat a pizza later in the day. I mean, literally anyone and everyone from every walk of life kind of comes in at this point .we’re starting to see that a ton of our customers are actually kids, which I never thought that we were just an innately kid friendly place, but to have chicken nuggets and pancakes and things that really cater to all palates, we’ve just started to attract so many different people. So you do get the die-hard paleo people, and we do have an autoimmune paleo menu for them, and a Whole30 menu for them, but we also just have people who are just passionate about feeling a little bit better, and are trying to get better ingredients in food that they’re eating.

Cassy Joy: That’s great. That is so cool to hear. I mean, that’s really the idea, is to kind of break outside of the labels and be as approachable with this good science and makes good sense as possible.

Naomi Seifter: Yeah, absolutely.

Cassy Joy: Awesome. Well, Naomi, you know I had another question to ask you about advice for business owners, but I really think you’ve touched on it! {laughs}

Naomi Seifter: {laughs} Good!
Cassy Joy: You’ve given some great advice. Do you have anything else you’d like to add before we wrap up today?

Naomi Seifter: Yeah, I mean quick advice. Literally, I would just say, I tell this to people all the time, but it’s like; if you want to create a business from your passion that you’re really, really excited about, you just have to know. You have to jump in with 100% dedication, no questions asked. You have to be willing to put literally every single thing in your life on the line in order to achieve the things that you want. I mean, from financially to relationships to your time to your energy. Building a business really requires a full time commitment, hands down. And if you’re not willing to kind of put all those things on the line for what you believe in, I would say don’t do it. Because it’s a really, really tough life. I mean, you have to just be so passionate about what you’re doing, and believe that what you’re doing is so essential to the future of the world that no one else can do the job in order to take a risk like that; otherwise there’s just no point. Because it will really, really challenge you.

And the only other thing I’d say is that you have to learn to trust your gut. Your gut is the most valuable tool you’ll ever be given. For me, like I said, it’s kind of that divine intervention. I always listen to clues that are presented to me, all the time. If something is not working, I listen to that and I reevaluate the direction I’m going and I figure out a different solution. When things start to happen and unfold and all of a sudden there’s movement and you find the piece of real estate. Like, for me I got the real estate, I got the right partner all at the same time. Everything just magically flowed. But I had to go through times where I really, I had to just listen to my gut and figure out ways to change the course of the future of the business. So I think it’s really important to just know; don’t ignore that voice that’s inside of you that tells you someone is not the right fit, or I’m not going the right direction, or if I make this decision, something is not going to work out. Trust that gut instinct all the time; it will be your best friend in business.

Cassy Joy: Absolutely. It might be more difficult in the short run, but if you believe in your gut that it’s the right thing to do, then you should do it.

Naomi Seifter: Yes; always. So I’m a little woo-woo, but I really appreciate you asking, and I super appreciate you having me on the show. I just am such a fan of what you do, and I just am so grateful. So thank you so much.

Cassy Joy: Oh my gosh; I’m the grateful one. Thank you so much Naomi; it really means a lot. I bet there are some people who got chills with me listening to your stories!

Naomi Seifter: Aww, I hope so. I hope so.

Cassy Joy: So if you guys have any; remember that you can find Naomi, they’re on social media. Is it PicnikAustin?

Naomi Seifter: Yep, yep, PicnikAustin with a K.

Cassy Joy: Yeah, P-I-C-N-I-K Austin. And if you’re ever visiting Austin, Texas, you must go visit!

Naomi Seifter: Yes!

Cassy Joy: You must have a buttered coffee and a blondie, if not more at that new location off of Burnett Road. Burnett right?

Naomi Seifter: Yes, perfect.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Clearly I didn’t jot down notes ahead of time.

Naomi Seifter: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: It really has been an honor and a pleasure, and if you guys have questions for Naomi you can find her on social media; or as always I’ll have a full transcript of today’s show in http://FedandFit.com and you can put in some questions and comments there and I’ll make sure that I get them over to her. Naomi, thanks again for joining me!

Naomi Seifter: Thank you so much, Cassy! I’ll talk to you soon.

Cassy Joy: Ok, bye-bye.

Naomi Seifter: Ok bye.

   

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