Holly Stein: Scaling to 7-Figures in ONE Year

Real Talk: How Holly Stein and Her Husband Scaled Mama Meals Without Compromising on What Matters Most

In Episode 111 of the inhabit Podcast, I had the pleasure of sitting down with my dear friend, Holly Stein, an entrepreneur whose journey is nothing short of inspirational. Holly, known affectionately as the first friend I’ve invited on since the show’s rebranding, shared insights into her meteoric rise in the entrepreneurial world, her ventures, and the mindset that has propelled her to success.

Connect with Holly on Instagram at @eat.mamameals. You can order through her website: mama-meals.com and use code ALESSIA for $20 off your order of $200 or more!*

From Network Marketing to Entrepreneurial Success

Our acquaintance goes back to our days in network marketing, a period that laid the foundation for our entrepreneurial paths. Holly’s story is a testament to resilience and the power of pivoting. Despite the success in network marketing, Holly found her true calling elsewhere, leading her to venture into creating a business that resonates deeply with her passions and values.

The Birth of Mama Meals

One of Holly’s most notable ventures is Mama Meals, a business born out of her personal experiences and a desire to support postpartum women. Holly shared the challenges of postpartum recovery and how traditional Chinese medicine principles inspired her to create nourishing meals for new mothers. This venture, initially a passion project, quickly turned into a thriving business, showcasing Holly’s ability to identify and fill a much-needed gap in the market.

Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Failure

Holly’s entrepreneurial journey hasn’t been without its challenges. From starting a spiritual dog wear company to exploring print-on-demand services, Holly has navigated various ventures, each teaching her valuable lessons. Her mantra, “start before you’re ready, done is better than perfect,” encapsulates her approach to business and life. Holly’s story is a powerful reminder that failure is not the opposite of success but a stepping stone towards it.

The Power of Mindset in Entrepreneurship

A significant part of our conversation revolved around the importance of mindset in achieving business success. Holly emphasized the transformative impact of a money mindset course she took, which helped her break through limiting beliefs about money and success. This mindset shift, coupled with strategic planning and execution, has been instrumental in the rapid growth of Mama Meals.

Creating a Sustainable Foundation for Success

Holly and her husband, Eric, have created a sustainable foundation for their business and personal lives through meticulous planning and division of responsibilities. From managing household chores to strategizing business operations, they’ve found a balance that allows them to thrive in both arenas. This level of organization and commitment to their goals is a key factor in their success.

Embracing the Journey

Holly’s journey from network marketing to becoming a successful entrepreneur is a powerful narrative of transformation, resilience, and the pursuit of passion. Her story is an inspiration to anyone standing at the crossroads of their career, reminding us that with the right mindset, strategic planning, and a willingness to embrace failure, success is within reach.

As we wrapped up our conversation, it was clear that Holly’s journey is a beacon of hope and a guide for aspiring entrepreneurs. Her success with Mama Meals and beyond is a testament to what’s possible when you dare to dream big and put in the work to make those dreams a reality.

Holly Stein’s entrepreneurial spirit and her journey to success offer invaluable lessons on resilience, strategic planning, and the power of a positive mindset. For anyone looking to embark on their entrepreneurial journey or take their business to the next level, Holly’s story is a must-listen.

Listen to the full episode from the inhabit Podcast here:

*I am a proud affiliate and will earn a small commission at no cost to you if you use that code.

Full Transcript:

Alessia Citro: Holly, welcome. Thanks so much for coming on the inhabit podcast.

Holly Stein: Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Alessia Citro: You are the first friend that I’ve invited on since I rebranded it to “and friends.” I think you were starting to wonder if I actually had any. So thanks for proving that I do.

Holly Stein: For the record, you have friends.

Alessia Citro: Yeah. About time I did a show like this. I’m excited to talk with you today because I feel like we need to give a little bit of background for the listeners. So we became acquainted through network marketing, and then we both left that company. Yeah. For a long time. And you have just been, like, a rocket ship, like, in the last 12 months, especially. We reconnected through book club and then met at Powerhouse Women in real life for the first time. And ever since then, we’ve been, like, I don’t know, like, pace partners.

Holly Stein: Yes. I know. What’s funny is I started this business, and then I stopped going on my Instagram. So you, like, fell out of my, like, awareness for a bit. So I, like, logged in to Instagram. You had just dyed your hair brown, and I was like, “Oh, wait. I just hadn’t seen you, like, in a minute. I don’t know.

Holly Stein: Like, 6 months or so. And then I was like, “book club, I need to join this.” And I missed the first 2 because I didn’t have the book and read it. And I was like, “I’m just gonna show up to one even if I have not read the book because it’ll just get you in the momentum of just showing up.”

Alessia Citro: Yes. Okay. I’m glad you bring that up because it’s, again, it’s just proof that even if you haven’t done the thing that you’re, like, quote-unquote supposed to do, just go anyway. It’s fine.

Holly Stein: Yeah. I’m like, one of my mantras is “start before you’re ready. Done is better than perfect.” It’s like the things you hear all the time, but really, it’s real. If I was waiting for things to be perfect for this business, we would still have not started.

Alessia Citro: And honestly, it’s like a meteoric rise. I’m just blown away by the growth, by the hands that this is getting into that are talking about it and reposting. You have major A-list people ordering mama meals, and it’s awesome to see. It’s okay if dogs bark. I’ve got one too, and we don’t even edit it out. The furry friends are welcome.

Holly Stein: I know. It’s like, it’s grown so fast, but I also feel like people too are like, “oh, it’s grown so fast. You’re so lucky.” And I’m like, “but you also didn’t see the last 7 years of stuff that I’ve done and failed and done and failed and done and failed of trying new things.”

Alessia Citro: Okay. Wait. Hang on. We gotta… I’m so glad you just brought that up. Can we talk about the dog thing that you did? Because you shared this in book club, and we were like, “wait a minute. Can you bring it back, though?”

Holly Stein: Yeah. This was now. Yeah. So I started a dog, like, clothing company called Karmic Canine, and it was all spiritual dog wear with the paws were, like, chakras down the spine, and, oh my god, they were so, like it was…

Alessia Citro: like, a bunch…

Holly Stein: of chakras.

Alessia Citro: Showed us.

Holly Stein: Yeah. There are so many. I’m like, “This needs to be one day. I’m gonna come back to that.”

Alessia Citro: So that was something that you tried that didn’t work. Tell us some of the other things you’ve tried and that haven’t… And the reason I’m having you do this is because so many people, myself included, we stumble, and then we’re like, “I’m clearly not cut out for this. Let me just go lick my wounds and go back to punching a clock or…”

Holly Stein: Yeah.

Alessia Citro: Whatever story we tell ourselves.

Holly Stein: I did 2 network marketing companies. One of them was when I didn’t really know, like, the foundation of network marketing. I thought network marketing was, like, really you would get rich, but it’s really about the product, but making a lot of money is really about building a team. Yep. So when I learned that, then that and I was like, “oh.” And so I quit that company. Then there was the one that we did together, but I went into it knowing, okay. It’s about building.

Holly Stein: And I know what this is now, and it was like a new company. I felt like it was aligned. I thought this is gonna get in at the ground floor. This is the time. And then I realized the things that I like about business are, a, creating the product. Like, I like being a part of the product creation and being like, “oh, I wanna add this now, or I don’t feel aligned with that ingredient anymore. I can just change things,” whereas that’s not something that you could be a part of, the product. And then I also like working alone.

Holly Stein: So I realized it’s just the two. It wasn’t in alignment. So I left that. And then what else? Oh, I had an Etsy a print-on-demand Etsy store for a little while. So I would make the designs on Canva, put them on Printful, and they would push to Etsy. And then I would get an order, and Printful would push and fulfill all these mugs for me, which was great in, like, 2017, and then print on demand got really big, and then it got really saturated and, like, a lot of blood in the water. So that tanked a little bit. And then it just required, like, a lot of work.

Holly Stein: Like, Etsy wanted you to, like, constantly be on the back end of the platform, like, doing stuff and making listings, and I didn’t wanna have to keep being so active with it. Like, I wanted something that I, like, just I wanted to create a sales machine and have it just go. And then I’m sure there’s something else in there. I I don’t know. Those are the ones off the top of my head.

Alessia Citro: But I love that you haven’t been afraid to get back on the horse and keep iterating and pivoting. So give us for those people listening who have not heard of Mama Meals, tell us how you came up with the idea, how it got started. And then what we’re really gonna dive into also is, like, the behind the scenes. Like, what have been the habits that have enabled you to scale this thing to 7 figures in in a year pretty much. Right?

Holly Stein: Yeah. So the quick story is my husband and I are very passionate about holistic health and wellness, and we have been for over a decade. So then when we had my I got pregnant 2016 with my son. We have, like, a birth center and a midwife and a doula. We did hypnobabies. Very research on the pregnancy and the birth, and then postpartum came. And I was very ill-prepared for postpartum, and it wasn’t like I thought, “I’m good. I don’t need to do that.”

Holly Stein: I just didn’t even know. And, like, postpartum wasn’t really talked about that much back then. So then I was, like, chronically constipated. Like, I just had a lot of postpartum anxiety. I didn’t feel good. I just felt bland. I just postpartum, it’s normal, whatever. Like, when he was 8 or 9 months old, I found out about the the first 40 days, which is like the traditional Chinese medicine approach to postpartum.

Holly Stein: And I was like, “oh my gosh. Like, you just you don’t know what you don’t know, but this makes so much sense.” So then when my daughter was born in 2020, I was like, “redemption postpartum. I’m we’re doing this.” I prepped, like, over 60 meals with a few friends, put everything in our deep freezer, following those traditional Chinese medicine principles of soups and stews and warm, soft, easy to digest foods, and then it was like a night and day difference. I Wow. Had no digestive issues. My mood was better.

Holly Stein: I felt just safe and comforted. Like, everything’s gonna be okay. Then I was like, “that was a great postpartum.” So then when my she was about 9 months old, a friend reached out to me, and she was like, “I’m really struggling postpartum. Do you have any doula recommendations?” I gave her some referrals, and then I told her, “I’m gonna cook some food for you. I’ll just then wait for the groceries. I’m like, honestly, don’t even. I just the joy that I’m going to get right now to cook from you is all that I want from this, because I know that you’re going to feel so good.”

Holly Stein: So she felt amazing. I cooked for a few more friends. They said the same thing. And I kept saying, “I would love to do this. This makes me so happy.” And my husband, so Eric, was just, like, very much the word no. We’re looking for passive income. We’re looking for, like, less work.

Holly Stein: This is a very active this is gonna be a lot of work kind of a business. So so he persisted it for a little while. And then finally, when she was about 1, I’m like, “I’m gonna do this. Like, let’s just see what happens.” It was just another, like, dart the dartboard. Maybe it misses. Maybe it doesn’t. We’re just gonna see what happens.

Holly Stein: And I love to do this, and I created just like a a PDF on Canva. And I’d gotten to the point where I’m not going to set up LLCs and pay and and, like, trademarks. It’s been all this money upfront until I have validated a business like, I’ve done the, like, the whole thing, and let’s just see where this goes before we start, like, throwing money at it.

Alessia Citro: Yeah.

Holly Stein: So I just PDF on Canva. I bought a domain on Squarespace, and I just said website coming soon. Click here to see the menu. Then and then people just Venmoed me and emailed me for orders or texted me. And I sent it to some doulas. I went to some meetups, and it people just I didn’t even know. Just started, like, Venmoing me. And it just Wow.

Holly Stein: Like, took off from there. So then so we’ve been profitable, like, since day 1 because as we’ve made money, we’re like, “okay. We we need to get a website. Okay. Now we need to get the pictures of the website when you would buy it. It just said lentil stew. There was no photo. And people were ordering it.”

Holly Stein: And then our first business coach was like, “Holly, you need pictures.” So then we got photo our first set of photos taken, and then really it’s just a step by step from there. And from day 1, Eric has been throwing out words like co-manufacturer and fulfillment center. And for me, I was like, “I cannot even think that big right now. Like, I have to baby steps.” And it’s weird that we’re there now and looking for that, but it was really hard for me to think big like that in the beginning.

Alessia Citro: Sometimes I think that’s a blessing, though. I was actually on a coaching call before this, and it was a group call for the higher self habits program. And this woman in the program had this breakthrough. She’s giving us a tour of her house, and me and the other woman on the call are like, “this is genius that you’re, like, supposed to be doing. You’re supposed to be doing interior design, organizing, like, all of this.” Right? Anyway, as we begin to unravel this and kick it around, it brought me back to part of what we had read in “The Artist’s Way” where it’s talking about all the problems that we borrow that have not happened yet and that are so far down the road. So there’s a part of the book where it’s maybe you remember this.

Alessia Citro: “I wanna be an actress, but then then I’d have to divorce my husband because I’d moved to LA when I won an Oscar,” and it’s ridiculous stuff that’s you’re not moving to Hollywood anytime soon if you decided to go try improv at your local theater. Yeah. But we make all these reasons why we can’t do it because we think too far ahead. So, anyway, that was a long way of saying, I think it’s great you had, like, blinders on. Yeah.

Holly Stein: I feel like we’re, like, a very good balance of that where I’m like, “let’s just what do we need to do right now to get orders out now?” And he is very much, like, an efficiency lens. I feel like I have a lot of the ideas and the creativity. And he when we were cooking at home out of pots, like, other recipe, I would get, like, 12 containers. And he’s “I think we can get, like, maybe 3 more containers out of that pot if we just really max out.” And I was like, “it’s only 3 more. Who really cares? Let’s not change like, it’s a lot of work to update the recipe to scale it.” And then there would time would come where we would be, like, cooking. And we in the beginning, we were in the place where we were always cooking from behind.

Holly Stein: So, like, we were cooking for orders we already so we would cook, like, a batch of lentil stew and get maybe, like, 12 containers, and I would write the names for all the orders. I’m like, “okay. So we have one left. So now if we get more orders, we’re gonna have to cook it again.” Like, it was always from behind. So increasing that efficiency to the 15 that we could get out of the pot. I’m like, “yeah. That really did help because that would have been, like, a whole another batch we would have had to make,” like, over time.

Holly Stein: Those little things help.

Alessia Citro: Yeah. And with the scale that you’re going to, all these little things really make a difference, both in terms of profit and efficiency in all of it.

Holly Stein: Yeah. We were doing 15 containers out of a recipe, and now we’re doing, like, a 150 out of this 40 gallon, like, tilt skillet. Yeah.

Alessia Citro: It’s so cool to I don’t know. I it’s not like I know a whole lot about the business, just the parts you’ve told me, and I feel I can have this behind the scenes, behind the curtain peek into it, and it’s just amazing how quickly it’s grown and how you’ve also maintained an even keel. Can you tell me a little bit about that too? Have you had to regulate your nervous system? Have you had to do inner work to, like, I don’t know. Like, welcome in this new level of growth and abundance. What’s that been like?

Holly Stein: Yeah. So in January, I did I I think we’ve talked about this, the James Wedmore money mindset course. It was a 30 day audio course. That was, like, probably the most life-changing thing that I’ve done in a long time. I I remember I started it was, like, the end of we were laying in bed, like, end of 2022. I I just feel like I didn’t make a lot of progress in life, and I thought it was, like, the past few years, like, just in the same spot where, like, and there was in sales where we’d be, like, making more money, and then something would change, and the comp structure changed, then we weren’t. I’m like, “oh, this again.” I just felt like if I cannot end 2023 feeling like I did not in the same place.

Holly Stein: I cannot end the year in the same place. Again, I will not do that. And then I got, like, opened up myself to receiving and so I found his course. I bought it. I devoured it in all 30 days. It was and I didn’t realize some of the money mindset things I have. I knew money is a mindset, but I remember I was, like, going for a walk with my dog listening to it. And, like, my neighbors have a big HVAC truck.

Holly Stein: All this, like, work going on, and I just was like, “ugh. That looks that looks expensive.” And I was like, “oh my gosh.” Like, I just had that, like, moments like, “oh,” so I recognize that and just, like, all these, like, little money things that I had and really our sales started growing from then. And then just really being in the place of accepting that we’re I’m deserving of this. There’s somebody no one’s gonna make $5,000,000 next year or have 500,000 followers or grow this business or be full time on their dreams. Like, why, like, why would it not be me? So you’re really just that mantra over again. Why not us? I don’t understand.

Holly Stein: Like, why couldn’t it be us?

Alessia Citro: Yeah. You you know what you just made me think of too? It’s almost I don’t know about you. I was fangirling when we were at Powerhouse Women. I went up, met Amy Porterfield, talked to her briefly. I was like like, I was meeting Reese Witherspoon or something.

Holly Stein: Like, to ask, like, an yeah.

Alessia Citro: But then I’m like and not to take anything away from her because, again, I really look up to her, but she’s a normal person like us who just went for it and kept asking why not me and doing the do.

Holly Stein: Yeah. They’re just showing up and doing the hard uncomfortable things.

Alessia Citro: Yeah. We overcomplicate it. And then we

Holly Stein: I know. And I really liked that Powerhouse when they were talking about be comfortable being a beginner. You’re gonna have to start from you you have to start with no followers. Like, I started our account with 0 followers, and then my first follower was, like, myself on my personal account.

Alessia Citro: I’ve yeah. I’ve done that more times than I can count.

Holly Stein: Yeah. You have to start with no followers, and then the first live you do is gonna there’s no one gonna no one’s gonna come. Like, maybe 1 person will show up. They’re gonna leave, like, mid sentence. So

Alessia Citro: Oh my gosh. I know. Lives, I I need to probably just get in the habit of doing them. Like, Jen Gottlieb was talking at that event too, how she goes live every day putting her makeup on because it’s like, that’s her stage, and that’s how you get really good at it and take the edge off. But, oh god. I just I it makes me cringe when I do it. So I probably need to do it. Yeah.

Holly Stein: You need to do it. Yeah. I was doing them every Monday for a little while, and then I decided that I feel like it wasn’t I needed to use my time for something else at the moment. Yeah.

Alessia Citro: Yeah. But it and there’s seasons.

Holly Stein: Yeah. I was like, I’m not quitting because it’s too hard or this. I just think I need to utilize my time a little bit better.

Alessia Citro: I just had this, like, thought, like, a zoom out to the future where, like, people are fangirling over you, maybe over me if we if if I make it, we’ll be on each other’s stages, hopefully. But it occurred to me going back to the the coaching call that I had this morning where we borrow these worries from, like, the future, the person that you are today won’t exist anymore. If you get to that level, that process of getting there is going to turn you into a completely other version of you. And I think sometimes we assume overnight success. We all fall into this trap of thinking someone, like, just made it overnight. It’s no there was a process where you had to keep being that future version of you. Or I can’t talk today. Future version of you acting as if, being her now as I love to say, and then getting there.

Holly Stein: Yeah. And then I feel like it’s like a a snowball. Once it, like, starts going, it just I feel like picks up steam and moves so fast.

Alessia Citro: Quantum leap.

Holly Stein: Like, most people find you at that point where the it’s already the tipping point’s already happened. They’re like, “oh my gosh. She’s growing so fast.” But you really only came in at that part.

Alessia Citro: Yeah. Yeah. They didn’t see all the awkward lives where it was like you and, like, your mom throwing out pity comments or whatever. Not that’s happened to me. Okay. So tell me a little bit about the habits that you have instilled that have increased your capacity and bandwidth to scale the business the way you have. You you told our so we have, like, a business bestie quad. There’s 4 of us in this chat that encourage each other and we share ideas.

Alessia Citro: It’s I I live for it. And you told us something in there about what you and Eric do at home to stay on the same page that I would love if you shared too. But tell us, like, what’s going on behind the scenes? How have you been able to do this without being a chicken with your head cut off?

Holly Stein: Yes. So yeah. And we I part-time homeschool my son who’s in 1st grade, and my daughter’s in preschool 3 days a week, and we don’t have my nanny. Like, it’s just us. So we have to be very, like, ruthless with our schedules, and we have now mapped out I felt like there was a lot of, like, tension happening between us, but it was the it was more like we’re just needing to have too many conversations about things that shouldn’t have to be conversed about. And then it was using up all of our time talking that there was no time for us to ever talk about anything fun. There was, like, only scraps of time left over for our relationship. So we got our schedule totally dialed in of okay.

Holly Stein: These are my work hours for the week. These are your hours. Who’s picking up our kids from school, like, on what days, everything is detailed out. This is my gym time. This is your gym time. We just have to follow the calendar, and we don’t have to think about it or talk about it. If I wanted to go to the gym today, I want I wanted to go. It’s both of our times.

Holly Stein: And then we created, like, an SOP for our house. Because one thing we were arguing about all the time was the dishes, and there’s we cook pretty much 3 meals a day at home, and there’s a lot of dishes. And I felt I do a lot of dishes, but he felt like he did a lot of dishes. So if we were both in the kitchen, we felt like you do them because I already did a bunch earlier, but then we have both done a bunch earlier. So I was like, why don’t I I will wash all the dishes, and then you put them all away. So I feel like it’s very equal. Like, we’re each have a hand in touching the dish. And I just know it was in the sink.

Holly Stein: I can either wash it, put it in the dishwasher, whatever, and then he just puts away his it’s on the drying rack or the dishwasher is clean. And I feel like that changed the mood in our house so fast. I feel like the dishes are done faster. They’re put away faster because we each know our role. So we’ve now brought that into, like, other things of, like, laundry. There was a lot of things that were assumed that I do the laundry. But then we got to really, like, dig in through everything and just see how equal is this. Okay.

Holly Stein: You’re in charge of getting gas for all the cars, all making sure they all have gas. You wipe the trashes. You take the cans out to the like, things like that that we just don’t have to talk about anymore. And we, like, looked at it like, “okay. Yeah. I feel good about making sure, like, that room’s clean or just once a month, I now have I go through the kids’ clothes, pull out what doesn’t fit anymore.” Things that I would let pile up that I wouldn’t let him do because I would be like, “their drawers are getting really full.” I’m like, “no.”

Holly Stein: I’m like, “I have to do it. You can’t do it. I have to do this.” So just letting also figuring out what’s really important to me and what I can just let go of. I wanna go through the clothes and see if there’s a that out. But there’s other things where he said the pantry needs to be organized, and I used to be like, “no. I’m gonna do it.” I’m like, “whatever.”

Holly Stein: You just do it. I don’t care.

Alessia Citro: The control thing is so hard. Yeah. It is. And I okay. So as you’re talking about this something that it remind me of. So I’m a big fan of doing couples counseling, like yeah. Here and there for, like, maintenance. Like, you take your car and you get the oil changed so it doesn’t break down.

Alessia Citro: Jeff and I back when I was still working full time, both of us, it was just like no one get ever got to anything. It felt like everything always built up. And our therapist at the time pointed out, “you guys are keeping score, and that’s why.” So as you’re talking about that, I feel like I did a lot of dishes. He’s keeping score. You’re keeping score. It’s so much better if you just come together and communicate. But I’m curious, like, how does that work? Do you guys connect on, like, a Sunday night to iron out your schedule, and do you go back and tweak and pivot the SOP based on what’s working, what’s not? Like, how yeah. How does all that work?

Holly Stein: It’s a living document. If we can if we’re unsure of some of the rule, let’s just try this, and we can always change it. Like, we can all like, we’re open to it always being flexible and changing, and then we do a morning, like, daily download of, “okay. You have this call because sometimes he would do a lot of stuff for the business, and then I wouldn’t even know what he did that day. And, like, I didn’t work at all that day.” So I’d be like, “did anything get done? Who did talk to I don’t even know.” So the morning like, the daily download is nice because I’ll know, like, “oh, I’m talking to this co-packer today. I’m going to the kitchen for this.”

Holly Stein: And a lot of it’s already okay. Yeah. I’m picking a brewery. You’re like, we already know these things. We’ll just see through it, and it’s 5 minutes.

Alessia Citro: Yeah. So that’s fast. It’s interesting too, like, talking through this with you. I think a lot of us, myself included, we don’t do a lot of these easy maintenance things because it seems like a bigger task than it is in reality, or it seems like it’s gonna be constrictive. As you’re talking about, this is my gym time. This is yours. This is who’s picking up blur today. This is who’s it sounds like that could be constrictive, but it’s probably and I don’t mean this to be a leading question.

Alessia Citro: It’s probably actually giving you a lot freedom now that you have that mapped out.

Holly Stein: I’m just gonna say, I actually feel like I have more freedom. And I feel like in the beginning, when you start new things like this, it’s a lot. It’s like if you haven’t, I I don’t know. Reconcile your bank account in 6 months. It’s going to be like a huge project, but then if you just stay on top of it, like, weekly or something or monthly, then it’s not as it’s big or and not as overwhelming. So I feel like yeah. Creating the SOP was like it took a lot a lot of work, but now just like maintaining it is a lot easier.

Alessia Citro: I wonder too. I’m just thinking about how this could be applied for people listening. It sounds like maybe this is, like, the way I look at habits. What’s the smallest thing that you could start with that you’re motivated to do and that would be easy to do. That way you get momentum and more builds on it. Is that what made you guys tackle the dishes? Was it just such a sore spot that you were more motivated to do it and it was easier to tackle it? Or how did you decide what to start with?

Holly Stein: Yes. That the dishes seem to be, like, a very, like, everyday topic of just not always tension, but it was like a the in your face one every day. And I feel like we did that one and had such success that it motivated us to be, like, “okay. We wanna do the whole rest of everything else now because, look, we got that piece taken care of. We never talk about the dishes. We have not spoken about the dishes in months. Like, we just don’t even talk about it anymore because we just know. That’s your role.”

Holly Stein: “That’s my role.”

Alessia Citro: Yeah.

Holly Stein: And because of that success, we were motivated. Like, I’m motivated by success as a person. So I think

Alessia Citro: All of us are, by the way. Anyone who says they’re not is lying.

Holly Stein: Yeah. So once we had that, I’m like, “now I wanna do the rest of the stuff. Like, I wanna talk as little as possible about the things that are not fun to talk about.”

Alessia Citro: So as you’re saying this too, you know what it reminds me of? So many people that I interviewed leading up to the creation of this first iteration of higher self habits were, like, they’re all they all have a type. Right? It’s like type A plus, high achieving women that, like, have a big vision for their life. And the thing I heard over and over again is, “I just need a way to combat my decision fatigue.” And I feel like it’s talking fatigue also. Yeah. What’s the thing that you’re just getting sick and tired of that if you took care of and did a little bit of advanced planning before, you can wipe off your plate and just make it automatic.

Holly Stein: Yeah. Oh, that’s a good one.

Alessia Citro: I don’t know. What’s something do you have something, like, in your daily routine? Like, is it what you’re wearing to the gym in the morning or, like, I don’t know. Is there something in your daily routine that just creates a high level of decision fatigue?

Holly Stein: No. But I we were just talking about this, the edit, like, how, like, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs wear the same outfit every day yep. Fatigue. I know. What is

Alessia Citro: my book coach does that too. I’ve never seen him not in his big idea to bestseller T-shirt. Shout out, Jake. But it’s so smart. It’s I yeah. That way you don’t have to stress about what you’re wearing on a Zoom call. You just throw on the same thing, and

Holly Stein: Yeah. Okay. One thing we have not been successful and we go through ways, but it’s we even tried putting on our. I cooked dinner Monday, Wednesday. You cooked dinner Tuesday, Thursday, and then I thought I was unable to figure it out based on what our plans are, and that one has not stuck. Like, we have not. And then I don’t know. I’ve put through phases where I’m really good at meal planning or prepping or whatever, but right now, we are just, like, not in that phase, and that’s a good thing.

Holly Stein: I’m like, or co making lunch, like, today for my son. I was, like, packing his lunch. I’m like, “we have no food. Like, we have no food.”

Alessia Citro: It’s like the cobbler’s child that has no shoes. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s

Holly Stein: the thing is that we don’t have it all packaged through a group of preservatives and things. I feel like a lot of our food is, like, all fresh. I’m like, “if we don’t have it, I have to cook something.”

Alessia Citro: Okay. That’s your next business venture? Prepacked lunch healthy lunches for kids.

Holly Stein: I love that.

Alessia Citro: Take my money.

Holly Stein: Yeah. I like that. That is we wanna add there’s so many things we wanna add to the menu, but I have not thought to add, like, school lunches.

Alessia Citro: Oh, I the yeah. You’re you you can just remember the little people, Jamie, when you make it big.

Holly Stein: Yeah. People will you’ll get free lunches for life.

Alessia Citro: What are other habits? I know we talked a little bit about, like, morning routine and the phone being an Achilles heel for both of us. Something we both. Do you wanna talk about that at all?

Holly Stein: Oh, yeah. I know. I had a hard time, like, looking at my phone first thing in the morning. Yeah. Like, I knew how bad it was. Like, I know I knew it, but I couldn’t stop it. I would justify it, but, “oh, if I look at the screen right away, it, like, helps wake me up.”

Alessia Citro: Oh, the cortisol’s pumping. I’m awake now. I don’t even need espresso.

Holly Stein: It’s funny. I can’t now once that you have it, I can’t even remember. I we already talked about moving it in another room or making it harder. And now I just don’t even wanna look at it because I it’s so obvious the difference in how my day goes and how I feel when I look at it first thing. I actually did the other day. I, like, looked at it first thing, and I this is on Saturday. And I ended up being. It’s like what you do first thing in the morning, like, it sets you for the day.

Holly Stein: I feel like it’s on my phone and screens so much that by the end of the day, I actually didn’t feel I was like, “I don’t feel good, and I can tell I’ve had too much, like, techno like, electricity, like, screen time. Like, I had to go lay down.” And I was like, “that was wow. Definitely the result of I thought phone first thing in the morning, and I was just prime for all day.” And now I don’t I just don’t even want to.

Alessia Citro: That made me think of when you’re, like, on a healthy eating kick, and then you go and eat crap again, how you feel awful where it wouldn’t bother you before. Like, I literally cannot eat Chick Fil A anymore. The last 2 times I’ve had it, I got violently and I’m like, “okay. This is my body telling me that it no longer wants Chick Fil A.” Yeah. Totally. That with the phone.

Holly Stein: Yeah. If you don’t know you don’t feel good until you start eating healthy, and then you eat you’re like, “yeah.” That’s how I felt.

Alessia Citro: How long did it take you to acclimate to no phone in the morning? Because I have this is my forever soapbox. I talked to so many people about if you do one thing, just don’t be on your phone the first 30 minutes. And people are so resistant, but then they do it and they’re like, “wait a minute. That’s amazing.” But it takes a little bit. How long did it take you?

Holly Stein: Like, less than a week. Now and that one was pretty easy or because I had something else to look forward to because we had started the the artist way. We’re reading we’re doing the morning pages, and I really enjoy that. So now it’s like, the first thing I do is morning pages. And And I’m like, “I won’t look at my phone until after I do the morning pages.” But once I do the morning pages, then I’m, like, in a good mood. So I just did my journal, and now I’ll go to the gym or I’ll make or something. And then my kids wake up, and then I’m all and then I next thing you know, it’s been, like, sometimes 2 hours, and I haven’t yet.

Holly Stein: So So I think just having something to look forward to, like, right away has, like, really helps me.

Alessia Citro: I know because we’re all dopamine addicts. So rather than getting your dopamine from your phone, get it from your brain by journaling and making connections and just, yeah. Or hot lemon water is, like, my number 1 go to.

Holly Stein: Yeah. I don’t think you could do just the hot lemon water because it would be too short. I did okay. So I have my lemon water.

Alessia Citro: I need more.

Holly Stein: You just scroll something while I drink my hot lemon water.

Alessia Citro: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Do you need a book paired with that or, like, an oracle deck or

Holly Stein: a journal. Something that excites your brain, like, right away.

Alessia Citro: Yeah. I would agree. Any other, like, nonnegotiable habits for you that have helped you. But I because I just I think about the day to day, what you’ve had to do in terms of increasing capacity and bandwidth to scale like this, and to have the container to hold the abundance that you’re bringing in. So anything else that’s been a nonnegotiable for you in doing that?

Holly Stein: Sleep. I don’t stay up late and work. I get good sleep. I get plenty, I need 8 to 9 hours of sleep.

Alessia Citro: Me too.

Holly Stein: Sucks. I need sleep, and I that’s not something I’m willing to negotiate. That is a nonnegotiable. And, like, most things, I’m like, most things can probably wait till tomorrow.

Alessia Citro: Yeah.

Holly Stein: There’s a lot of things that I have that I’m like, “oh, I just feel like I need I mean, my list is never ending.” My most I can wait till tomorrow.

Alessia Citro: Let me ask you. On that note, do you prioritize if there’s something like eating the frog? Liz might talk about this a lot. Do you eat the frog?

Holly Stein: Yes and no. So yeah. I yeah. Yes and no.

Alessia Citro: Depends what it is. Yeah. And it oh, I maybe should explain while eating the frog is. It’s like doing the thing that you have been putting off first thing in the morning because it just gives you a feeling of accomplishment. Yeah.

Holly Stein: Yeah. Sometimes I do. Yeah. But I make sure I do the big thing. I’ll make sure I get it done that day. That’s I’ll make sure that I save the time. Sometimes I’ll do a few little things right in the beginning just to get the the momentum rolling of a few things. And then after that, I’ll do the big thing, or I’ll do the big thing first.

Alessia Citro: Yeah. I think that is such good advice. This productivity planner that Tim Ferris puts out, at least I think it’s his company, and it’s literally called productivity planner. I’ll link it in the show notes. My friend Liz Garcia, shout out Liz, got me on this, and it has you rank your 5 most important tasks of the day. Okay. And it has helped me so much in terms of getting things done, knowing what I need to do, mapping it out. But there’s just so much to be said for advanced planning, and I think we make it seem like a much bigger task than it actually is.

Holly Stein: Yeah. I know we’ve talked about motion and how you did not like it.

Alessia Citro: I need to give it another whirl.

Holly Stein: Yeah. I am obsessed. Motion is a software you put in your it’s now my task manager. It’s my calendar. I don’t have I got rid of my Calendly.

Alessia Citro: Oh, wow. Okay. Yeah. There’s like

Holly Stein: a booking calendar in there, and you basically just put in your tasks, and you can rank the priority, like, high, low, medium. You assigned how much time you think it’s gonna take, and then I’ve set, like, my work hours because it’s, like, Mondays, I work from 10 to 1. They’re and then it’ll just sort all my tasks for

Alessia Citro: Oh, okay. I need to retry it.

Holly Stein: Yeah. And if I don’t do something and I don’t check it off, it’ll just populate it back in. So so it’s now like my cast manager too? Oh. Yeah. It’s like everything.

Alessia Citro: And you know what? I think I didn’t like it because I have time blindness. This is, like, one of the things that ADHD just makes not fun. I can never how long something is going to take. I’m either way over or way under. I’ve started time tracking, so now I actually have a good idea. So now I think it might work. I think I probably just didn’t know how to estimate before.

Holly Stein: Yeah. Sometimes and sometimes I’m off on things, but, yeah. I’m obsessed. I like I’m obsessed. Again, it helps me prior like, I can put high priority, and then you can create, like, recurring tasks. You can put I sent an email about something on a project, and I can be like, “oh, don’t follow-up for 2 weeks or whatever.” As I’m, like, going through it, I’ll go to the help the the chat box and be like, “how do I do this?” Things that’ll pop up as I need it. And I’m like, “oh, yeah.”

Holly Stein: Like, how do I create a task that’s at a specific time versus it being, like, auto-scheduled. So I’ll just go in the chat box, and it’s like, there’s answers for everything.

Alessia Citro: Yeah. Figuring things out as they come versus, “oh, I’ll deal with Slater.” Yeah.

Holly Stein: Yeah.

Alessia Citro: It’s been pretty cool. I am so glad you came on today. It’s been so fun just watching your success. So if you’re listening too, if you’re postpartum or a postpartum mom, how can people order food? How can they connect with you? I’ll plug away.

Holly Stein: So I’m on Instagram at eat dot mom meals with 1 m in mama, and then mama dash meals .com is the website. And then I made a code for you in habits that is oh. A first order of $200 more, if anyone.

Alessia Citro: That is so generous. So habits for $20 off, $200 orders or more. Wait. Hold on.

Holly Stein: Let me double check. I think it’s Inhabit.

Alessia Citro: Inhabit. Okay. Cool. Yeah. Oh, thank you. I didn’t even know you were doing that. We don’t really prep before. We just roll, so anyone’s wondering.

Alessia Citro: Inhabit. Singular. Inhabit. Perfect. I’ll put it in the show notes too with the link. Okay. Thank you for coming on, and, yeah, I can’t wait for all the fun success. Can people can go on your website too and find, like, all the ingredient list, like, everything that they would need is on there.

Holly Stein: Everything is, like, organic, gluten free, no seed oils, all that

Alessia Citro: So when are you rolling out, like, a family meal plan? Because

Holly Stein: Next year for sure.

Alessia Citro: Okay. Good. Because I’m sick figuring out what’s it for.

Holly Stein: That’s definitely coming next year.

Alessia Citro: Okay. I love it. Alright. Thanks everyone for listening, and we’ll see you next time.

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