417 Razi Berry: Feminine Power
Women Innovating Networking Growing Scaling – that’s WINGS … I’m Melinda Wittstock, my mission is to help women take flight to soar to the success of our dreams in business and in life– and create and grow businesses in alignment with our passion and purpose.
On our Mentoring Minisode of Wings of Inspired Business today … we talk about the resurgence of femininity expressed as strength in how we dress and act … and why feminine power is not an oxymoron. We also talk about why we are our own best leaders – why we need to make our own mistakes and learn our own lessons – and the role intuition plays in our success.
Here with us today to provide her insights and inspiration is …
Razi is an inspiring entrepreneur who was told all the reasons why she couldn’t be healed. And instead of accepting that advice she trusted her own intuition and turned to naturopathy to heal herself – and now millions of others.
From a near death experience as a young girl that healed her failing heart, to later overcoming infertility and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia through naturopathic medicine, Razi Berry has lived the mind/body healing paradigm.
Razi is the Founder, publisher and producer of naturopathic medicine content for doctors and consumers and a consultant to doctors, clinics and natural products industry.
Host of the Love is Medicine podcast and programs, Razi uniquely captures the tradition and philosophy of naturopathy: The healing power of nature, the vital life force in every living thing and the undeniable role that science and mind/body medicine have in creating health and overcoming dis-ease.
Razi Berry will be here in (transition music starts here) just a moment, and first:
Razi is an award winning speaker, founder and publisher of the journal, Naturopathic Doctor News & Review, which has been in print since 2005, the peer reviewed International Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, and the premier consumer-faced website of naturopathic medicine, NaturalPath. She’s been acknowledged widely for her ground breaking work, most recently winning the 2019 Rising Tide Award from the Mindshare Collaborative. She’s also been honored with the Champion of Naturopathic Medicine Award by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, the Impact Award for Best Digital Media by the Mindshare Collaborative, and
Corporation of the Year by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
Razi is also the host of the Love is Medicine podcast and producer of several online events.
With Love is Medicine, Razi explores the convergence of love and health and today we talk about her mission to transform our healthcare system, how we as entrepreneurs can best leverage our intuition … and why it is important for women in business to lift as we climb.
Melinda Wittstock: Razi, Welcome to Wings.
Razi Berry: Hey Melinda, it's great to be here.
Melinda Wittstock: I am so excited to talk to you because I find you inspiring all of the time. I want to know what's inspiring you right now.
Razi Berry: I appreciate that. It's very generous, Melinda. What's inspiring me right now is what I see as this resurgence of femininity in women's entrepreneurship. I think for a real long time, we felt like we had to wear black and gray and pantsuits, and exude a toughness in order to be strong business women. And I love that I see that women are able to rest more in their feminine nature, and still he seen as strong.
Melinda Wittstock: I love that, because feminine power is not an oxymoron. I've noticed that too. I've just even in the way that I dress, it's so different now. But I used to be in the power suits and all black, and striding around.
Razi Berry: I had a boss tell me one time, this is a long, long, long time ago when I was very young. But instead of wearing suits, I would wear skirts and flowy skirts with a cardigan. Professional but flowy and feminine. I've just always dressed that way. And I was probably only about 23 at that time in that career. And she told me exactly what I could and couldn't wear. And she basically said I could wear navy, gray, black, brown, and I could wear suits. When I left that career, the first thing I did was donate all of my BCBG.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh Gosh. Yeah. It's like a uniform. Oh my goodness. So we on these mentoring Minisodes we talk a lot about what's challenging in business because as women, we all tend towards perfectionism I think. And I want to give people permission to feel it's okay to fail, because it's part of the process. So I always ask what's challenging you right now in your business or in your life?
Razi Berry: Well in my particular business, I publish naturopathic medicine journals, two of them. One is a case study format and one is a peer reviewed journal. But I also have my consumer side brand. And I still find that when people meet me and they say, “You're the founder or you're the publisher of that medical journal?” It's kind of like the opposite of what I just said was inspiring me. I'm inspired that we can see feminine women and femininity as strength, and power and success. But at the same time, I think there's still a lot of people catching up to that. And it's surprising to how often they're shocked that I have these really successful journals. And I still find that really frustrating. They'd be like, “You're the person behind that?” So what frustrates me is why we're women are being more brave about letting our gray hair show, wearing flowers if we want to, wearing dresses, not having to wear pant suits. At the same time, I still think we're still up against this culture that seize masculinity as intelligence.
Melinda Wittstock: It's so true. At least it's changing. But patchy. It really is. I know certainly in my background trying to go raise money for technology companies to rooms filled with men all in their khaki pants on Sand Hill Road or whatever. And you just know automatically there's this bias. It's even a question bias. There was actually a study done that male investors were more likely to ask questions that put women on the defensive. So how are you going to mitigate loss? Whereas they'd asked men things, “How are you going to maximize your success?”
Razi Berry: It's just a simple shift, isn't it?
Melinda Wittstock: It really is. So we just have to get better at really understanding, just being aware that that's happening and figuring out how to turn the tables. But it's so important. Some of these things we can change within ourselves and other things that are external. And it just requires more of us to just build these amazing businesses looking pretty when we feel it. We don't have to. But just really being ourselves. So what are the top three pieces of advice you have for women entrepreneurs at any stage of the journey?
Razi Berry: My number one piece of advice I think would be never follow someone else's algorithm. I think we're so quick to want to learn how someone else did something, assuming that's the right way to do it. And what I found is when I for instance, starting to publish a journal with zero experience. I feel like the reason that my journal was in the black from issue one is because I didn't know what I was doing. I had this passion and I had an interest and understanding of the field of naturopathic medicine, for instance. And I didn't know the first thing about publishing or distributing. And I think because of that, I minimized problems that other people would've maximized and vice versa.
So all of my mistakes or my own mistakes. And I think that when you have a real insight into something that you want to create or something you want to bring to the market, and when you just forge your own way, one, I feel like the universe opens up for you. And two, I think that you could just never follow in someone's exact footsteps. I think it's important to get advice and learn, but I think that my keeping my head in the sand so to speak, and not worrying about what competitors were doing or how other people did it. I really think that's the key to my success. And I've done the same thing in other ventures.
Melinda Wittstock: I love that. That's great advice. What would be number two?
Razi Berry: Well I kind of alluded to that, but the best learning comes from making your own mistakes. I know mentors really want to say, “Hey, I learned this way. Don't make the same mistake.” But picking, backing on number one. When you make your own mistakes, you gain insight and knowledge that is not available anywhere else. The only way I think to really become top in your field in my world being the number one publishing brand for naturopathic medicine globally. There have been other things that have come along. And there have been established, credible journals with really high impact factors that have come to market and not really succeeded. And I think it's because they have this formula of how they do everything that they do. And then they just try to apply it to our niche. And I think that that's because it's something new and they didn't learn from those mistakes. Does that make sense?
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it's easy to repeat other people's mistakes. And not so easy to repeat the successes either because I think we get out of authenticity. If we're being someone else, I don't know, I think a customer can tell.
Razi Berry: Yeah. I want to say something really quick about authenticity when you said what are your biggest frustrations or challenges. I'm also very challenged by the idea that everyone now understands how authenticity and vulnerability are a real way to connect with people. But when brands try to force that and it's contrived, it just doesn't connect. And I think what it does is it creates a new sense of dismay in the marketplace where people see click bait or copy that looks it's going to be really inspiring, and then it just falls short.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. It's a fake authenticity. It's kind of a funny thing, but it's true. You see a lot of that out there. Okay. And what would be the third?
Razi Berry: I would say just to follow your intuition every time. And intuition is something that seems it's so intangible, but it's actually so well studied. There's so much literature about following your intuition. There's one study that I loved that followed futures traders in London trading floor, and it was about 30 men. It's funny knowing they were all men. And they measured their ability to sense their gut feelings, which in science we call interoception. This ability to have a felt sense of what's happening in your body. So maybe something will raise your blood pressure or change your heart rate, and it'll be this emotive response that tells you to go ahead or to stop. And what this study showed is that the men that were more in tune with that gut feeling, with their intuition made better trades, made more money in such a risky environment, and they had longer careers.
And I think that any of us can ask ourselves, have there been times that we didn't follow our intuition? And a good question to ask yourself is how often have I been saying I should have, I should have known, I shouldn't have done this deal. I shouldn't have joined this partner, or I should have taken that opportunity. I should have said yes. And when we start listening deeper within, we find that there are many times that we make choices just based with our head and not with our whole body, with our whole intuition.
Melinda Wittstock: I know that every single mistake that I've ever made in business or in life has been when I have ignored my intuition.
Razi Berry: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think that most everyone listening has probably had these experiences, but we've been trained to not let these feelings get in the way because they're thought to be just emotional. When really, they're your physiological signals helping you make decisions.
Melinda Wittstock: Isn't this, it's so, so true. So Razi, you do so many amazing things. I love your podcast, and I want to make sure that everybody knows how to find you and work with you. Of course, I can do that in a lot of different ways. So over to you.
Razi Berry: Thanks, Melinda. Well, my real career is publishing the journal Naturopathic Doctor News and Review. And the International Journal of Naturopathic Medicine. But my sort of love project and my brand right now that I've just launched this year is called Love is Medicine. And it's from my 15 years of experience in publishing these case studies from naturopathic doctors all over the globe. And it taught me some, I saw some patterns about why people get sick and how we heal. So Love is Medicine really explores the science of lifestyle, the science of how relationships with each other, with ourselves, with our physiology. The science of our intuition and those gut feelings, how they all impact our physiology and our health. So right now I'm in launch of my Love is Medicine project, which is a seven part docuseries that takes you on a journey to get back into that inner knowing and discovering how the body really heals.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, I love it. I can't, can't wait. And we'll have all the details and everything in the show notes. So you've got to check it out. Razi, thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us.
Razi Berry: Thanks Melinda.