“Find something you love to do and it won’t feel like work. I know this sounds corny, ya’ll, but the way you perceive work can make all the difference. If you hate or dread the work you’re doing, it will always feel like “work”. That doesn’t mean you have to love every aspect of your job. But, when you stop hating it, you’ll be astonished at how much easier it becomes.”
Meredith Cochran is founder and CEO of The Osso Good Co. The Osso Good Co. is one of the top-selling bone broths online, featuring 19 flavors and is the original creator of the 7-day bone broth cleanse. Meredith holds degrees in Cellular Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Spanish, and Cardiovascular Technology. She has a background in healthcare and previously worked in the Electrophysiology Department of multiple hospitals. She also attended The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine where she first learned about bone broth and herbs as medicine. In her spare time, Meredith enjoys the outdoors, reading, and playing with her dog, Maui.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I was born and raised in Wisconsin. I graduated from college with a degree in Cellular Molecular Biology, Chemistry, and Spanish, yet I didn’t know what to do, as I’m sure others can relate. So, I took a less conventional route and became a whitewater rafting guide and really embraced my youth. While it wasn’t a typical job, I learned a lot of valuable skills that have helped me navigate my life as an entrepreneur. After traveling the country, I moved back to Wisconsin so I could meet my brand new nephew. I decided to stay put for a few years to spend time with my growing family and began working at a local hospital in the cardiology and electrophysiology departments.
While I loved my job, I hated that hospitals weren’t a place for healing. When given the opportunity, I moved to San Francisco to attend ACTCM for Traditional Chinese Medicine and Herbology. That’s where I learned all about preventive medicine, herbology, and of course bone broth. When I couldn’t find a single source of high quality bone broth available in the market, The Osso Good Company was born.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
There have been plenty! Because bone broth is known for its healing properties, I used to get some pretty awesome reviews. I specifically recall a time when I received a phone call from a customer who began telling me about her bowel movements. While it caught me off guard, her story was pretty incredible. She told me that she had been suffering from explosive bowels for years and couldn’t even fly on a plane because of the uncertainty of when it would hit her. After consuming Osso Good Bone Broth for a few months, her bowels became completely REGULAR! Not even her doctor could believe it.
What was your biggest challenge to date either personally or professionally and how did you overcome it?
I’ve encountered many challenges throughout my life. One that comes to mind is the reason why I stayed in Wisconsin. Keep in mind, I had been living in a small town where everyone knew everyone and there wasn’t even a stoplight. Right after moving back, I had liquidated my assets in cash and had my belongings with me in my car. I stopped at the lakefront at 6 am to photograph the sunrise behind the art museum and when I returned, my window was smashed in and my things had been stolen. I had nothing but my camera and a car with a broken window. I had to pretty much start over completely, and luckily my parents allowed me to move home. I went from being entirely independent to completely dependent within minutes. But, I picked myself up. I found a job. I went back to school. I moved forward, even if it was slowly. Eventually the memory of losing everything became just that…a memory.
What does leadership mean to you and how do you best inspire others to lead?
Leadership is allowing others to do their job while guiding the team to work in unison towards the same direction. Communication is important to any relationship, and at least 50% of that is listening. It is also important that you show appreciation for a job well done while constructively criticizing that which is done poorly. I empower the team to educate themselves about gut health so they can develop their own passion for what we do. Look, I love what I do and that s**t is contagious.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
When I told Jazz (Co-Founder; The Osso Good Co.) that I wanted to start a bone broth business, he dove in head first with me. He took his experience and knowledge of website design and start-up life to transform my passion into a legitimate business. I can 100% tell you that The Osso Good Co. wouldn’t exist without him. Within two months our website was built and we were shipping our Osso Good bone broths across the country.
Was it difficult to fit your life into your business/career and how did you do that?
I believe the easiest way to “balance” work and life is to “integrate” work and life. By loving what you do, it won’t feel like work. I live in LA, so being stuck in traffic comes with the territory. I often use it to take calls or listen to podcasts. I built a business with my husband, so separation of work and life was impossible. I chose to embrace it instead.
Did you find that as your success grew it became more difficult to focus on the other areas of your life?
Every day, you get 24 hours. If you sleep for 8 hours, that leaves 16 hours for you to get work done. If you stay disciplined, you can accomplish a lot during that time. So, schedule time for yourself to get outside and to get good sleep and to eat well. You’re worth it.
Can you share five pieces of advice to other leaders about how to achieve the best balance between work and personal life?
- Find something you love to do and it won’t feel like work. I know this sounds corny, ya’ll, but the way you perceive work can make all the difference. If you hate or dread the work you’re doing, it will always feel like “work”. That doesn’t mean you have to love every aspect of your job. But, when you stop hating it, you’ll be astonished at how much easier it becomes.
- Self-Love. Get the massage, and get the acupuncture. When you give yourself the care you need, it translates into confidence in your work. It also allows you to unwind and reset. I can’t tell you how often I gain inspiration for work when I make time for myself.
- Eat well. Perhaps this goes without saying for someone who owns a better-for-you food brand, but what you eat really does matter. Your gut contains the largest amount of serotonin (the feel-good hormone), immune cells, and more neurons than your spinal cord. The communication between your gut and brain is constant so when you eat well, you feel happy.
- Mid-day meditation. By mid-day my mind is working at a million miles a minute, and taking a few deep breaths keeps me focused. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sit in a room by yourself. Maybe this means you’re getting outside and soaking in the sun on a short walk without distraction. Or perhaps you’re shutting your eyes for 5 minutes while focusing on your breathing. Whatever you can get, take it!
- Laugh! Don’t take life so seriously. Laughter increases endorphins (the pleasure chemical) and it stimulates your organs. Bonus points if you can make someone else laugh. After all, laughter is the best medicine.
What gives you the greatest sense of accomplishment and pride?
For me, this is two-fold. The first is the reaction on someone’s face when they taste our products for the first time. The words “Osso Good” seem to come to mind along with a smile. The second is how humbled I am by the growth of our company and team. To think it started with just an idea and 4 hands, and now there are hundreds of hands and thousands of happy guts across the country. It is incredibly humbling.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Eat warm and slowly cooked foods like soups regularly. When you look back at the evolution of man, it was ultimately fire and cooked foods that allowed humans to evolve from apes. Because it requires less energy to break down food that’s already warmed, that energy can be spent elsewhere like hunting or building shelter. Today, you can use your extra energy to start that company you’ve been dreaming about.
What is the best way for people to connect with you on social media?
Instagram — @bonebrothboss
About the author: Jacob Rupp is a coach, author, speaker, podcaster, and rabbi. He is the founder of Lift Your Legacy, a community that helps people live a more authentic life. He has a regular, syndicated column that appears in ThriveGlobal and Medium magazine. To learn more about him or to listen to the Lift Your Legacy podcast, search iTunes or visit his site: liftyourlegacy.live