“Call Me CEO” is your master-class on innovation, creativity, leadership, and finding YOUR perfect balance between motherhood and entrepreneurship.

Have you ever wondered how you can turn your passion into a business that can impact many lives? In this episode, Camille welcomes Erika Peterson, the co-founder of Clean Simple Eats, which provides meal plans that aim to provide a sustainable diet that will help others build lifelong healthy habits by achieving healthy physical and mental balance.

To see them get results, change their life and then be able to sustain those habits, that is where the real reward for me is, is that it’s a sustainable lifestyle that they’re able to maintain.

—Erika Peterson

Erika shares her journey from being a stay-at-home mom, discovering her passion for wellness, and building up Clean Simple Eats into a multimillion-dollar business. She gives advice on how she and her husband established a successful work and home life balance and their practices when it comes to product formulation, publishing their books, and building a loyal following through Instagram. 

For the foodie like me, I needed variety. I need flavor and I needed something that was sustainable. And so, that’s where I was like, “There’s a hole in the market. I need to create something to help these moms out.

—Erika Peterson

If you’re a stay-at-home mom thinking about starting a business or you’re thinking of monetizing your passion, listen to this episode to learn about how you can build your following and create a business that can impact thousands of lives. 

Don’t wait until it’s perfect because it will never be perfect. Just start because we need you. Think if we didn’t start our businesses. People need you and they need your special talents, so go for it.

—Erika Peterson


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When our community shares about Clean Simple Eats to their family and friends, it really means the world to us.



So, you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business sharing your voice? How do women do it that handle motherhood, family and still chase after those dreams? We'll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.


CAMILLE [0:35]

Some of my favorite stories to share are those businesses that are built from a passion of doing something that you love that turns into something you never expected. And that is certainly the case with our guest, Erika Peterson, who with her husband started the company Clean Simple Eats, which offers proteins, nut butters, and programs to help people all over the world become healthy and create lifestyles that they love. It is a lifestyle, not a diet. And I personally love their products. You can actually use the code CamilleWalker on any of their products or programs for a discount.

Erika is a mother of four. She is a stay-at-home mom who started a now multimillion-dollar business and she loves being at home with her kids and the ability to impact thousands of lives. What's even cooler is that she was able to bootstrap every step of the way, taking in no debt, no major investors, and she and her husband have really come to find a stride that works for them within their own roles, really highlighting who they are, their passion, and their purpose.

I want you to listen carefully because in this episode, Erika really dives into establishing a loyal following, fulfilling a very much needed problem with a solution, and creating a business that now has fueled her passion and will continue to grow with what she's built. Let's dive in.


CAMILLE [2:08]

Welcome back everyone to another episode of Call Me CEO and I am thrilled to have Erika Peterson with us today. She is the co-owner of Clean Simple Eats. Why am I tongue-tied? Maybe it's because I love your company so much, but holy smokes, it's all about making a cleaner and healthier life possible without all the rigmarole, making it approachable and something that is a lifestyle rather than a fad or a crash diet. And as a mother, she knows the craziness and the chaos that comes with running a business from the ground up. And I cannot wait to hear your story, Erika. Thank you for being here today.

ERIKA [2:50]

Thank you so much for having me. Really, it's an honor.

CAMILLE [2:52]

Wow. Okay. So, will you please tell us about your family because I want to hear first how you met because you and your husband are such a dynamic team. And I look at the two of you like that has to be the prefect couple to create a program to help you eat healthier and look better. You are so hot. The two of you are just such a hot couple. Tell me about you and your family.

ERIKA [3:15]

Thank you. So, JJ and I have been together for a really long time. We met in high school. So, I was 16. He was 17 and we laugh now because it's like how does that even work out meeting so young to still be together all these years later? So, we've been together about 20 years and we've been married 16 years. And we have four kids together, 13 down to 4. So, they keep us really busy, but I've heard we're in the sweet spot right now because we're not in the crazy teenage years quite yet. Our 13-year-old is still sweet as can be. But then, we're also out of diapers. So, we're enjoying that sweet spot right now.

CAMILLE [3:53]

I’m right there with you. We have four kids and have been married almost 17 years. In fact, it's 13 down to 5. So, we're right in that same.

ERIKA [4:03]

Yeah. It's right in the middle.

CAMILLE [4:03]

Yes, where I'm like, "Oh my gosh." I can say, "Everyone get in the car." And everyone just gets in the car and you're not having to worry.

ERIKA [4:11]

Put them on, usually themselves.

CAMILLE [4:11]

Man, the shoes are still a struggle. I’m like, "How do you just have the one shoe? Why is it always the mysterious one?"

ERIKA [4:18]

Or they leave their shoes at their friend's house. It's like, "How did you leave barefoot and you just didn't even know?"

CAMILLE [4:22]

Yeah. Oh my gosh. I totally know what you mean. Now, do you have boys, girls? What are the genders here?

ERIKA [4:29]

We have two boys, two girls and it's every other. So, we planned it just perfectly.

CAMILLE [4:33]

Lucky. Oh my goodness. My daughter wants a sister so bad. Now your business, Clean Simple Eats, I know that it involves both of your talents so much and your love of wellness. Take us back to the beginning. What did that look like? How did you decide to do this venture?

ERIKA [4:52]

Yeah. So, honestly, I think many great business ideas are born by accident and out of someone trying to solve a problem in their own personal life and that's definitely the case for Clean Simple Eats. So, after my third baby was born, I was starting out on my own health journey. JJ, my husband, has always been big fitness buff, really into clean eating. He didn't even care what food tasted like as long as it was fueling him properly and keeping him looking good. And I'm like the foodie over here like, "No. My food has to taste good. That's very important to me."

So, in high school and stuff, I was very active. I was into dance and I've always been active, but I've always loved food. I've always loved junk food in particular. Tastes good, it always has to be enjoyable. So, as I was embarking on this health journey, I was really struggling mentally with postpartum depression and my baby had cholic. And I found myself in this dark place and my husband was super fit. He was a personal trainer at the time. And so, I was just like, "He's out there like personal training. I'm stuck at home. He's with all these fit people all day. And I'm just here."

I was just in a really bad mental state. And so, I knew that I needed to pull myself out of that and I didn't know how. So, I actually went off dairy because doctors had told me that might help with the cholic. And so, I was like, "Hey. If I can get my baby to stop crying, that might solve 99% of my problems." So, I cut dairy out of my diet, which also cut out a lot of the junk I was eating. So, cereal, pop tarts, all those quick grab-and-go unhealthy foods I was eating, I had to cut out.

And so, I was then trying to replace some of those foods that I loved with healthier options. So, I was swapping in coconut oil in place of butter and I was amazed that the food was actually tasting good. So, I started with desserts because that was the thing that I felt like I was really letting go of, getting rid of dairy. But it slowly progressed into, I tell people this all the time, "Start small. You don't need to overhaul your whole life at once because that's how it worked for me."

It was like I took out dairy. And then, because of how good I was feeling and the food tasted amazing, it trickled into everything else. We stopped buying frozen chicken nuggets and started making our own chicken nuggets and just little things like that. And it was amazing the results I saw physically in just weight loss and I started seeing muscle definition. And really mentally, that was the big thing for me was my postpartum was gone and that foggy cloud was lifted and the food tasted good. So, I was excited about that.

It wasn't something that I was just white knuckling to the end. It was like, "I love this. I love this new way of life." And I felt like I needed to share it with all the other moms out there that were in my same position because I felt like I had just struggled. So, that's really where Clean Simple Eats started was me on my own health journey and then discovering that healthy food can actually taste good. Because other meal plans I had tried were just bland and boring and lacked variety. And for the foodie like me, I needed variety. I need flavor and I needed something that was sustainable. And so, that's where I was like, "There's a hole in the market. I need to create something to help these moms out."

CAMILLE [8:31]

Yeah. The mental aspect of it and all of the junk that's thrown into our food I think that it's so easy for us to dismiss it that it must be something else. It must be something else, but there is so much in our food that we don't realize is there. Do you feel like there was a lot of discovery that happened realizing that as you started creating your own product and protein powders and different things that you learned more?

ERIKA [8:56]

Yes. Even just at the store, turning every food around, becoming a label reader. You're like, "Oh my goodness. Look how many ingredients are in that that I've been eating" or this spread against this spread. This one has 5 ingredients. This one has 25 ingredients. I just didn't really do that before. And so, my kitchen IQ went up. I learned how to cook. I learned about macronutrients and I learned what was in food. And that's where we became very particular about brands that we use and creating our own, formulating our own products.

CAMILLE [9:30]

So, take me to that space where you start formulating these ideas of what you want to eat and how you're going to do it. How did that turn and transition into creating a business?

ERIKA [9:39]

Yeah. So, let's see. I was so passionate about healthy eating. I started an Instagram account and this was 10 years ago. We were all just sharing pictures of us doing whatever with the weird filters. Do you know what I mean?

CAMILLE [9:57]

I know. Yeah.

ERIKA [9:58]

Yes. And no one was really running a business at the time on Instagram. I think influencers, I don’t even know if that was a thing 10 years ago, but maybe it was groundbreaking. So, when I started my Instagram, it was really just a creative outlet for me to share my healthy recipes with other people. And I was amazed when I would run into family and friends, they would be like, "Your food, your recipes look so good. I screenshot them all the time, but I haven’t had the chance to make any of them." So, I was like, "Oh, awesome. I'm sharing it and it looks good, but I'm not really making an impact because you're screenshotting them and not actually making the food."

So, I decided. Actually, I got certified as a health and wellness coach and I was coaching a handful of women at the time, but I was also frustrated because I could only help a handful of women at once because I was also a mother of three. So, I decided to make a digital product, put all the recipes into a meal plan. I'll tell you what to buy at the grocery store. I'll tell you when to eat what, what meals to eat throughout the week. And it will be full of variety and balance and every meal will have its own macro ratio balance, so then you don't have to be behind the scenes tracking either. It's just all the work done for you.

And so, that's really where the start of the business happened. And because it was a digitally native product, I was able to make revenue right away. I didn't have to really put money into it. It was really just time, started digital. And so, I think when I first launched my first meal plan, it was in 2015. I made $2,000 pretty much overnight and it was amazing. That was one of my greatest victories, just being like I can make money making an impact, changing lives and doing what I love.

And so, from there, I went onto then create a fall meal plan, a winter meal plan, a spring meal plan, and then we created challenges around that to build up our community and really create that accountability since we weren't working face-to-face with people anymore. It was an online thing and that's really where the fire started and the business took off. Really on accident.

CAMILLE [12:12]

Yeah. And I love your books, your meal plans, they're a really unique size and the coil of it, the size of it, the pictures are beautiful. How did you source that and figure out how you wanted it printed and how you wanted it to look? And did you take your own photography and did you hire people? What was the breakdown?

ERIKA [12:31]

That's a good question. So, I did start out. I did all my own photography, but I was not a photographer. I started out just a very janky little camera and still some of those pictures are in my books. They make me crazy because I look back and I'm like, "Oh, I need to retake all those." But we started with printing at Office Depot. So, we were doing the digital thing and then people were requesting hard copies. So, we would go to take those in there. We would print off 500 copies from Home Depot. It cost us so much money. We were making no money on them and then we were shipping them ourselves out of our house.

So, that was a great time. My kids were stuffing envelopes and it was really just this family affair, taking it to the post office, sending it off, and then we found a company here locally. Paragon Press does all of our printing in Salt Lake and they've been doing it for us for years. They're really great to work with and we started out with a big 8 by 10 spiral bound and I don't know. Honestly, I don't know why we changed to the smaller or why we changed the coil. I have no idea. It's all a blur to me now.

Yeah. And then, we hired our very first team member and she was like, "You are shipping these from your house? No, you can't do that anymore. You need to hire someone. I promise it'll pay for itself." And so, we started. We got a warehouse and we started shipping from a warehouse and that was really a game changer for us.

CAMILLE [14:07]

Yeah. Take me through those steps of magnifying your business and your outreach and how you were able to maintain your life at home plus this exploding business. Where was your mind and how were you able to manage it all?

ERIKA [14:26]

Yeah. So, at first, when we started, like I said, it was just a side hobby. My main goal in life was always just to be a stay-at-home mom. I have an entrepreneurial spirit and so I was always doing something on the side to make money. It was just a creative outlet, but it was always a side hustle or a hobby, never meant to be a career. And so, this really started as me being a mom during the day and then my husband would get home from work and I would work all night. So, it was just this juggle of he still had his full-time job. He was a commercial developer, interior design, that kind of stuff. And so, he was doing that. He was also personal training on the side. So, he would personal train the morning, then he would go to his job. He would come home. We'd have dinner together. He would do the kid thing and I would work all night, writing my books and things like that.

So, we did that for a long time. That was probably two years' worth of doing that. It was a lot. And one day he came home from work and we just looked at each other in the eyes and we had this common feeling of this isn't working. And this was when my business, my income started to surpass his. And he has always had a passion in business. He's a natural entrepreneur and he loves fitness and he graduated in exercise science. That was his major. And so, we take my expertise with recipe creation, photography, nutrition, pair it with his business expertise and fitness background, and really it was the perfect combination where we could both do what we love.

And so, we just looked at each other and we were like, "Why don't we do what people think we do?" Because everyone thought he was a personal trainer. No one knew he was in real estate development. And so, he jumped ship. He quit his job and he came on full-time with me in 2016 February. And so, that's when we really legitimized the business. He was able to set up all the taxes and so I wasn't doing any of that. I'm a creative. So, I wasn't even focusing on the business stuff.

This wasn't going to be my full-time career. It was just a side hustle. So, now he came in. He legitimized everything, incorporated the business. And I feel really lucky because I have a husband that supports me and he's been able to go 50/50 with me on taking care of the kids. And so, when our kids were little, we would just look at the day and be like, "Who has what when?" And we would just balance it and juggle it. So, we were 50% parent, 50% career and that's how we did it for a very long time. Now, my youngest is almost 5 and so he's in school half the time. And so, the juggle isn't as bad anymore, but that's how we did it for a very long time.

CAMILLE [17:25]

Wow. I have tried working a few different times with my husband and it wasn't good for us. It was tricky because I feel like with online business that I've created and him having his own business life coming into working with me, it was very much like, "I don't want to feel like I'm working for you." How did you find a good balance for that? That's a huge talent. Did you do things digitally to keep track of it? Did you just have a really good understanding of whose roles were whose? It sounds like they were pretty defined from the beginning.

ERIKA [18:00]

Yeah. I think luckily personality-wise, it works. I know just some personalities no matter what your talents or strengths are, if they're in different areas, it's just never going to work. And I talked to so many people that are like, "Oh, if I worked with my husband, I would kill him. I would never work, but we have a great marriage."

So, I think personality-wise, it just works for us. We're lucky that way, but also we have been very intentional about staying in our lane. I don’t go on his lane. He doesn’t come on my lane. And that has been the biggest difference in the world. If we were ever to cross over or he comes into mine, that's when things get hairy, so we really had to establish those, "You do this, I do this" type lanes and it was natural because our strengths and talents are in different areas. And so, I think really, we got lucky that way. It wasn't necessarily we sat down and said, "You do this. You do this." It's actually very different in our home. We don't do that in our home. We both do whatever is needed.

CAMILLE [19:02]

Whatever needs doing.

ERIKA [19:03]

Yeah. But in work life, we're very, "You stay here and I stay here." And that's how we keep the harmony.

CAMILLE [19:10]

That's interesting. So, you're saying in your home life, it's very much shared everything like laundry, dishes, kids, outside stuff. Either goes, either way.

ERIKA [19:25]


CAMILLE [19:26]

That's awesome. We had started talking before we were recording the call and saying how we both were born and raised Utah and women pursuing a career or having ambitions, it can be challenging because I was raised with very traditional roles. Although my mom did work most of my life growing up as a teacher. So, it's like maybe you're a teacher or a nurse, but an entrepreneur not so much. Tell me about that. You were saying that that was something that you always saw yourself as a stay-at-home mom, which was my ideal as well. But it didn't mean I didn't want to do something more and I think that's what you were talking to.

ERIKA [20:06]

Yeah, definitely. Actually growing up, my mom was a stay-at-home mom most of my life. But in middle school, she actually was a very successful entrepreneur. She did MLMs and she was really, really good at it. She is amazing with people. And so, she did that for probably five to 10 years. I don't want to mess that up, but she was very successful. So, I did see her being able to balance the work-life balance with family and with running a business. My dad was very traditional in his 9 to 5 job, but he also owned his own business and he worked very, very hard.

So, I had very good examples of hard-working parents who also made time for their family, but yeah, ultimately in school, I did not like school. I never wanted to even go to college. I did do a couple years of college, but it wasn't to go into a career. It was more so just to check the box of getting a degree. I never really had a lot of interest in it because I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. So, I was like, "Why go to college if I'm just going to be a stay-at-home mom?" Yeah. I guess just those examples rubbed off on me. I run a couple of my own businesses on the side before this, but really just as a hobby. So, yeah. I don't know where it comes from.

CAMILLE [21:33]

Yeah. I think it's ingrained more than you know because it does take that ambition and also that creativity and it sounds like you tapped into it. So, this is really interesting to me that it was only a year and a half of you deciding, "I'm going to monetize this." Then your husband joined you and is that when you started developing the challenges that got more people involved?

ERIKA [21:56]

So, I started my Instagram in 2012.

CAMILLE [22:00]

So, you were building an audience for three years?

ERIKA [22:03]

Yeah. So, I was giving away all free recipes for a good three to four years before I even started selling anything. So, building up my community, I was posting on other people's blogs like Chris and Heidi Powell, I did a lot of work with them, wrote some recipes for their books and just guest posted on their blogs, which really boosted my following and just little things like that that just had my Instagram taking off. But yeah, I gave away so much for free in the beginning because it was just a passion project for me. It was just a fun side hobby. So, in 2015 was really when we decided to monetize it and do the business thing. In 2016 is when he came on. So, three to four years before that.

CAMILLE [22:47]

That's awesome. I think with any business, so many times I have heard if it starts with real passion and care and concern like where your heart is and then you were giving, giving, giving and then you asked and your audience was perfectly prime for that. They're like, "Yes, please. Give this to us." It was like you were fulfilling such a big need. What has been the most fulfilling part about seeing transformations that you've been able to assist with those who have taken your challenge because explain a little bit what your challenges are so people can understand what it is all about and then what was the big pay day or pay off seeing those transformations?

ERIKA [23:27]

Yeah. So, we do 7-week challenges every quarter. So, we have different seasonal meal plans and someone either grabs a meal plan or they grab the SCE+ app, which has all the recipes in it and we all eat the 7 weeks of food together as a community. And then, at the end, they turn in their before and after pictures and we choose overall best transformation and then that person either gets a cash prize or a trip or something like that. So, that's really in a nutshell the gist of the challenges.

I would say the very first challenge we did and we saw the pictures come in, that was just confirmation that the program works. Really before that, it was based on our own experience and our own results and just working with our one-on-one clients, so we didn't have a whole lot of research-based evidence that our program worked. So, when those pictures first came in, we were ecstatic that it really worked.

But I would say the physical is really cool to see in pictures, but it really is like I talked about in the beginning, the mental and emotional change that happened that I think people start with the physical in mind. Then when they're done, they're like, "Yeah, I saw this huge physical change, but that's not really what I care about anymore. It's the mental change. It's the emotional change. It's me being able to be there for my kids, run around with my kids, be the person I want to be, have the energy that I want to have and live the life I want to live." So, that really is the biggest thing for us and the sustainability piece. I'm not in this for a 6-week, 7-week quick fix. It's been so rewarding for us to see people stick with this two, three, four, five years. Now that we've been around for a while, we have people that were with us from 2015 that started our very first challenge. And to see them get results, change their life and then be able to sustain those habits, that is where the real reward for me is, is that it's a sustainable lifestyle that they're able to maintain.

CAMILLE [25:34]

That's incredible. What a gift to give people. I need to go pull my books out. You're revving me up like, "I need to do this."

ERIKA [25:44]

It really is. I feel so lucky to have such a rewarding job really. It's the best thing in the world. I'm very lucky.

CAMILLE [25:51]

So, for those who are listening and have been longtime fans of yours, if you had a top three breakfast, lunch, dinner or top three recipes that you have, what are some of the favorites you've developed?

ERIKA [26:02]

That is so hard. Okay. So, Boss Baked Mac & Cheese. That's probably my family's very favorite. That's what my kids request constantly. Any of the oatmeals. Right now, I'm hooked on the banana bread oatmeal. I have that almost every single day. Let's see. And then, dessert wise, any of the Muddy Buddies recipes. So, it pretty much a Chex mix mixed with one of our nut butters, honey protein powder, just all mixed together really, really good.

CAMILLE [26:30]

This is making me hungry. I am dying over your Maple Donut protein powder.

ERIKA [26:34]

Have you tried it?

CAMILLE [26:36]


ERIKA [26:38]

Oh my gosh. That one is my favorite right now.

CAMILLE [26:41]


ERIKA [26:42]

I'm hooked.

CAMILLE [26:42]

I love the Mint Cookie too. That's another one of my favorites.

ERIKA [26:47]

Oh, good.

CAMILLE [26:49]

Yeah. Oh my gosh. They're all so good. So, when you're formulating these ideas and these recipes, I loved your reel you did recently where it was like you already had these bags full in your arms of all these new flavors. And you're like, "It's never enough." You want to do more. What is that process like and how are you able to put together that formula? Just trying to understand that. How does that work?

ERIKA [27:12]

Yeah. So, from the very beginning, my husband has background in formulation and product development. And so, he was the one that really got the base of the protein where it needed to be with macros and ingredients and all of that. But once we had the base, I'm the product creator as far as flavor and texture and all of that goes.

And so, typically we will take recommendations from our audience. Lots of time, we'll poll the audience like, "What flavors do you want to see next?" Or lots of the time, it's something that sparks in our head like, "That would be an amazing flavor. Let's try it." So, with the OffBeat Butters, I create all of those first in my kitchen. So, I grab all the ingredients. And if it's a maple donut, I just think what ingredients go in a maple donut? What makes it this or that or the other? And then, I just create it in my kitchen. And then, we just send it to the manufacturer and they just mass produce it.

With the protein powder, we have the base and then I send a recipe idea or a flavor idea to the manufacturer. He works his magic in his lab. He sends me back samples and we go back and forth until it's right. Up the creaminess, up the flavor, down the spices, those kind of things, back and forth until we nail that one and then they mass produce that one.

CAMILLE [28:32]

Wow. That is so cool. What an incredible company. It's saving and helping so many people with their health and their confidence and everything else. What do you see vision long-term for your business? Do you feel like you've made it? You're really comfortable and this is it. You don't want to change anything or is there something in the future where you're like, "I love it now, but?"

ERIKA [28:58]

Yeah. I don't know. So, we're big dreamers, visionaries. So, I don't know if I would ever say that we've made it. I don't know if I'll ever get to that point where I've said, "I've made it" because we have such big dreams and ultimately it comes down to impact. Just like I've talked about before, it's about changing lives and making an impact on as many lives as we can. And it started right here in Utah and it's slowly going out. And so, when our community shares about Clean Simple Eats to their family and their friends, it really means the world to us and that is how our business has grown. That's what our business is built on is word of mouth. And so, we'll forever be grateful to our community for that. But our goal is to go huge. Our goal is to expand, blow the roof off this thing, get it as far and wide as we can and we have a lot of new product development coming down the pipe that we're really excited about as well.

CAMILLE [29:52]

That sounds enticing. What advice would you give to moms that are listening right now and thinking, "I want to do something, but how do I manage my time?" What has been some of the things that have helped you the most with keeping a balance in your home?

ERIKA [30:08]

Yeah. I learned this the hard way actually is being very intentional with the things you say yes to. When I very first started this, I felt like I needed to be everything and do everything for everyone and that's when burnout happens. I actually just listened to your podcast on burnout and man, that resonates with me so much because I reached that point.

And so, that really is the goal when going into a business and juggling your family life. It's a full-time job managing your kids' schedules as it is. That is a huge task. Keeping them fed and alive and all their various activities, so when you're adding a business as well, you really need to be so intentional with your time and I've really gotten intentional about saying yes and no to things.

Because when you say yes to something, you're saying no to something else. So, when I say yes to going to an event, I'm maybe saying no to my daughter's soccer game. So, you really just have to weigh out your priorities and find out what's the most important to you because your life will get busier as you are introducing a business into it. So, you just really need to find out who those people are in your life that you really want to cultivate relationships with.

If those people are outside of that tight circle, you can say no to those things. It's okay. You don't have to go to every event. You don’t have to be there for every single person. But if they're in that tight-knit circle, that's when I say yes and that's when I try to be there for those people and be to those events and be to those special things. Lots of those people are just in my family and I just have a really close tight-knit circle of friends. But yeah, being very intentional with your time on where you say yes and no.

CAMILLE [31:51]

Yeah. Amen. You couldn't have said it better. I totally agree. Is there a time that you can think of where you made a mistake or some kind of something along the way where you thought, "Oh, man. I screwed up," but what did you learn from it? Is there something that you can think of as you've built this business?

ERIKA [32:11]

Yes. A lot unfortunately.

CAMILLE [32:16]

Yay, she's human! Just like the rest of us.

ERIKA [32:18]

Yes. I would say any time that I have not followed my gut or if I've ever tried to cut corners on something and do things faster, I always regret it because it always ends up in a huge disaster. There was this one time when we had only had maybe three protein flavors out and we decided to launch a strawberry and a snicker doodle. I think that was beginning of 2019. And I had done the test tasting of the samples. They were great. I signed off on it, but when they made the big batches, I didn't want to take the time to taste test the big batches. So, they bagged it all.

We did 3,000 of each flavor and on launch day, I was putting it in water and I was shaking it up. And I was doing a story showing people the protein and tasting it and it was so bad. The snicker doodle had the bitter backbite and the strawberry was watery. It wasn’t as creamy as it was. And so, that was a huge learning experience for me that you don't cut corners. I would rather push back my launch date and get it right than try to cut corners and do things fast to spike your revenue quicker, something like that.

So, that day, I just curled back in bed and literally was just crying like, "What do I do? We already launched it. People are already buying it." And so, we called the manufacturer and we said, "We can't sell these." So, they ripped up open every single bag. They threw it back in the mixer, remixed it, reworked it, got me samples. Our manufacturer, they're an hour and a half away from us. So, to get samples back and forth, it's either a road trip or an overnight delivery. So, we road tripped. We met halfway. We did samples, approved those. They re-bagged them. Thankfully, we had bought extra bags for those and so the delivery was really late. Our customers didn’t get their product for probably a week and a half to two weeks after.

Just an example of trying to do things fast, trying to cut corners and just it turning in to be a huge mess. So, I would say if you're just starting a business, don’t cut corners. Listen to your gut. That has been my guiding light through running a business. If someone wants to collaborate with you and you feel yucky about it, even if they have a big name, don’t go forward with it. Listen to your gut and it has not led me astray really. So, don't cut corners. Listen to your gut and do things the right way.

CAMILLE [35:01]

Awesome. Erika, this has been so wonderful. You've had so many good bits of advice for us. Is there anything else you want for those who are listening or have been a part of your journey for a long time, what do you want to say to that person?

ERIKA [35:16]

Just thank you honestly. I can't thank my community enough for supporting me, believing in me. They will buy a product, a new flavor, for me without even trying a sample because they trust me and support me. So, thank you. To all those moms out there who are thinking about starting a business, I would say do it. You can be a stay-at-home mom and you can run a business at the same time. You can find balance, I promise, and you just have to start. Don't wait until it's perfect because it will never be perfect. Just start because we need you. Think if we didn't start our businesses. People need you and they need your special talents, so go for it.

CAMILLE [35:57]

I agree. That's awesome. Please tell everyone where they can find you and where they can buy your product.

ERIKA [36:04]

You can find us on Instagram @cleansimpleeats. You can find us online at cleansimpleeats.com and then find our app on either Google Play or the Apple Store CSE+ app.

CAMILLE [36:15]

And I actually am an affiliate, so I will add my link below with a discount that you can grab. And I promise you if you haven't tried the Maple Donut yet, you will die. It is so good.

ERIKA [36:28]

Thank you. Thank you for having me.

CAMILLE [36:32]

Awesome. You're welcome.


CAMILLE [36:35]

Hey, CEOs. Thank you so much for spending your time with me. If you found this episode inspiring or helpful, please let me know in a comment and a 5-star review. You could have a chance of being a featured review on an upcoming episode. Continue the conversation on Instagram @callmeceopodcast. And remember, you are the boss.

Over the last 10 years, my life has been greatly blessed by being able to work as a stay-at-home mom to help us pay down debt and also have more financial independence to do things we like, like vacationing and having fun activities for the kids. A question I get asked a lot is, how can I too create my own at home business? And after racking my mind for quite a long time, I decided that a virtual assistant business is where it's at right now.

There are so many ways to be a successful virtual assistant and this is something that I wanted to help other moms be able to do. And that is why I created this 60 Days to VA program and it has been so wonderful to see these women who had no previous experience be able to create a business of their own with clients and success.

I have a recent graduate, Rachel, who says, "I can't believe how much I learned in only 7 weeks. When I started the course, I learned how to do administrative work that I found online, to have my own LLC, beautiful website, knowledge how to properly market myself on any platform, and the ability to use my different business programs. I feel so professional and confident to take on new clients. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is thinking about joining. The live sessions with Camille and other experts are worth the investment alone. You will complete the course with all the tools and resources you need to be your own boss, make additional income for your family, and really feel content in the value you add to the business world."

I want this for all of you and I can tell you that this is the kind of confidence that will come to you as well when you take my virtual assistance course. If you are interested, go to camillewalker.co/VA. Again, that's camillewalker.co/VA.


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