Evelyn Rusli and Jenna discuss how Yumi is helping families navigate nutrition for the first 1,000 days of their babies lives, which are more important than the rest of your life.
We walk through Evelyn’s career as a journalist, beginning when she found out that Rusli isn’t her real last name and was inspired to question fundamental truths, to being a reporter in Jakarta and how the curiosity and persistence she relied on as a journalist have been essential to her success in life and business. Evelyn also explains how our lives have multiple chapters and invites us to think about how we can open ourselves up to explore them.
Highlights from the Transcript
- On new chapters: “I didn’t wake up knowing that I wanted do something different right away. It was a steady drumbeat that gets a little bit louder over time as you realize that you are ready for something else. I had achieved the things I wanted to achieve. Yet, I still felt incomplete and hungry for something different. It took time to realize that the path was entrepreneurship. There are moments that push you further in that direction and eventually that steady drumbeat becomes too loud for you to ignore.”
- On fixed truths: “Sometimes we think that we know a set of facts. But we’re always working off of imperfect data. I thought my last name was one of those fundamental truths but it turned out not to be the case. It taught me that there is always more to the story. Everything is just the tip of the iceberg…Always question things. Be open to being wrong and be willing to change. It allows for growth and enables you to live your best life. It’s a fundamental piece to being a journalist but it’s also a good perspective to have on life.”
- On mentorship: “Having a mentor in business and life is so fundamental to what we can achieve. My friends who have had mentor figures have tended to excel in disproportionate ways. It’s both about having a model to see how things are done and what’s possible as well as having someone who sees potential in you and inspires you to do things you never thought you could. You don’t really dream that big sometimes. It takes someone who believes in you and tells you that you’re going to do things you never imagined for you to start taking risks. It creates great potential for step changes in your career and personal development. I always implore people to try to work towards cultivating those mentor relationships in their life.”
- On persistence and positivity: “There are a lot of parallels between journalism and entrepreneurship. If you are relentless enough you’ll get the story. There isn’t going to be a hole in the paper. You’re going to figure it out. It’s really hard to anticipate or predict whose going to talk to you or what stones are going to turn so you can’t get negative. Negativity is not going to get you success. Seeing the potential of success at every corner and letting that fuel your relentlessness is a fundamental truth of journalism. That’s what you learn on the job. You can start with a blank canvas, not knowing what the story will be, but if you continue to work at it and just keep talking to people to pull all the threads together you’ll be astounded by what you end up with. There is always a way to get to the solution if you just keep cracking at it. Perseverance makes you an optimist. To be an entrepreneur, you have to be long-term optimist and believe that your vision will come to path.”
- On listening: “Listening is a muscle. Be open to being surprised and following where a line of questioning naturally leads you.”
- On adaptability: “Flexibility allows you to see crumbs of opportunity. If you’re too fixed on something happening from a certain path, you don’t realize that you can reach your goals through alternative ones.”
- On our evolving identity: “I try to distill it down to: What are the impulses that really excite me? Be honest with yourself recognizing the things that drive you, how they’re manifesting for you and be willing to change to make them a part of your life if they’re not. Constantly have that discourse with yourself rather boxing yourself in and thinking that this is the only way you can be. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to maintain a sense of consistency with the person we think we are supposed to be. You don’t have to live your life that way. What are the things that make you happy and excite you? Start there. Let those answers be the foundation to explore new things and listen to yourself with an open mind as you do. It really as simple as that.”