Suzy Batiz, founder of Poo-Pourri discusses bankruptcy, resilience, and the motivation to start her own company.
What was your inspiration for starting Poo-Pourri?
I swore off of business after my second (yes, second!) bankruptcy. I realized that what was even worse than losing everything is looking back and realizing you didn’t even have a good time along the way. I’d sold out and compromised to get what I wanted and I knew I would never do that again after I had what I call “the luxury of losing everything.”
Then one night I was at a dinner party where the topic of bathroom odor came up for discussion. Someone said, “I wonder if bathroom odor could be trapped” and it was like a zing of energy went up my arm — I got chill bumps and the whole room went into high definition. Thinking of my decade-long hobby of working with essential oils, I envisioned the oils floating on the water and said, “I can do that!” Suffice to say everyone thought I was nuts, but the idea wouldn’t leave me alone and I worked endlessly for 9 months to bring it to life. This was the first time I started to recognize what I now call an Alive Idea. Even when I had finally nailed the formula, I still didn’t think of the product as a business. It was more like a new baby that I wanted to show off to everyone. But because it really works, people were willing to pay for it and we did $1 million in revenue the first year just by word of mouth alone!
What advice would you give women who are wanting to start their own company?
Trust your gut – you know your idea better than anyone else and you’re uniquely qualified to bring it into the world. If you weren’t, the idea never would have come to you in the first place! And if you’re struggling with something, ask around; you’ll find people are very willing to help and guide you if you simply ask.
How do you stay balanced when juggling both personal and professional jobs?
To me, there is no divide between personal and professional — they are all one and the same. If I’m having an issue, whether personally or with the business, I look at what’s going on inside of me to create the issue. I don’t have any business coaches, but I do regularly consult coaches to help me work through whatever’s going on; my longtime mentor, Gay Hendricks, is incredible.
What is your motto?
You were born with wings, so fly! That’s borrowed from a quote by Rumi, an incredible Persian poet from the 13th century.
What was the most important thing you learned in high school?
You don’t have to make good grades to be successful! And the things that people find weird about you in high school are likely what will end up being your superpower later in life.
What do you wear that makes you feel strong?
Most everything. I edit my closet for only what I love; it’s vital to be in resonance in every area of your life. If I don’t feel strong in something I put on, I immediately take it off — no matter how cool or in style it is!
What is on your nightstand?
A lamp with a pink Himalayan salt lightbulb (it gives off a warm glow and it releases negative ions that help clean the air!), crystals and whatever book I happen to be reading at the moment; right now it’s one by the Indian mystic Osho.
What gives you goosebumps?
An idea that’s ALIVE! When something comes up that really resonates with me, I know because I feel it in my body.
What is your bad day backup plan?
To honor myself and rest. I’ll cancel whatever else I have scheduled for the day and focus on rebalancing myself. When I overgive, it affects me and everyone around me too.
How do you define success?
As long as I’m continuing to grow and evolve as a human, I will always consider myself successful. I know, after two bankruptcies, that at any time, all of “this” can go away. I want to look back knowing that I had a good time and that I grew as a person as much as I possibly could.
Best advice you have ever received?
My mentor, Gay Hendricks, always asks me: “Can you love it?” meaning anytime something has come up in my life, can I find a way to love it? It’s a dramatic shift in perspective.
What makes you forget to eat?
If I’m working on an Alive Idea that’s really exciting and gives me energy!
What did your 8-year-old self love doing?
I don’t know if I’d say I did it out of love, necessity or both, but from a very young age I was a maker. I didn’t grow up with a lot of money — so I may have had a Barbie, but I’d have to make her clothes myself! The more I’ve stepped into the fact I am a creator and creators create, the happier I’ve become.
What three things would you grab in a fire?
I recently had a gas scare in my home, and I began to think about this. I’d really grab only one thing: a box of precious family photos. Everything else is just that – a thing. The photos are moments in time that will enable memories to live on, but I could live just as an abundant life without everything else (though I love every beautiful corner of my home).
Groovy – I’ve never abandoned it since it was popular in the 70s. What word could replace groovy? None that I know of!
Favorite work of art?
I’ve commissioned a few pieces by an artist out of Kauai named Isabel Byrne. Her work is incredible — full of nature and symbolism and aliveness!