Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV. The place to be to create a business and life you love. Now, I am so excited to bring you today’s guest. If you’re someone who’s ever tried something and failed or stumbled and wondered if you really had it in you to make yourself a success, you’re gonna love this show.
For the first four decades of her life, Suzy Batiz ignored her intuition and faced some of life’s biggest struggles, including domestic abuse, failed businesses, and bankruptcy. But today Suzy is the founder and CEO of Poo-Pourri. She’s created a 300 million dollar company without borrowing a dime or enlisting a single investor.
A viral video, which now has over 39 million views, launched her company into a cultural phenomenon. Suzy has been honored by Ernst And Young and featured by Forbes, CNBC, and the Inc. 5000 as a top entrepreneur.
Suzy, it is so great to have you here. I feel like this meeting has been meant to be for years.
So I know you know this, but we had so much fun a few years back. We did our Love Your Branding, Baby about Poo-Pourri. That was one of the funnest episodes I’ve ever scripted, and people got so much out of it. So thank you for that.
Well, thank you. Because at the office we walked in, we’re like, “Oh, my God. Marie Forleo is talking about Poo-Pourri.” We had like this huge party. It was a really big deal for us.
I love that.
You’re so welcome. So Poo-Pourri isn’t your first time at the business rodeo, and I don’t know if a lot of people really know that. You know, you shared in 2000 that you were 40 and you were facing your second bankruptcy. And I love that you said this. You said at one point you deemed yourself the worst entrepreneur in the world.
First of all, I don’t know of any creative, including myself, who hasn’t said that to themselves at various points in the journey. But I’m wondering if you can take us back to your life and what that was like prior to Poo-Pourri.
Yeah. I had a life of what I call struggle. You know, I was always looking outside myself for something. Like I thought success was if I could ever be successful then I’ll actually have value or be of value in the world or worth. Which was so weird.
So I was always like creating these businesses that weren’t necessarily passion. None of them were passionate. It was like, “Oh, this is a good idea. Let me do this.” And then I would get everybody else’s input when everybody else thought it was a good idea, and then I would go for it. And then I was exhausted, and I was depleted.
So it was amazing when I had my second bankruptcy, it’s not just being bankrupt in the physical world with finance. Like, I was bankrupt. Like in my whole body, my life, my being. And I was like “I am not going back there.” Like that world sucks. Like it’s hell. It was actually – so I just said I’m not gonna be in business ever again. That’s it.
So you had associated the business world with this complete depletion and bankruptcy on every level.
Yes, because that’s the only way I knew to do business. Push through, make it work, just keep going. You know, so there’s always this energy and striving, and also desperation. There was never enough time. Everything was urgent, life or death. And that’s the way I live my life. It’s like “I’ve got to make it work.” And I’m really strong. You know? And I can push through some major crap. But what I realized after the second bankruptcy, I’m like I can’t do that anymore. Like, I really couldn’t do it. Just emotionally, physically. And so I associated business with that. Like I must be the biggest failure, because I don’t know how to do that, clearly.
And so how did you then start to navigate towards the space where that idea for Poo-Pourri just came alive in your body?
Yeah. Well, I really found peace inside. So I spent about four years. I had luxury that my husband – we didn’t live super extravagant. But I just said I’ve gotta – I’m outta here. Like I need to really get myself …
Right. So I just spent, you know, yoga retreats, lots of workshops. And what I realized was it wasn’t money that I really wanted. What I wanted was happiness. I thought money and success was gonna get me happy, you know, make me happy somehow. But always striving for it, that’s not where happiness was.. So I decided I’m gonna be happy. And so I was happy. And then all of a sudden when the idea for Poo-Pourri was presented to me, my brother in law said, “Can you stop – can bathroom odor be trapped?” And I remember like a zing up my arm and like everything went hi def. Like “wow, yeah. It can be. And I can do that with oils.” Because my hobby, my passion, was aromatherapy. So it’s like these worlds collided. But I remember it being that ah-ha moment. And I had no idea how to do it or pull it off or even if I could. It didn’t matter. It just felt really good in my body.
So that feeling. And I’ve had that a few times in my life and I love it because we can dig into this so much. But there is something physical when it’s right.
When an idea comes through and it’s almost as if it’s electric. And it’s not up here. It’s completely inside.
Yeah. It’s actually alive is what I call it. Like you feel alive and – and actually in physics there’s resonance. So you actually are amplified with the idea. It’s like this perfect marriage. You know, that you would want with a mate. It’s like you want to be more with that mate. You don’t want them to complete you, because you’re already whole. You want to be amplified. And it’s the same thing with these ideas. Like I’m getting excited right now. I can feel it in my arms.
Yeah, so what I do is try to focus towards those ideas.
Yeah. So how was it for you then. Okay, you have this surge, you know this is right. You had this past identification and association with business being a world like, “Ugh, I don’t want to go there.” How then did you start to make that leap back to go, “Well, maybe I can. And maybe this could be different this time,” in terms of the formulations or just experimenting. Like did you compartmentalize and go, “You know what? Not gonna think about this as a business. I’m just gonna solve this problem.”
No. What I did was I was pulled towards this idea. I didn’t even think it was gonna be a business. It didn’t even dawn on me. It was just like, I can make that happen. And also one thing I say is the idea keeps coming back. Like it wouldn’t leave me alone. I’m researching all night, I’m buying oils, I’m mixing. My friends and family, I’d be like – they’d come over. I’d go, “Do you have to go to the bathroom?” They’d go, “Why?” I’d be like, “Um, I need a tester. Either number one or number two.” But I was constantly – but it didn’t matter.
See, in the past I was worried about what people thought about my ideas. So I’m outside going, “What do you think?” With this it’s like I knew it in my bones. More than my bones. In my gut. And it – I never thought about it being the company it is today, but it didn’t matter.
Right. So let’s fast forward a little bit. So I know – what most people don’t realize is that your company actually was quite successful when you guys did the “girls don’t poop” amazing viral video that I can’t even tell you how many times I watched that thing. It is so, so good. So let’s talk about that. I think it has over 120 million views now. Walk us through a little bit of the inspiration of what inspired you to want to create that. How did that whole thing come about?
Yes. So we were actually – we were a multimillion dollar company. I had a very easy life. 12 weeks vacation a year in Maui. You know, it was – my company was – yeah, it was. Like it was groovy, easy world.
And, Marie, I felt this almost like what I call this contraction. And I was like we’ve gotta go. People are like “what are you talking about?” I just knew it. Again. I felt this. I said we have to go. And I didn’t – I just knew I was ready to expand. Even though it wasn’t something I planned. You know, I don’t even have a business plan to this day.
Yeah. I, you know, it’s so organic. Right?
And we feel these natural contractions when we’re listening. And, yeah. So I found these guys, made the video, and we were told it would not be viral. Yeah. “Don’t expect a viral video. Don’t expect a viral video.” So pre-video, you know, wonderful, easy, groovy, happy company. Like everybody in our – all our customers love us. It was happy world. And then the video comes out. We had done I think four million dollars in back order within the first two weeks. Like – and we were only at that point doing like 8 million a year.
Okay, but wait.
So let’s just say. We – yeah.
We’ve got to talk about this. Because 4 million in back orders. And what’s like the average product price about?
Oh, yeah. $10.
Like that is extraordinary, Suzy.
4 million in back orders.
Yes. So we had sold all of our inventory, then we were 4 million in back order. So if you think about the product we went through. So it sounds like “yay!” Oh, my gosh. For an entrepreneur, it was crazy. Like all these emails. People were like, “Send us our product.” And, I mean, every email was just like – thousands. You know, we were sleeping on bubble wrap. Like our customer service would take turns crying. We literally – because, you know, people are calling. They’re mad they don’t have their product.
They were sold on it, they loved it, and they’re used to getting it delivered right now.
So we actually just were honest. Like we got caught with our pants down. We didn’t know this was gonna happen. Do you want us to give you your money back? And every single person – we maybe had 2 out of the gazillions of orders. They said we’re gonna wait. Yeah. thanks for being honest. It was so great.
But it really did – really implode our company where we were like wobbly for quite a few years. And we just now got our culture back and our groove back. Because just to keep up after that big explosion.
You’re drowning. You must feel like you’re drowning. And it’s almost this – God, it’s almost like an embarrassment of riches.
Where there’s so much and people from the outside can say, “How can you complain? You’ve got, you know, X million in orders and all these people love you and you have a viral video.” But at the same time I think what we don’t talk about enough is that even if things are going great or you have this big win, that doesn’t mean that the day to day is easy. Sometimes it’s even more difficult and you can feel like – I know. We’ve had situations, not that exact one, but we’ve had situations where things are so great and there’s that part of me that’s like I am so grateful and I am so humbled by this. But at the same time there’s things that are difficult or falling apart underneath, and you have to just be able to navigate that. So congrats to you guys.
You have to be able to navigate it.
For staying in it. And also, I love hearing that while it’s been a few years that you are getting that incredible culture back. Because there’s no way the magic that you bring to this world and you will continue to bring to this world, you know, it’s not possible without you. So I love hearing that you guys are getting yourselves back on track. It’s really good.
Thank you. I often say when people want to be an entrepreneur, and they talk with me, and they’ll present a lot of problems. But the way they present the problems to me is that the problems are a problem. I’m like, “Oh, they’re probably not an entrepreneur or maybe.” And what I tell them is like when you’re on a track. You’re either – you’re just a straight runner, or you’re a hurdler. And an entrepreneur knows the hurdles are gonna be there, and that’s what we do.
That’s all we do.
And you know, you just jump them. Right?
Everything is figureoutable, baby.
It’s all figureoutable. I loved when you said that. I was like, yes!
Yeah, no. It’s true. I mean, business really just is one issue – it’s solving problems one after the other after the other. That’s the whole thing.
And the bigger you grow it’s maybe just the hurdles may be a little taller. I guess they keep raising them the better you get.
They do. It’s like a video game.
It is! Yeah!
So let’s talk now, because I know you and I share this philosophy. Let’s talk about how to know which ideas or opportunities are the ones to really go for. Because one thing we hear a lot from our audience is, “which way do I go? You know, there are so many things I could do. There are so many ways I could play this out. There are so many people I could hire. There are so many ways I could direct my life. What are some of the ways that you help yourself make those big decisions?”
One of my mentors, Gay Hendricks, asked me…
I love him.
Yeah, I love Gay. He gave me the first quote for my first book.
Yes. When I – he was so generous.
Yeah, I was just talking to him last night. He’s such a sweetheart. But I asked him, I said, “Gay, how do you know which idea to follow?” And he said “the one that makes me feel the most alive.” I’m like oh, yeah. Like I can feel that in my body. You know? It’s like that’s it. It’s that simple. And four years ago one of my friends, Nic Askew, asked me, which I did a follow. And I was trying to tell him what you and I were talking about, these body sensations, and he didn’t know. And I called Dr. Bruce Lipton. I don’t know if you know him.
Yup. And I have an idea. I have a theory that ideas are alive. And how can a virus travel across the world and it’s living, but a thought or a meme is not necessarily living? Like what’s alive and what’s not? And he actually told me that everything is an energetic vibration, so ideas are alive. And I became really excited about that. So what I do is I feel in my body. If I get these chills that we’re talking about, I start moving toward. So it’s the chills, the idea won’t leave me alone. I have ideas I’ve had for seven years. You know, it just keeps coming back around. I get excited. Like I feel my energy level, I literally have an increased energy.
Yeah, so some of the signs, I call them resonance radar. It means you are resonant with that idea. Again, you’re more – so you have two things in resonance. You have two energy waves. And separate they don’t have as much energy. But when you put them together, it’s amplified.
And dissonance is the other. So if we’re going towards my whole first 36 years of my life was going towards ideas that weren’t bringing me alive. I was trying to push through and make them work, which is exhausting. But now it’s like “oh, this turns me on. Let’s go here.” And I happen to have been very successful doing that.
Yeah. I love it. That’s – I often talk about when people ask me that question. Because they’ll sometimes go into, “how do I know the difference between intuition and fear? You know, when I’m – is this something I should go towards?” And one of my go to tools is “do I feel expansive or contracted?”
Ooh, that’s it.
On a very subtle body level. So really paying attention inside. And any time, even if something looks great on paper and the people are legitimate or whatever the opportunity might be, if there’s something in me that, like on a super subtle level goes like this, I’m like that’s probably a no for me. A no at least for now. Where, if I think about that thing and something in me starts to expand, or, like you said, come alive or the energy rises. I’m like “you know what? Doesn’t seem logical. Seems kinda crazy. But I’m doing it.”
Exactly. That’s it. Yeah, it’s so wonderful.
So this idea that you have of radical resonance. Talk to me about how this now guides your life and your business.
Yeah. What I realized are that going towards these ideas that bring me aliveness are actually like – so what it is, it’s not about success. Because I’m actually turned on. You know what I’m saying? I’m having fun and I’m turned on. So I’m not worried about the end goal. Like if I’m gonna make a gazillion dollars. To me I say money is the side effect. Right? So whenever I’m going towards these alive ideas, I’m abundant. It’s just what happens.
And I’m also not attached to whether it works or not. Usually it does, because they are alive and they keep growing and manifesting. But I came about writing this book. It’s called The Art of Aliveness. So it’s a book about success, but it’s an inside out success. It’s – I believe success is an inside job. So let me be turned on and alive and vibrant, and then the world out there gets to delight in this offering. Right? What you’re doing. It turns you on.
Yeah. And look how many people you’re waking up and bringing aliveness to. It’s because of that amplification.
Yeah. Some of the ideas that we have for MarieTV, I’ll often tell the team, we’re doing them because they’re fun. Like I want to do them. There’s absolutely nothing useful about us wearing costumes or wigs or, you know, singing around and acting like idiots in front of a green screen. But I’m like it brings us so much joy, and that joy transfers out, and that is transformative.
And it’s tangible in your brand. People say how do you do that? How do you have the cult following? Well, you have to. Because, you know, it’s kind of cliche, but you’re putting good energy in. So what happens? You have good energy that’s output. It’s really actually pretty simple.
And I love that you also now, if I heard you correctly, correct me if I’m wrong here, that you run your company this way. That it’s part of your culture where you guys are evaluating strategy and you’re evaluating initiatives or ideas.
With a very successful X hundred million dollar company.
And everyone is on board with this, huh?
I love it.
Yeah, because they know. So what happens is whenever we have a project that doesn’t work out, we don’t do a play by play. We kinda go in and go, “Where’d we – when did we know that we were in struggle?”
And everyone can identify the moment that we were trying to push through because we wanted to get something. So now like in our product development meetings, like you’ll see someone raise their hand and they’ll say, “Are we in struggle?” And everyone will kind of evaluate. “No, not yet.” And if we are in struggle, doesn’t matter how much – like we’ve had projects that we’ve put hundreds of thousands of dollars for a year and a half of work in that literally like is in, you know, sand painting that the zen masters do. They just wipe away. It’s like okay, next.
Because we know that – I always say I don’t know what I’m doing in business. It’s just because I can figure anything out. Right? So every day I don’t know what problem I’m gonna be faced with. It’s all new every single day. I’ve never ran a company this big. So to say I know what I’m doing. It’s like really? But what I say is, I don’t know how this is all gonna work out, but as long as we’re growing and we’re having fun, like we’re growing personally, professionally, and we’re having fun, it doesn’t really matter. We can look back and be like “oh, yeah. That was a great ride.” Right?
And that’s it. And we’re happy. We don’t have to wait until the end goal or whatever it is to be happy. Yeah.
No. You and I, we’re like soul sisters.
I can tell.
It’s a ton. And I do want to say too, just I want to commend you guys publicly, any time I’ve interacted with your brand as a customer and as a fan, the copy and the tone and just the spirit and soul is so well expressed through everyone. So I just want to commend you on that, because it is not an easy feat.
Thank you. And we do that backwards, too. So we have – people know who Poo-Pourri is. We talk about it as her.
Everybody knows her. You know? And they know what she would do, what she would say, and what she wouldn’t do and wouldn’t say.
It’s your ideal customer avatar, and it’s the person. Yes.
Yeah. It’s like that’s who she is.
That’s who she is.
Yeah. And everybody knows her so intimately. So thank you very much.
But it’s because they all love her as well.
Suzy, you are an inspiration. I am so excited to continue our relationship, and I know everyone’s gonna just love this conversation. So thanks for coming out today. This was beautiful.
Thank you so much. You’re amazing. Thank you for pioneering this amazing world.
Now Suzy and I would love to hear from you. So we talked about so many beautiful things today. What’s the single biggest insight that you’re taking away from this conversation? And, most importantly, how can you put it into action right now?
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When you’re on a track you’re either – you’re just a straight runner, or you’re a hurdler. And an entrepreneur knows the hurdles are gonna be there, and that’s what we do.
That’s all we do.
And you know, you just jump them.
Everything is figureoutable, baby.
It’s all figureoutable. I loved when you said that. I was like yes!