Lead with Love® Podcast

Creativity. Business. Life.

When to quit with Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo

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Ever wonder what it takes to make your side hustle your full-time hustle while working a graveyard shift, publishing New York Times Best Selling Books and raising two kids? If you’re looking to create work in a way that inspires you while still helping the community you serve without selling out who you are, then this episode is for you.

In this episode I get cozy with Michelle Tam.

Michelle is the creator of the Saveur Award winning food blog, Nom Nom Paleo. Together with her husband, Henry Fong, she also produced a two-time Webby award winning cooking app, authored two New York Times bestselling cookbooks, and was nominated for a James Beard Award. Michelle has a degree in nutrition and food science from the University of California at Berkeley, and a doctorate in pharmacy from UCSF. For over a dozen years, she worked the graveyard shift at Stanford Hospital and Clinics as a night pharmacist before her side hustle, Nom Nom Paleo, became her main hustle.

We talk about her new Paleo-Friendly sauces featured in Whole Foods, how to talk to your kids about the food we eat, her unconventional way of writing books, and the journey to building a blog into a business.

“I think you have to stop playing small all the time and just try to do the things that scare you.”


What you'll hear (and don't want to miss!)

  • What’s new in Michelle’s business and the process she went through to hire her new team member [5:05]
  • What Michelle was told she was doing “wrong” in her business, and why she decided to keep doing things the way she was doing them [7:50]
  • How Michelle has been able to get to a place where she isn’t concerned about what others think of her as a public figure [12:35]
  • The hesitations she initially faced and overcame starting to live a paleo lifestyle [15:15]
  • What approach Michelle and her husband take when creating recipes and other products, like their app [20:25]
  • How they presented paleo to their kids to allow for them to become aware of how food makes them feel [22:59]
  • Michelle’s pivot from being a full-time pharmacist, after 4 years of juggling her career with her side hustle and a busy family life [29:05]
  • What she’s done so well to build her online community and what didn’t work so well for her [34:21]
  • The ways that she stays creatively connected to her work after creating content for such a long time [38:53]
  • Why Michelle doesn’t try to keep up with every online trend – or even maintain an editorial calendar for the business [41:47]
  • The reason she says that her book writing process is unlike anyone else’s [47:10]
  • How her line of paleo sauces came to be created, and for sale, in Whole Foods [50:54]

Resources + links mentioned:

» Non Nom paleo

»  Connect with Michelle and Nom Nom paleo on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

» Ready or Not! by Michelle Tam

» Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans by Michelle Tam

» Non Nom Paleo app

» Non Non Paleo in Whole Foods

» Command for Instagram

» Eva Chen

Key Quotes:

  • “It’s great to work so hard on something, but it’s even better when you’re passionate and excited about the thing you’re working hard on.” [8:43]
  • “After doing this for almost 10 years, I’ve totally either grown a thick skin, or people don’t care that much about you.” [12:47]
  • “I think you have to stop playing small all the time and just try to do the things that scare you.” [15:37]
  • “I just dreaded going to work, and I just wanted to do all things Nom Nom Paleo, or hang out with my family. That was what was driving me.” [32:17]
  • “I think you just have to be willing to adapt to change.” [42:48]

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