Dallas News: How a Frisco entrepreneur has reevaluated her priorities during COVID-19
As part of its resources for small business owners struggling with the impacts of COVID-19, The DEC Network launched Fridays Are for Founders, a weekly virtual forum hosted by Trey Bowles and Delanie Majors that gives entrepreneurs opportunities to learn from each other. In this video, Bowles and Majors talk with Urban Hydration founder Psyche Terry about the silver linings she’s found during COVID-19.
Video table of contents
Realizing what you already know: 5:38
Becoming an overnight success after 10 years: 11:30
Navigating business after COVID-19: 14:10
Balancing motherhood and entrepreneurship: 24:02
Last summer, Inc. named the business Terry started 10 years ago to its annual list of America’s fastest-growing private companies. This summer, the Frisco entrepreneur, whose products are sold in big-box retailers such as HEB, The Vitamin Shoppe, Target and Bed Bath & Beyond, has been rethinking priorities, listening to her body, and spending more downtime with her husband and their three children.
Despite losing contracts, customers, contacts at retailers and more than half her staff to the impact of the virus, it hasn’t been all bad, she says.
Likening the effect of COVID-19 on her business to a “bad stomachache,” Terry says she feels like things have settled down a bit. At first, she, like every other entrepreneur, was reeling, scrambling for the right reaction to unforeseen circumstances. Now she finds herself taking things more slowly and devoting more attention to her family.
Checking in before moving on
As the pandemic began to unfold, “what was important for me was to take a toll check to say, ‘Where am I? How am I? What am I? And am I OK?’” she says. “COVID made me look in the mirror and remember what made me happy and what I wanted.”
In her effort to determine how to move forward in business, Terry put her personal life front and center, writing a list of 50 things she’s always wanted. “They couldn’t be work-related,” she says.
“What I started to realize is that my personal goals had been lapped by my business goals. I needed time with my kids, my friends, my husband. I’ve been able to tap into me.”
Terry says she realizes now that she’d been overlooking some of her needs and “the power of true, dead-on self-connection.” Once she found it, once she connected more deeply to herself, she became more comfortable opening up to customers. And by being vulnerable and authentic, she has become even more of a reason people want to engage and connect with her brand.
Realizing new efficiencies
These days, too, Terry and her husband, Vontoba, who is COO, are more connected with each other and uber-efficient at work — mostly because they have no choice. With three young children at home, they created a schedule that would give each of them four uninterrupted hours to work each day.
“I can be a business ninja,” Terry says about her ability to cut through the noise of unsolicited emails and check off tasks faster than ever. “I don’t have time to mess around. I don’t have time to entertain anything that’s not for real going to do what I need it to do.”
Increasing the pressure to perform at the highest level: coronavirus-related cuts took half their staff. Nevertheless, they’re making things work, she says, wondering if maybe her team was too big before the pandemic.
Terry laughs when she talks about how her focus for years has been on earning $1 million, $5 million, $75 million — and now she just wants to draw a hot bath, lock the bathroom door and spend a little time alone.