- Jasmine Crowe is the founder and CEO of Goodr, an Atlanta-based company that fights food waste and hunger by picking up surplus foods from local restaurants and stores and delivering them to hungry families.
- During the pandemic, Crowe has been busier than ever expanding Goodr to help more people who are facing food insecurity.
- She says in order to better serve others, she’s adopted several daily rituals to prioritize her own mental and physical well-being and avoid burnout.
- Crowe limits her social media usage to one hour in the evenings, spends 15 minutes journaling every night to reflect on her day and what she’s grateful for, and practices abundance meditation to manifest positive thinking.
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In 2017, I started Goodr, a company on a mission to solve hunger and food waste. I knew that hunger was not just an issue of scarcity; it’s a matter of logistics.
One in four children is going hungry in the United States and over 35 million people suffered from food insecurity in 2019. At the same time, 80 billion pounds of unused food from grocery stores and restaurants end up in landfills every year. The pandemic has continued to illuminate the basic inequalities that exist not only in the US but globally, including access to food. This is one of the most critical problems of our time, and Goodr is committed to solving it.
Because we’re solving this deeply personal problem, this work is emotionally tolling. It’s heartbreaking to see children and families that have no clothes, no shoes, and no food to eat. I consider myself a strong person. But it doesn’t matter how strong you are. As a Black female founder — especially with the pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement — every day it feels like it gets harder. In order to help others, I have to prioritize my own well-being, mentally and physically. This held true before the pandemic and focus on Black Lives Matter, but has become even more important now. Here are three rituals I’ve adopted that have helped me.
1. Setting social media boundaries
For every positive post you see on social media around Black Lives Matter or the pandemic, there is an equally negative one. It is draining to see people arguing about wearing a mask or justifying people of color being killed. To prioritize my mental health, I’ve limited my Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn screen time to one-hour maximum in the evenings.
It can be hard to stay off social media, especially with all that’s going on in the current environment. I’ve had to detach myself in order to stay focused on my work. But that doesn’t mean I’ve disconnected at all from my family and friends, in fact, now is the time to reach out to people.
I make it a priority to talk to my close friends every day via texting or phone calls, and I’ve also prioritized in-person meetings with friends where it’s possible. I have enough virtual meetings that I prefer to connect with my friends on a more personal level whenever I can. At times it can be hard to find the words, but a simple gesture to ask how others are doing goes a long way.
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2. Daily journaling
Research has long shown that journaling helps regulate emotions, and ultimately makes you happier. My mom purchased my sister and I journals as gifts and I’ve been writing my thoughts on paper ever since I was a kid. Every now and then, I open up my old journals and read a page or two just to see where I was in life. It shows me that trouble doesn’t always last and gives me strength to make it through both the good and the bad times.
I spend 15 minutes journaling every night. I have a quote journal which prompts thoughts of gratitude, so even if I have had a terrible day I reflect on the things I am most grateful for. That said, there isn’t a wrong way to journal. There are a variety of options out there to spark inspiration and all you need is ten minutes to write to lift your mood and boost creativity.
3. Practicing meditation
Over the years, I’ve found practicing meditation every day as an outlet has helped me prepare for the no’s and envision the positive possibilities in life. Manifestation is important to me. I am always thinking about what I want to achieve and speaking it into existence. I practice Bob Proctor’s abundance meditation which says: “If you can hold it in your head, you can hold it in your hand.”
One of the most stressful experiences as a founder, especially as a founder of color, is the fundraising process. In addition to the constant pitching and possible rejection, I face the fact that many investors don’t look like me and don’t believe in what Goodr is solving for. Meditation and believing great things are coming has given me so much hope for my business.
Goodr was on track to run out of money in May, and I pivoted the business entirely to survive. The words that you speak to yourself and to others are foundational to self care. We can be so negative and I could have been hard on myself during the struggle to keep Goodr alive. I used to feel defeated after a lot of no’s and closed doors — it’s been a journey to overcome. I’ve found that sometimes the best things happen when you least expect them.
I was fortunate enough to receive $100,000 from Spanx CEO Sara Blakely in the past and I recently received $100,000 in cash and support from Google for Startups Black Founders Fund. Despite some people turning me down, I’ve learned that there are so many companies and people that do believe in Goodr’s mission.
By doing what you love and practicing self-care, you inspire others to do the same. As a founder, you may put everything on the line for your company — but don’t let it be your physical or mental health. At Goodr, we’re solving a big problem and there will always be nights that I’m up with millions of people who go to bed hungry, fighting for them. But I’ve had to learn to understand self care and will always advocate for it.
Jasmine Crowe is the founder and CEO of Goodr, an Atlanta-based company that fights food waste and food insecurity by picking up surplus foods from local restaurants and stores and delivering them to hungry families. Learn more about Goodr on the organization’s website and Twitter.