Monday Motivation from Catherine Cuello-Fuente, Founder and CEO of GreenHopping

#PEAlum, entrepreneur, female founders, inspiration, Monday Motivation, startup

Mondays can be rough, and sometimes we can use some motivation. Our #MondayMotivation blog series brings you tips and life hacks from industry leaders and some of the most creative entrepreneurs out there.

This week, we chat with Catherine Cuello-Fuente, Founder and CEO of GreenHopping, an app and e-commerce platform that connects individuals who desire to make healthy choices to the plant-based eateries and health food stores closest to them. Catherine is also Co-Founder of Inside Crowd, a female-led agency providing public relations, branding, event planning and digital marketing services. Catherine discusses how she stays motivated while running two business and her tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

What inspired you to start your business?

The “drastic” lifestyle changes I made after crazy emergency surgery where I lost an ovary: I went raw vegan for nine months and then adopted a healthy vegan lifestyle, which I still maintain today. For me, going raw or vegan was less drastic than undergoing preventive chemo. While on [this] transitional journey, I realized how hard it was to eat well while on the go, and so started GreenHopping. Happily, today I am pregnant, sans medication  or a fertility treatment! Food is fuel. Wellness is life.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Finding the right team members (we’re almost there now), following market trends and growing without investment [have been our biggest challenges]. Also, juggling two companies at the same time: I launched Inside Crowd, a female- and millennial-led boutique P.R. firm where we work with women entrepreneurs, health and wellness brands, and innovators on a national level. Inside Crowd complements GreenHopping in some respect, but building trustworthy and reliable teams for two companies is challenging.

What’s been the greatest reward?

To inspire and encourage people with my story and help them take action and take control over their lives. Change starts from within. Sometimes it’s hard to be resilient, but with good information, passion and purpose, [I believe] anybody can do anything. I am happy to be able to contribute to people’s lifestyle changes.

What is the biggest thing you’d like to see changed in your industry, and how are you working toward making that change happen?

The many many many misconceptions around eating well and being healthy. It’s really not that hard. Have fruits and veggies on a daily basis, limit animal intake (especially dairy) and sugar. Move your body, but work your mind. Moving the body without working the mind is counterintuitive. That’s it. Adopt a regimen that makes you feel great and don’t compare yourself to others.

Who or what motivates you to keep going, even when things get tough?

My supportive husband, my family and spirit. I am a spokesperson for something larger than me.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to another entrepreneur just starting out?

To do what makes you feel happy, balanced, energized and productive. And to never compare yourself to others.

What do you do every Monday morning to prepare and motivate yourself for the coming week?

A short breathwork and meditation practice where I ask for guidance.

For more #MondayMotivation, check out our interview with Stacie Whisonant, Founder of Pay Your Tuition (PYT), a venture helping college students complete the last stretch their college education with a unique microloan which brings together traditional bank funding, alternative data, and crowdfunding. Stacie discusses the personal reason for founding PYT and what change she would like to see in her industry.