#5: Abigail Steinberg: Navigating the Natural Foods Market

What if losing your job allowed you to create your biggest impact?

I’ve met a lot of characters at the gym from YouTube prank stars to an original American Gladiator, this is Los Angeles after all. I tend to smile at everyone so that opens the door to conversation, the good, the bad, the funny. As luck would have it,  I met the very good Abigail Steinberg one day as we strode side by side on the ellipticals.

Little did I know at the time, Abigail would eventually help me juggle a myriad of mundane but important details during a hectic period in my life, and during that time, she would write a book to launch her 180.

A Canadian, Abigail was (and still is) nice by default. When we first met, she had a great gig repping a successful brand of fresh, organic cold-pressed juices to natural grocers. I like to say she "superfooded" her way into my life. She had sent a gift pack of juices to my office! That got my attention. Needless to say, we kept in touch.

Some time later, I was overwhelmed with increased responsibilities with my condo, work and seventeen side projects and found myself wishing for help with the day-to-day management of life. The things I needed assistance with were not glamorous: expenses, car maintenance, organization, waiting for the infamous cable guy. I put out the call to my network, seeking a part-time personal assistant. Responses poured in, and to my amazement, one of them came from Abigail.

Having recently lost her job, Abigail refocused her energy into writing a book about navigating the natural foods industry and was looking for something part-time that wouldn't detract from her goal to finish and market the book. The idea of hiring my friend to assist me seemed a bit odd. Still, because she was my friend, I trusted her. Abigail came over to discuss the possibilities, and when the housecleaning service I'd hired that evening didn't show up, she offered to start immediately by cleaning my place. I was incredulous: "You would do that?" She was so helpful and willing to do whatever was needed. The decision was obvious: "You're hired!"

Over three months, Abigail assisted me and finished her book. Very quickly thereafter she was signed to a top agent at The Writer's House, one of the biggest literary agencies in the world. A few weeks later, she signed an international publishing deal with AMACOM Books, the publishing arm of the American Management Association and one of the largest publishers of business books. Thanks to substantial retail demand, the original plan for an e-Book only release turned into a large print run, and Abigail's book will be in hundreds of stores on November 25th.

Losing her job did not cause Abigail strife, instead she made the most of the opportunity by making a 180 degree change. From having an assistant, to being one, all while humbly following a passion. She seized the opportunity to make a difference by creating something new to fill a need in her industry. To everyone considering a 180, Abigail says: "Go for it. Life is short, so go make your impact."

Abigail's book Recipe for Success: An Insider's Guide to Bringing Your Natural Food to Market is available for pre-order now at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

And now I've been able to support Abigail with marketing ideas for her book. Look out for her on the speaker's circuit in 2016! 

What would you do if you lost your job tomorrow? Is it a loss or an opportunity for reinvention?

Abigail Steinberg Recipe for Success Book