Ditching Wall Street to Change How We Eat with Helen Guo

“Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re always going to fail.” – Helen Guo

In this episode of Nat Chat we have Helen Guo. Helen attended Georgetown University and was on a pretty typical path until the last minute. She’d interned with and accepted a full-time offer from the investment bank Morgan Stanley, and then right before she would have started working with them, she reneged on her offer and decided to work for herself instead.

Since then, she started a company providing on the go phone charging around NYC, doing healthy food delivery, and now most recently, designing and selling a low-calorie low carb pasta. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but she explains how she’s been able to make that work in the interview.

We covered a lot in this episode, including:

  • Helen’s experience during and after college working for herself
  • How she started pursuing these kinds of projects
  • How she’s been able to systematically meet accomplished people in her field
  • How she’s maintained a good relationship with her parents who were against this career shift
  • And the emotional challenges that come from this kind of work and how to handle them

Please enjoy, and say hi to Helen on Instagram or LinkedIn!

If you want to hear more about strategies for handling depression and anxiety, be sure to listen to my interview with Charlie Hoehn, author of “Play it Away,” who’s an expert on effective strategies for combating the stress of modern life.

Links from the Episode:

Find Helen Online:

Mentioned in the show:

Show Topics:

1:48 – Introduction to Helen and Helen speaking about traveling cheaply.

5:00 – Helen speaking about creating Balloon Foods and her gluten free, low-calorie, low-carb pasta.

9:43 – Helen speaking about her former food delivery company and a background on her passion for food.

12:09 – Helen on turning down a job at Morgan Stanley to pursue her passions in the food industry.

15:11 – Her introduction to entrepreneurship with starting up a portable charger idea after college.

17:31 – Helen on dealing with her parent’s negative reactions in regards to her turning down a job at Morgan Stanley to become an entrepreneur.

21:17 – How Helen funded her entrepreneurial projects after graduation.

22:50 – Helen on how beneficial networking in her entrepreneurship class and reaching out to people was.

25:07 – Helen’s template for reaching out to founders and other marketing figures successfully. She also speaks on the important connections she’s made doing that.

30:20 – How Helen spent her free time during college..

32:36 – Her speaking about not really having a passion for her studies during college and how important the networking aspect of college was for her.

35:49 – Helen on learning Arabic in high school and throughout college. She also speaks about her passion for language.

37:38 – Helen’s experience with depression during college and with starting companies.

39:12 – How Helen handles her depression, her advice for others, and on the importance of including healthy habits into your routine.

45:21 – Helen’s hobbies and things she does when not working.

46:25 – Her speaking on learning from failure and her advice for starting up a company.

49:27 – Helen on the insights that failing can give someone and the power of perseverance.

50:53 – Helen’s one book recommendation for freshmen going into Georgetown.

52:21 – Helen’s advice for people going after non-traditional career paths and what she wished she would someone would have told her as a student.

53:52 – Wrap up and where to find Helen online.

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