Dr. Robyn Silverman is an internationally recognized speaker, author, success coach and educator on Parenting, Character Education, and Body Image. Read on to see how her business got started.
Tell us a little bit about your business and how you got started.
I’m a professional speaker, success coach, body image expert, and child/teen development specialist. After getting my Ph.D. in child/teen development from Tufts University in Boston, I didn’t want to do the typical University job. My goal was to help inform and engage the public in conversations about how to create healthy, happy families where confidence, self-worth, character, and individual goals and strengths were recognized.
As a professional speaker and coach, I’m able to speak directly to the parents and educators. As a developer of the curriculum Powerful Words Character Development, I’m able to provide educators with how to inspire a positive character in children, teens, and leaders at their schools and academies. As a child/teen development specialist, I’m able to provide tips and tools to parents via the press, blog, or interview. And finally, as a body image expert, I can help parents avoid the pitfalls and inspire their families to value who they are today, love the person in the mirror, treat their bodies well, and share their gifts with the world.
What did you do before starting your own business?
I started Powerful Words while I was a graduate student at Tufts and then, after leaving Tufts, I became a professional speaker, coach, and child/teen expert for the media.
You just published the book; Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: How Weight Obsession is Messing Up Out Girls and How We Can Help Them Thrive Despite It – tell us about it.
From the back of the book, which I think captures it well: Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: How Weight Obsession is Messing Up Our Girls and How We Can Help Them Thrive Despite It by Dr. Robyn Silverman: “If you’re wondering whether you should be the one to tell your daughter that she is ‘getting fat,’ let me tell you now; DON’T. Take a good look through this book, and you will see who has already beaten you to it.” Based on Dr. Robyn Silverman’s groundbreaking research on plus size models at Tufts University, and filled with searingly honest young voices, Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: Decodes the ripple effects of actions that damage our girls and provides tools to help stop them; Shines light on the positive influence of women who embrace body types of any size– and explains how to model the right behavior; and Shows how girls, whatever their size, can manage their own strengths, trust their power and accomplish amazing things. With a reassuring yet candid voice, Dr. Robyn hammers home that girls are not worth more when they weigh less and young people are assets to be developed not deficits to be managed. Good Girls Don’t Get Fat is a must read for anyone who has daughters, works with girls, or touches the lives of young women in anyway.
How many hours do you work a week and how much is spent is your home office?
My home office is usually Panera Bread! I work about 40 hours per week and do about 70% of that at Panera. Of course, when I was writing the book, I felt like I was working 40 hours a day!
How did you fund your business?
The work I started to do while at Tufts helped me to be able to do other things. The Powerful Words curriculum is downloadable on a monthly basis, so it didn’t cost much to start. It’s now being used in 9 countries in after school programs. Having something consistent allows me to do other projects as well.
How would you rate your success from 0–10?
I would rate it a 9—since there is always room for more goals and more wins!
How do you manage all of your personal and business activities?
My husband and I work together—he takes care of the business/marketing end, and I take care of the development and fulfillment end. Having my husband as my partner in business and in life makes things go smoothly. I am truly grateful for that.
What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?
Don’t allow fears to get in the driver seat of your business. Those nay-saying thoughts in our heads can be so detrimental. I tell my audiences that; “it is not the glass ceiling that gets in the way of our successes but our own self-limiting thoughts that tell us that we’re not thin enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or good enough to assume our rightful place in this world … which is of course, on top!”
I also wanted to pass along this video — I launched it last week, and it’s gone viral. It has a bit to do with what we discussed — how our own self-limiting thoughts and fixation with what is not “perfect” can grow like a wild week within us and take over. It’s 4 minutes long, and I think you’ll love it.