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Going After Her Dream: Julie Pech

This year, we are all about the inspiration on Sarah by the Sea, so on Fridays I will be featuring inspiring women in Five on Friday Q&As. This is one of my very favorite features, and I hope you love it too.

Meet Julie Pech, an author from Denver who follower her dream to combine her interest in nutrition with her love of chocolate in a book. She is a corporate American refuge who left her job eight years ago to chase her dream. Her book, The Chocolate Therapist: A User’s Guide to the Extraordinary Health Benefits of Chocolate, was published by Wiley Publishing. Since then she also launched a chocolate bar line and purchased a chocolate shop. “Now I speak up to 20 times a month, teach chocolate & wine pairing and chocolate & tea pairing classes, host corporate and charity events and travel internationally as a guest lecturer on cruise ships. After expanding the shop, we are in the process of franchising and taking our chocolate bar line into grocery stores,” says Pech. But as an evolving woman, she is still chasing her dreams — the latest? To produce a sitcom based on the “hilarious happenings in our shop.”

Why is important to you to go after your dream?

Julie Pech: I believe we have to go after our dreams because it is our purpose in life to do what we dream about.  There are two ways to live life–going after your dreams or not going after them.  Not going after them is definitely going to leave you empty and most likely depressed as life progresses.  You may come to terms with it, but you’ll always wonder what would have happened if you would have honored yourself.  Going after them might be tough at times, but at least you are striving for meaning in your life, and that will always end up positive and empowering.

What are your must-reads for inspiration and motivation?

JP: I change all the time depending on what I’m experiencing.  If I’m having trouble making decisions, I’m likely to reach for something spiritual like the Tao, meditation or visualization (The Law of Attraction principles).  When I need to focus on business, I look for something that has to do with exactly what I need to know.  We’re franchising, so I’m reading “Franchise Your Business” and books about how to manage people.   I’m also very interested in nutrition, which has quite a bit to do with our business, so I’m always reading something about the body, a new technique for healing or researching how different foods affect the body (just finished “Asian Healing Secrets” by Letha Hadady). I really consider what is right for me in the moment rather than jumping on to the next best-seller.  If you’re having trouble staying motivated, read “Founders at Work” by Jessica Livingston.  It contains interviews with the people who started big companies like Yahoo, Apple, Adobe, Flickr and at least 20 other major companies.   Whatever problem you’re having, they had it 10 times worse and pushed through.  It helps keep challenges in perspective–everything can be overcome with tenacity, drive and passion.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

JP: One of my neighbors sold his company for $80 million a few years ago.  When I asked him what to expect as I ventured into my own creation, he said “Everything you want to do will cost twice as much and take twice as long as you think it will.”  I really didn’t like hearing those words, but after 13 years as an entrepreneur I’m going to have to agree with him.  However, I prefer something I came across over the years that I hold with me 100% of the time:  “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”  I believe it’s a quote from Goethe.

Who inspires you and why?

JP: I have what I call a “dream team” of 5 people.  A few years ago I wrote down the characteristics I like about each of them and try to embrace these in my own life.

  • For Spirituality:  Deepak Chopra–a brilliant doctor who has successfully bridged the gap between the spiritual and physical elements of life and brought them into terms the average individual can understand.  Every now and then I’ll ask a random question and just flip one of his books to see the answer, and it’s always there!  I really like “The Book of Secrets,” although all of his books are very good.
  • For Adventure:  Richard Branson, the “people’s” billionaire.  I admire his “for the people/by the people” concept and his non-stop quest for extreme adventure.
  • For Inspiration to overcome adversity:  Oprah Winfrey.  She is living proof that ANYTHING can be accomplished in a lifetime.  She had every disadvantage one can imagine growing up, and she’s created a massive empire than continues to touch millions of lives in a positive way every day.
  • For Finance:  Warren Buffet.  I want his mind!  I like the fact that he doesn’t seem to be driven as much by money as he is “the game.”  It’s about achieving, seeing what is possible, stretching boundaries and living by his own beliefs.  He loves what he does, and he’s given billions to charity.  He also has a very charming sense of humor.
  • For Beauty and Humanitarianism:  Angelina Jolie.  Not only is she beautiful, intelligent and talented, but she’s not afraid to use her fame to bring attention to the world’s most devastating crises.  She’s tough, athletic, sexy and she’s got a strong, gorgeous self-made man by her side.  She’s living my future life 🙂

What’s the first thing you do every morning?

I work out [for] 15-60 minutes, depending on the day and how much time I have.  I used to skip Wednesdays but I hated it, so now I just do something every day, even if it’s just a few minutes.  It’s a great way to own the beginning of the day–it always starts on my terms.


Thank you to Annabel Adams! Tune in every Friday for interviews with women going after their dreams.

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