We are sitting with Nori in her kitchen on a beautiful May morning, sipping tea and talking about her and how she lives the everyday life of busy moms.
If you could introduce yourself in only one sentence, what would that be?
I am a mother, a wife and an entrepreneur determined to change the world.
What does it mean to you to be a mother, a wife and an entrepreneur?
First of all it means setting the right priorities and actually for me there is a clear order: being mother and wife is more or less on the same level of importance while being an entrepreneur comes afterwards. For me, family is a very strong foundation so work-life balance is especially important for me. A few years ago I had a great corporate career, but I just could not find the right balance. I was working a lot and I had to be in the office even if I didn’t have enough work. So I just could not spend the time I wanted with my children. That’s why I started this whole entrepreneurial journey.
When have you started this entrepreneurial journey?
The first thought came to my mind around 2014 when I really got fed up with corporate life. I was always very different, because of my crazy and innovative ideas I was simply not cut out for working with large companies. Also having children completely changed my priorities.
What are you most proud of in your life so far?
There are 3 things that I am really proud of.
Let me separate again family and business. First of all, I am very proud of what we have achieved with the children. I have two kids and my son is not an average child. On the one hand he has extraordinary intelligence, but socially and emotionally he was very different from other children. He didn’t have friends until he was 6 years old. His emotional intelligence was always very low. For example if someone was hurt, he just laughed about it, or didn’t care at all. We worked very hard on it and it is amazing how much he has changed. He still has issues here and there, but overall I am very proud of the progress.
On the business side, I am really proud that I have an app. Finally I have created something tangible that can help other people.
My third pride is coming from my corporate life. I had reached quite a high level on the hierarchy before I left. I know that what I achieved in my professional life will also help in my own business. It gave me the confidence that I can succeed.
What is your greatest asset?
I am extremely lucky for 2 things, though I don’t believe in luck. These are my parents and my husband. I am so grateful for my parents. I grew up in Hungary during the “aftertaste” of communism, when the values were very different from today. Both of my parents are doctors and the way they have always helped people made a mark in my life.
My husband is the other gift in my life. He is a really good father and the greatest supporter of my business. Without this strong relationship it would be much more difficult to run my own business.
What is your greatest struggle at the moment?
Being an entrepreneur is really a roller coaster, mainly an emotional roller coaster. I was used to working in a very confined environment: when you are an employee, you really know what to expect from your job. It is really different now. I have moments, when I am just flying – I must tell, this happens 90% of the time – but sometimes, I have these deep moments when it is very-very difficult. I must say I am really lucky as I have business partner with whom we really understand each other and we get along very well. Being in the business alone would be really tough.
Do you have a recipe of getting out of the emotional valleys?
I have a big routine that helps me a lot on the daily base to reenergize myself even when I am feeling down.
First of all, I have the 5 minutes rule. If I am upset about something, I allow myself to whine about it for 5 minutes and do “hardcore” complaining. Usually I complain about the things to my husband – poor man ☺ - or just speaking out loud. In 5 minutes I usually realize that I can’t change what happened and what I am upset about. So I just look what I can learn from the negative experience.
What also makes me stronger is this routine that I have in the mornings. I introduced it 2 years ago into my life and I do it consistently each day. I just love these morning hours by myself for myself.
What do you do exactly during these morning hours?
I wake up around 5 am. Firs I have a gratitude practice. I use an app for that. I like apps. ☺ It’s a really good one: a 5-minute gratitude session. Afterwards I do a 15-minute “wake-up your body” yoga workout. I use a DVD for that – I’ve been using it for already 10-15 years! It’s a really nice way to wake up my body… It is like relaxation with some stretching for a lovely music.
Afterwards I meditate for 10-15 minutes, followed by automatic writing. This is kind of my latest thing… I type my thoughts as they come. I am big fan of handwriting, but as I can type much faster then I write, I can capture my thoughts better this way. I do this for about 10 minutes.
Then I set my daily intentions. I thank in advance for the day and I really feel gratitude for all the good things that will happen to me.
At the end of my morning routine, I use our Busy Moms’ Fitness app for a more vigorous exercise. I know, I am biased, but I think the app is just brilliant.
After the exercise, the day can start. Each morning I prepare a smoothie for breakfast and not only for myself but for the whole family. At first I had to insist with the kids that they drink it. Now they just love it. That is their breakfast and it keeps them highly energized and satisfied the whole morning.
At 8 am , I take the kids to school and after dropping them off, I go for a quick run. 15-20 minutes only. While jogging, I always listen to podcasts to learn something new each day. After the run I take a shower that I also love, as I always get so many inspiring ideas during the shower.
So I am ready to start my workday. Once I sit down at my desk, I write down 10 things I am grateful for and I set my 5 daily goals that I have to do whatever happens. Each morning I plan my day ahead. I write down all the tasks I need to do, put them in order of priority and identify when I can do them. It is only a 5-minute exercise, but it is amazing how much it helps me to be on track the whole day.
If you could teach only one thing to your children, what would that be?
What I tell the kids all the time is: “Only do things to other people that you’d want them to do to you”. This is the most important rule in our household.
If today were your last day how would you spend it?
I would want to go to one of our favorite family places, a tiny village in Hungary. I’d gather my closest friends and family there and we would just have a great party together to say good-bye.
You’ve already talked a lot about exercising, especially in the morning. You do yoga, the workout of the app and jogging. What is your relationship to sports? What is your favorite way of exercising?
I have been doing sports ever since I was born. I love sports. For me the big thing was basketball. I played competitively for 25 years. I just discovered a basketball court quite close to our home. If I can just shoot for 5-10 minutes that can already change my day. I see a basketball and I go crazy. ☺
Otherwise I am a big fan of high intensity interval trainings as they are short, but extremely efficient.
Why are they efficient?
Within a short period of time high intensity interval trainings make your muscles work, make you sweat, boost your metabolism and help you sleep better. Even 10 hours after the training the positive effects are there. Studies show that high intensity interval exercise is better for the body than running at steady pace for a longer period of time.
So that’s the base for the Busy Moms’ Fitness App?
Yes, exactly. At the time the idea came, I was still working for a big corporation and my office was in London. So I travelled a lot between Geneva and London (Nori lives 20 km away from Geneva) and having small kids, I just simply couldn’t find time for exercising. As sport was always important for me, I started researching what could be the solution. This is how I discovered high intensity interval trainings and found some apps for that. They were good, but after a while they became quite boring as they just repeated the same sets over and over again, plus they weren’t targeted for the special issues woman face. So I decided to fill this gap and create the high intensity interval training program for busy moms.
The app has a recipe section as well. Which is your favorite meal you prepare to your family?
There are two recipes we really like. One is the red lentil soup. It is not only my family’s favorite, but now my friends prepare it regularly as well. The other thing that my kids just love is the spinach pie that we named for them as Popeye pie.
What message would you give to your fellow busy moms?
I know that being a mom is a wonderful thing but very difficult as well. If you don’t have the right level of energy and health, you cannot be your true self. The children deserve the best of you when they are with you and if you lack energy, you are impatient and cranky. There is always a debate about what is better for a mother: staying at home with the kids or working. You need to decide for yourself, but give your best when you are with your children.
I just heard a great saying and I would like to finish with that: “Live long enough to live forever.”
This means to me to stay healthy to live long enough to leave a legacy to my children.