Tips for staying sane in a pandemic from… Maple Organics founder Rosy Atwal

The brand expert hands out some recommendations.

Credit: Courtesy of Rosy Atwal

The brand expert hands out some recommendations

A graduate of Western’s Ivy Business School, Rosy Atwal worked as a brand manager for companies like Nature’s Path Foods and Sleeman Breweries before she founded wellness outfit Maple Organics in 2016. 

The Surrey-based business, which dubs itself Canadas first organic pharmaceutical company, hawks a line of skincare, haircare and babycare products that are based on family recipes Atwal’s own mother used while growing up in India. 

Heres what she recommends while in social isolation.

1. Subscribe to the Economist

As we all self-isolate and practice mandatory social distancing, I suggest using this opportunity to consciously carve out time to enrich your mind. It’s important to be cognizant of the content you consume—while everyone is due for some mindless Netflix binging, this is a great opportunity to get back to basics. The Economist is always my favourite read for insightful, thought-provoking content. 

2. Binge-read the Atlantic

The Atlantic is socially aware content from true thought leaders. It’s a good place to gather information from a selection of society’s most progressive minds. Reading the Atlantic cover-to-cover is always being pushed off my to-do list to make room for more pressing matters, so I am excited to use this time of solitude to catch up!

I am particularly looking forward to reading thought-provoking COVID-19 coverage from Helen Lewis, including her takes on how the virus affects men and women differently.

3. Download episodes of the Unfinished Biz podcast

I personally love the Unfinished Biz podcast from VMG Partners. It shares the highs, lows and challenges of being a business founder and gives a true inside look at the ins and outs of running a business. I find it a great complement to How I Built This with Guy Raz. I’m always learning something new from these two podcasts.

4. Leverage your LinkedIn connections and find your next great mentor 

What a great time to reach out to past and potentially future mentors! Check in with your connections, give them an update (both personal and business), and see how they are doing. There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of this slow period to build bridges for your future.

I love thinking about where my business might be in two to four years—will we need a bigger space, new machinery, new team members?—and connecting with folks who have gone through the process and can help me vision-board for the future. Make sure that you’re paying it forward, too, by being a mentor to new entrepreneurs in your area who are looking for advice. 

5. Read WorkParty by Jaclyn Johnson

This is one of my favourite business books, and I find myself going back to it time and time again. Along with detailing Johnson’s tumultuous and rewarding journey from first-time entrepreneur to mega-successful CEO, it offers a glimpse into those everyday hardships of finding your way as a female entrepreneur. It’s a book for a new generation of businesswomen who are redefining the meaning of work on their own terms and who are creative and cultivating their careers—all while still having fun doing it.