Be informed and smart as to where to go for the best health care. Go to the Women’s Choice Award website and become familiar with the best in emergency care, stroke care, heart care, obstetrics, orthopedic care, bariatrics, breast care and so much more. Just know before you go, because if can cost you your life!
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Delia Passi.
Delia Passi is the founder and CEO of WomenCertified Inc., the home of the Women’s Choice Award®. The award allows consumers to identify brands and health care facilities that meet the needs and expectations of female customers based on robust criteria and data that consider a woman’s experience. It was named by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies for three consecutive years. She is the former publisher of Working Mother and Working Woman magazines and was responsible for the success of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” list. Delia has dedicated her career to empowering women and is a leader in marketing and selling to women. She is the author of Winning the Toughest Customer: The Essential Guide to Selling to Women. She has been a keynote speaker for multiple Fortune 500 companies including Toyota, Wells Fargo, Ameriprise, Office Depot, Merrill Lynch, UPS, Microsoft, Harley Davidson, Lexus and more.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story and passion to empower women. I am the former Group Publisher of Working Mother and Working Woman magazines and author of Winning the Toughest Customer: The Essential Guide to Selling to Women. In 2003 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and experienced a horrific health care experience, which made me determined to empower every woman to make smarter health care choices by providing publicly available reporting on the best breast centers and hospitals. The need was evident as the brand grew and expanded quickly, resulting in being named by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing companies for three consecutive years.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
Wow, this is a tough one as I’ve been blessed and challenged with lots of life lessons! After starting, growing, selling and closing a custom publishing company, I needed a job as I was a single mom of three young girls, so I accepted a business development consulting role at Working Mother magazine at far below what I was making running my own company. I remember walking into my new office which was a converted closet, with a small desk and a phone. I turned my experience as a custom publisher into an entire new revenue stream for the magazine, creating special advertising sections, custom books and customer inserts, generating millions of dollars for a struggling magazine. Three months later I was offered the publisher position, and 18 months later Group Publisher position. Lesson — When you know your worth it doesn’t matter where you start, what matters is what you do.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Greatest mistake was selling 40 percent of my custom publishing business to a publically traded company without a protection clause. Three years later the parent company filed Chapter 11. End result was that my entire team of amazing, dedicated staff of mostly single, working mothers had to be told without notice that their jobs were terminated. The hardest day of my career.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I’ve been blessed to have a few amazing mentors, mostly men. My dearest champion was Ben Bliss. By the time I met him he was retired but quite a force in his time as an “Ad Man on Mad Men” personified. He had no fear and taught me how to see beyond boundaries, to call anyone and to network with everyone until you get what you need. He showed me the true meaning of “the sky’s the limit.”
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
We all thrive when women are empowered to choose the best health care for her and her families. Choosing the best care was, and continues to be, a challenge, especially for certain demographics, but fortunately for women and men the Women’s Choice Award provides a free resource where patients are provided fact-based reporting and ratings on every hospital as well as for breast centers, mammogram imaging, surgical centers and more.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
1) Be informed and smart as to where to go for the best health care. Go to the Women’s Choice Award website and become familiar with the best in emergency care, stroke care, heart care, obstetrics, orthopedic care, bariatrics, breast care and so much more. Just know before you go, because if can cost you your life!
2) Breathe — learn to destress by a simple breathing exercise you can do anywhere and when needed to lower your blood pressure and anxiety.
3) Know your body, know your breast, be in tune to changes.
4) Early detection is so important so be proactive — when something doesn’t seem right don’t put off going to the doctor.
5) Sleep well. You hear this often, so if you haven’t embraced getting a solid 7–8 hours of sleep, then get started on a healthier you tonight.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Well, I’ll give you a sneak peek of what’s coming as that’s my health moonshot! To give every woman in America access to the best of the best doctors on demand and the drugs she needs at costs she can afford. We will be launching in markets throughout the USA soon through OKVera.com.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- Don’t be discouraged by naysayers. People love to share all the reasons why things won’t work. If you have a clear vision of your success you can make it happen!
- Starting a business is going to take an extraordinary amount of perseverance, beyond what you think you can handle.
- Identify the people you want to help you succeed and then approach them. Don’t be afraid, the worst thing to happen is that they say no, but most will offer at least some valuable advice.
- Be prepared with enough money in the bank to carry your household for 18 months when starting a business.
- Don’t ever personally sign for a startup business loan. Find another way.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Mental health. One of my daughters, an attorney, struggles with ADHD and depends on Adderall. I see first-hand the many challenges she faces with access convenience, access to her prescriptions and support. Legislation needs to allow telehealth access so doctors can prescribe responsibly controlled substances while offering a convenient and affordable option to those in need. An opportunity we plan on addressing through OKVera.com.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Thank you for these fantastic insights!