Why You Need to be Comfortable with Discomfort in Entrepreneurship: With Romy Taormina of Psi Bands

By Yitzi Weiner and Casmin Wisner

“…running a business is like raising a child. Just when you think you know what that child is up to, they change.”
I had the privilege of interviewing Romy Taormina, founder and CEO of Psi Bands® on taking the leap of faith into the entrepreneurial stratosphere. Psi Bands sell at Target, Babies “R” Us, REI, Meijer, Amazon, hospitals, and many other places internationally. Entrepreneur Magazine calls Psi Bands a “stroke of genius”. With approximately 1M sets of Psi Bands sold, she is humbled to provide nausea and vomiting relief to those who suffer from chemotherapy, morning sickness, motion sickness, and anesthesia.

Thanks for doing this with us. What is your backstory?

Puking actually inspired me to take the leap of faith into the entrepreneurial stratosphere. I suffered from debilitating morning sickness during both of my pregnancies and I was sick for more than a year. I found nausea relief through acupressure wrist bands, but I was dissatisfied with existing products on the market. This led me to create a superior product, both in form and function, to help those who suffer from nausea. And Psi Bands were born.

Psi Bands launched in 2008. We are headquartered in Pacific Grove, CA.

Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?

I just returned from Dubai, where I got to ride a camel! I applied for and was awarded a STEP Grant, a government grant that helps small businesses succeed in the international marketplace, and I was offered a turn-key exhibit space in the US Pavilion at Arab Health 2018, the largest gathering of healthcare and trade professionals in the MENA region. After exhibiting at this 4-day tradeshow, I am now following up on these leads to grow our export business.

Also on the international front, we are vetting leads and finalizing regulatory approvals in other international markets that came prior to attending Arab Health.

After 10 years of trying, we are launching at Destination Maternity, the world’s leading maternity apparel retailer. Never say never!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are?

My husband Michael, of more than 20 years. Growing this business has been a journey, filled with highs and lows. I call it my roller coaster — a fun-filled, wild, crazy ride. Together, we have helped finance the company. And, with his strong finance and HR background, he has helped me see and approach things far better than I would have been otherwise able to do without his coaching and support.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

With approximately 1M sets of Psi Bands sold, Romy is humbled to provide nausea relief to so many people who suffer from chemotherapy, morning sickness, motion sickness, and anesthesia. Testimonials may be found on our web site and on our IG account.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started,” and why?

  1. You are going to be constantly challenged. You will be uncomfortable, a lot. Get used to it. Why? Because running a business is like raising a child. Just when you think you know what that child is up to, they change. Just when you think you have the business wired, things change. Be fluid and be willing to adapt. Never get cozy.
  2. You will make mistakes. Own them. When you do, learn from them, the first time. Accept the mistake as a learning opportunity.
  3. Be effective. Not Right. No one likes the blame game. Casting blame and/or throwing jabs is not going to solve the problem. And everyone likes solutions. Cut to the chase and offer solutions.
  4. Give to others. When you give to others, they are more likely to give back. When you have an opportunity to share advice, provide resources, make introductions, do it! And don’t expect anything in return. However, when you do need something, you now have some “go to” people from which to ask for help or advice that are now willingly to do so.
  5. Show your appreciation. Everyone likes to be thanked and appreciated. Express your gratitude whenever it merits it. A small thank you and other forms of recognition go a long way towards making others feel special, appreciated, and validated.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?

Warren Buffet. His sister, Bertie Bialek Elliott, lives about 15 minutes away from me. Maybe Warren can visit both of us.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!


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