I’ve chosen the title ‘stay brilliant’ for this column, because it’s half of Rude Health’s strapline: ‘Eat right, stay brilliant’. This sums up our healthy food and drink company’s approach to food and to ourselves: we take the former seriously, the latter not so much.
The two parts of the phrase also happen to neatly represent two of the people who started the business: my husband Nick Barnard and myself. He’s ‘Eat right’ - he’s serious, he’s the managing director and he’s hardcore. He rants, he writes books (most recently ‘Eat Right’) and he makes difficult decisions. If I were a career advisor, I’d say he was a goal-oriented high achiever. As his wife, I say he’s obsessive and doesn’t know the meaning of ‘relax’. Which is where I come in. I am ‘Stay brilliant’ - I’m not so serious, I’m the marketing director and I like to be inspired. I rave, am excitable and enjoy what I’m doing right now, until the next distraction arrives. And, as I’ve got this column, Nick doesn’t get to say what he thinks of me. Win.
This balance of taking our food seriously but not ourselves is the beating heart of Rude Health and has been since day one of the business, which we started 10 years ago. Of course, a business that is all heart would be missing some crucial organs, and Nick and I would have got nowhere quickly without a sharp eye and mind on the numbers. Taking on a commercial director in the early days was a big investment for us, but an easy decision. We recognised just how important it is to know not only what we can do, but what we can’t do - or can’t do as well as someone else.
Knowing our limits, and matching them with what the business needs, is an ongoing challenge, especially as Rude Health is growing so quickly. We always need more people, but they have to be the right people. Each and every person contributes to our weekly meeting, to the new foods and drinks we make, and everyone answers the phone. Every one of us represents part of ‘Eat right, stay brilliant’ - with a bias towards ‘stay brilliant’ as one Nick is enough for any business. The main thing is that every single person is in rude health. Finding these people may be a challenge, but working with them is what keeps me interested and inspired.