Boss Lady - Georgia Pellegrini

Bella Vita launched a blog titled “Boss Lady” in March 2017 - after years of being inspired by the women that we are friends with, work with, or do business with, that are building their empire doing what they love.  Running a business takes work, and getting started takes courage. At Bella Vita, we wanted to take this opportunity to praise and encourage some of the great female entrepreneurs we have met over the years and we hope to inspire more young women (and men) to follow their instinct/talent/passion and become entrepreneurs.  


My team and I are reaching out to the woman owned businesses that inspire and amaze us on a daily basis.  We will start with a brief background, then dive into the nitty gritty of running a business, what keeps them inspired, and everything else in between.

Georgia and I met about a year ago when she invited me to be part of one of her events here in Little Rock. I loved learning more about Georgia and, I must admit, I 100% agree about being in charge of your own Quickbooks -- its so important to know what is going on in your biz. There is a lot of wisdom packed in to this interview and I'm so proud to call her a friend. Meet Georgia Pellegrini!

I grew up on the family farm in upstate New York and developed a passion for simple farm-to table food and a deep connection to the outdoors.  I've always had "finesse and grit", but I started in a very different career direction than the one I have now.  After college, I worked in the fierce world of Wall Street, but in 2004 I left the finance world behind and stepped into the wild — reconnecting with nature to discover a simpler, more authentic, and self-sufficient life. After graduating from the French Culinary Institute, I began working in Michelin restaurants in New York and France, and soon started leading Adventure Getaways: excursions around the country aimed at promoting “manual literacy” and helping participants step outside of their comfort zone and experience life more viscerally. 

I am a firm believer in empowering women to be self-sufficient and encourage my audiences to step outside of their comfort zones, identify personal strengths and pursue their life passions. My goal is to reach  “beyond-the-podium” and inspire audiences to put pioneering principles to use anywhere, from the suburbs to the heart of the city, from the hunting perch to the board room.  I have written several critically acclaimed books including Food Heroes, Girl Hunter, and most recently, Modern Pioneering.

Right now I’m most excited about the premier of my new TV show “Wild Food” airing on prime time on Travel Channel. The new premiere date will be announced soon, so make sure you watch my social media for update on the air time! I’ve been told I’m the first woman host they have had on Travel Channel in 14 years so I’m excited to be creating content for the network that both men and women will enjoy watching together.  It's a project I've been working on for 2 years, and has been an intense, exciting, and trying process. I felt strongly that I wanted to create content that added value and joy to people's lives, a show that makes us slow down, inspires us to use our hands, and think about where our food comes from. I can now say I'm really proud of this show and the thousands of hours we put into.  It's a ton of fun to watch with moments that will have you laughing and also have your heart pounding.

In each episode, I take you along with me on wild and exciting adventures across the globe to source my ingredients for my next great meal, and to meet interesting people in other cultures along the way. At the end of each episode, I cook it all up in a delicious feast.

 

  1. Give us your elevator pitch.  I don’t have one! I believe in showing rather than telling, that inspires people more.

  2. What is your business?  I own Georgia Pellegrini Media Group Inc., the media company for my TV show on Travel Channel, my 3 books, my website, my speaking engagements, my Adventure Getaways, and all other content and experiences that I produce with my team.  You can find more information on all these different areas of my business on my website, HERE.

  3. When did you start your business? 2009

  4. What inspired you to make the leap?  My dad’s advice growing up was “Do what makes you happy and the money will follow.” He also said, “mastery doesn’t create passion, passion creates mastery.” So I decided to do something I was passionate about and design a life that I wanted to live.



  5. What helps you get started each morning? Coffee, diet coke, 10 mile jog, meditation??  My hustle and a little green tea :)

  6. Tell us about a day in the life of running your business.  No one day is ever the same. At any given moment I am juggling a wide range of things —some days I am filming my new TV show “Wild Food” on Travel Channel, recording voiceover, talking with my producing partner about notes for the show; other days we are working on editorial content for my website and digital platforms which we publish daily; and other days I am rehearsing a speaking engagement, or planning the details of one of my Adventure Getaways with various people on the phone. That’s the tip of the iceberg. I think one of the benefits of having worked in professional kitchens is that I’ve become good as splitting my brain into multiple tracks and multi-tasking.

  7. What keeps you motivated?  The ability and opportunity to create and design the life that I want to live.



  8. Describe your dream day.  Being outside in nature, fresh air, the smell of new leaves or rotting leaves. Soil under my fingernails.

  9. What is your greatest strength/super power?  My ability to get things done. My friend tells me I’m “good at making ideas happen.”

  10. Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat?  My website and social media platforms are active places with a vibrant community. We post on my website daily with new valuable content for my readers. We also have a private “secret” Adventure Getaways group with a community of adventurous minded women.



  11. What do you do in your free time? (ha! What is free time?!)  I go out into Nature and enjoy all of its many amazing bits. I also love to cook for myself and for others — use my hands, build things, plant things, make things, fix things.

  12. If an investor gave you 1 million dollars to use toward your business, how would you spend it?  I probably wouldn’t take it because I don’t like the idea of having anyone own a piece of my work. If a bag of money was just dropped from the sky for me, I would invest it in hiring specialists with very specific skill sets that are brilliant at what they do.

  13. What’s the biggest risk you ever took; how did it go?  I left my Wall Street job to go to culinary school with no clear idea where it was taking me other than knowing I was doing something that was closer to who I was. I took a leap of faith and it has really worked out very well. But it wasn’t luck, there are very specific reasons it has worked and tools I’ve used along the way. These topics are what I delve into with companies that bring me in to be their keynote speaker.



  14. Name something you hate doing but have to do for the good of your business. How do you make it tolerable?  Quickbooks. I do it because I don’t trust a stranger to do it right and it helps me understand how my business is functioning. You have to look under the hood of your car and see the inner workings to really appreciate it.

  15. How do you handle discouragement?  I ignore it. Maybe I’ve been lucky in that people have never tried to discourage me from doing something, or maybe they see that there’s no stopping me, but I really don’t pay much attention to outside opinions unless they are people who have earned their way into my circle of experts whose input I trust. As for setbacks, they really give me energy and drive to get where I want to go.

  16. Which iconic person inspires you? Martha Stewart. She created an entire industry and blazed far more trails than she is given credit for. I recommend reading the unauthorized biography of her life. It will blow your mind.



  17. Do you have a favorite, inspiring quote? “Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone.”

  18. If you could choose anyone to pick as a mentor, who would you choose? Oprah

  19. Who are you in your next life? Probably an animal wandering around in the woods or trees or jungle.



  20. Any secrets on how you balance the ins and outs of running a small business? I think you have to let go of this notion of “balance” and focus more on “discipline.” If you are disciplined with your routine, your self-care, your use of social media and technology and create structure for yourself then that is what matters. If you get fuzzy and casual with it then the notion of “balance” goes out the window because things don’t get done and you don’t take care of yourself.

  21. What’s the best advice you have for other women wanting to be entrepreneurs?  People have romantic visions of what it is to be an entrepreneur so my first advice is to really be sure you’re cut out for it. I don’t think that being an entrepreneur is for everyone. You should be one because you have no choice, because there is something in you that drives you, that propels you forward such that you think about that thing as soon as you wake up and as soon as you go to bed. I love what I do but people who want to create and build have to be prepared that there is no “off” switch for that kind of life. While other people are drinking margaritas by the pool you don’t even realize it’s Saturday. It requires a certain personality type and a certain level of intensity and hustle that is not for everyone. You have to have grit. All of that will give you energy or it will suck the life out of you, depending on whether it’s the right thing for you.


“Wild Food” on Travel Channel premiers soon!  Stay tuned for more details.

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