NuSkin Conference: Speaking on Overcoming Challenges

NuSkin Conference: Speaking on Overcoming Challenges

NuSkin Talk . Tami Steggell . Oct 23 . 2014

Men in the room you are tremendous!  I’m married to a really spectacular one.  Today since I’m speaking to a select group of women I want to declare WOMEN ARE A POWERUL FORCE.  We get our heads in the game and we make things happen in a very powerful, determined way.

Overcoming Challenges!

I’ve enjoyed this particular journey, in fact my really rewarding entrepreneurial journey has been riddled with overcoming challenges.  I’m certain it is the permanent brainteaser of life.  Challenges are not a bad thing, in fact, I always call them learning opportunities.  Challenges force us to become better.  Without challenges I’m convinced we’d all shrivel up into boring oblivion.

  • Today’s Challenges were to bake 1,070 cookies and show up looking alive to tell my story.
  • I am a proud mother of 7 and I enjoy building a business while fostering a family.

I am Tami Steggell, founder of RubySnap Bakery in Salt Lake City.  RubySnap is a 1940’s themed bakery in which we celebrate the goodness of yesteryear by making all our goods from fresh ingredients with no yucky stuff.  We honor the WWII era and all its charm.  When first founded it was called My Dough Girl for and on behalf of the female flyers who flew aircraft during that period.  The male equivalent were the Dough Boys in the World War I era.

Let me read a quick journal entry from November 20th, 2009 when I was that new baking establishment in Salt Lake City called My Dough Girl:

Many people ask me how My Dough Girl began, what is the story.  There isn’t a straight forward answer; it was an evolution of passion, struggle, growing, loving, learning, trials, and sheer desire.  Life to me is about following your passion, even if it’s against all odds.  The secret is to desire your passion with real intent, so badly that you can’t take your focus off of it.

This of course was written before I realized a genuine challenge was in my near future.  I thought I had passed the difficult parts.  Ignorance is such bliss!  We had many speed bumps along the way, starting a business without capital, fighting dueling city, state, and government entities for the right to bake in their town, beginner business challenges, such as payroll, being a one man band, etc.  Lots of little beginner hic ups!  What happened next set the tone for our future, a challenge I am truly grateful to have had:

Our biggest test to date was receiving a litigation demand from Pillsbury General Mills in May of 2010.  We had been in business for nearly two years and owned our trademark, when the mega food mogul came at us with a pocketbook big enough to wipe the slate clean of all our dreams and efforts.  The baking giant did not appreciate our use of the words Dough or Girl.  The hefty pocketbooks of the pastry giant, intercepted our Trademark by way of no contest.  The Associated Press picked up the story and we became the worlds darling little news story. Our work could have simply been for not.  We decided to let go of our emotions, render our trademark to the giant and fight back with success.  The real goal was to stay in the kitchen where we belonged, doing what we do best and show off to the world our baking skills!

The Difficult Parts:

  • I cashed out a $10K IRA to start the idea debt free. Every discretionary penny went into building the brand name and recognition.
  • Rebranding with care takes time and money. The goal was still to remain debt free, so the process began over again, SLOW AND PATIENT.
  • Technology like Google assumed we went out of business and closed down our page.
  • The world hopped onto the story and pressure was aggressive to fight back. The public wanted their David to fight the Goliath on behalf of the people and principle.
  • I decided to stick to the plan and bake. My Dough Girl amenably handed over our name, this was not a very popular idea with the people.  Criticism of our choice became stiff.  Next month, four years later, we will have made our final payment on our former Trademark.  A lot of expense to hand over a name un-contested.
  • HERE IS THE POINT: LIFE IS NOT FAIR! There never was a promise it would be. FIGURE OUT A SOLUTION AN MOVE ON.  I do what I love every day of my life, yet, I still must overcome difficulties.
  • We gained freedom to keep chasing our goals and establishing our mark on the world. No court rooms.  No yesterday’s news. 
  • We refined our brand to become stronger and better. We set out to restore progress and stand apart from the crowd.

D I S T R A C T I O N S !

STICK TO THE PLAN! Succumbing to public pressure or interest or trend.  Why follow a trend?  I’m sure there are valid reasons.  Here’s an example.  Gluten Free!  Ever heard of it?  I have a daughter who is gluten intolerant.  There is a demand in the public to offer GF solutions.  The public asked, I wanted to listen.  I tend to be a pleaser, so what did I do?  I CAVED!  I created a lovely gluten free pineapple sweet corn cookie.  It was good.  The public received it fairly well.  In fact, if we didn’t tell anyone it was gluten free they liked it.  When we pronounced over the bakery counter it was gluten free we were met by frowns and no thank you’s.  Why?  Because we are master of wheat, and malt, and gluten and we do it really well!  Do not attempt to be the master of all things, it is a distraction.  Always remain a first rate version of your own passion, rather than a second rate version of someone else’s.  Does Ruby have to be the master of GF, No!  Stick to what you are good at and it will continue to matter and resonate with your customers.  Your customers know you almost as well as you know yourself.  Don’t try to trick anyone by diluting your authenticity and what makes you, your brand, and your product uniquely your brain child.  Gluten free was never my brain child or passion and so it flopped.  It disappointed the GF seekers, and the non-GF seekers.  Stick to the Plan!


Like “Writer’s Block” I get creative block.  Over the years I’ve learned that true and genuine creativity arrives when it wants to.  I cannot be demanded.  But often times for me it is required that I demand creativity when designing a special cookie for a client or an event.  I fake out the system by going on a high protein binge for a week or two and instantly creativity arrives knocking at my door.  The point is, THINK RESOURCEFULLY TO GET THE RESULTS YOU NEED.  Maybe you have a personal sales quota, how are you going to reach it.  Dare to think different.  How can you look at your own goals in a new way?  Do your best every day, not someone’s else’s best, your best!  If your goal is to make 20 sales contacts in a day, maybe consider 5 high quality contacts that will yield more profitable results.


All along…. the idea is to think of and create a cookie that is uniquely different and one that hasn’t been created before implementing fresh fruit or veggies of the season.  I had never heard of an apple crumb pie cookie and so I set out to create one.  The trick with apple is to get the flavor to pop and stand out without too much manipulation or enhancements.  Every attempt to make a lovely apple cookie failed because all the flavor would evaporate off in the baking process, leaving a fairly boring average cookie in the wake.  So after several attempts I gave up on apple and moved on to strawberries.

This next version used some fun, yummy, dried strawberries I had fallen in love with, a favorite snack of mine and because I was on a dried fruit binge at the time.  The dough was rolled in graham cracker crumbs.  A primary offense or rule breaker, using prepackaged products to create a final product.  I like to create all the parts of our cookie where ever and whenever possible.  Despite my hesitation and after several attempts I introduced this dried strawberry Maggie cookie to the public in 2009.  The public liked it, but I was sorely embarrassed!  I likened my creation unto a Little Debbie product.  Not my market!  Not my idea of amazing!  So I pulled it.  Then it occurred to me, SEPTEMBER IS PEACH SEASON!  There is no law saying I have to use apples just because it is also apple season.

I went at it again, this time using both FRESH strawberries and peaches inside the dough.  When the fresh fruit bakes, it percolates and creates and airy and light cake like cookie that is fresh and clean and collapses in your mouth.  Next was to imagine complimentary frosting.   One Saturday while working at the small at Tony Caputo’s farmer’s market  and enjoying the local fresh Slide Ridge Honey, and chevre (goat cheese), the next evolution landed in my mind to a make a honey goat cheese frosting for the top of Maggie and celebrate her completion by topping off the cookie with a fresh strawberry.

Such a HAPPY ACCIDENT because we now boast to the public a uniquely different and completely original cookie called Maggie: a fresh strawberry peach with a honey goat cheese frosting.


Good news is!  Let your challenges, distractions, stumbling blocks, and obstacles turn into HAPPY ACCIDENTS that will refine you and make you stronger than your competition.


You here in the audience represent an amazing company with an amazing product, with very faithful clients.  Yes you will have complications building your goals, but because you represent a brand of integrity, there will always be a solution to overcome the tests that will come your way.  Not if, not when, you will have challenges!  Stand proud and get beyond those frustrations.  Sticking to your plan yields confidence, confidence yields results!

PS those Jumbotrons were HUGE! I’m a little spec on the stage.