We had the good fortune of connecting with Meeta Gournay and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Meeta, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
It’s hard to roll it up into one particular thing, but it’s a set of habits I’ve learned over the years that I think has helped me succeed.
My co-founder jokes that I’m like artificial intelligence, show me how to do something once or twice and then I can do it all the time on my own faster and better than I’ve been taught. While that’s undoubtedly an exaggeration of my skill set, I definitely always believed in the adage, ‘teach a person how to fish and they will feed themselves for a lifetime.’ I’ve never been afraid to try new things, make a bit of a fool of myself and to roll up my sleeves and learn new skills. My impatience and drive to move fast has been a helpful impetus, but so is the awareness that the ‘let’s just do it now’ skillset isn’t always the best use of everyone’s time. You have to trust that you can’t do everything and that there are much smarter people that can teach you something and that planning/separation of duties is critical, especially as your team gets larger and decisions can’t be made on the fly.
I also make tons of lists and usually am pretty good at following up. I think I’m pretty organised and one of my previous partners joked that I wasn’t a procrastinator but rather a precrastinator. I’m not always waiting for perfection, I know that we can always improve what we first put out there. I often feel getting something down on a piece of paper or a whiteboard can help others form their thoughts and move forward, even if it’s not in the same direction. In general, I hope that my positive energy and drive motivates others around me to also move forward and do the same.
Lastly, I worked in finance at the beginning of my career and while it may not have been my ultimate path, I can’t stress how helpful it has been for me to be comfortable with numbers. Ultimately, while I believe that so many other parts of telling a story and building a brand are so important, I believe that numbers also tell a story and it’s important to understand what they are saying.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’m the co-founder of Three Spirit Drinks, a non-alcoholic brand made entirely of active plant ingredients. Our products are designed by bartenders and plant scientists and we’re focused on what goes in rather than what’s missed out! Our carefully researched ingredients provide a booze-free buzz.
I had worked on early-stage businesses for a while, but I felt like I wanted to do something from the beginning. It was like an itch in some ways that I needed to scratch. There were so many different skill sets I wanted to learn and improve on and as I’m pretty competitive, I felt a fierce desire to succeed and build something on my own! I teamed up with Tatiana and Dash and we launched at the end of 2018. Ayurvedic medicine is something I’ve always loved so I’ve really found my passion with Three Spirit Drinks.
A huge part of our early success was having a team with different skill sets so we each had an area to focus on. Tatiana co-founded BarChick, the platform reviewing the world’s best bars and cocktails, while Dash took the lead on product, working with our plant scientists to source the best possible ingredients. Meanwhile, I took charge of operations and finance. We put a lot of time into research and experimenting with what we wanted our product to be and how we wanted ethical resources and I think it shows.
Thanks to my experience as a serial entrepreneur and a start-up junkie, I could bring so many lessons I’d learnt along the way and hit the ground running. A big thing is trusting in others -you cannot do everything and that’s exactly why you should work with people who are smarter than you. I think everyone can teach us something and you don’t want to get in the habit of only listening to the highest paid person’s opinion.
The pandemic was difficult to navigate at first but I’m really proud of how we did, especially with remote working. Our team is all over the globe nowadays; I’m in the US and our lead on research is in Australia, while most of the team are in the UK. It means one person is always a little sleepy in our team meetings but I think we’ve made it work really well!
This year we launched in the US and have been so excited by the demand. It’s really cool to have customers on my side of the pond. We’ve had some really great press but we also received a lot of attention from a viral TikTok video… It can be challenging to try and predict how new media can sway sales, but we’re excited to see where things go!
- hike in runyon canyon or griffith park
- rent a bike and ride around Santa Monica
- have a coffee at Alfred on Melrose
- go vintage shopping on Melrose
- Take a Barrys class at Barry’s Weho
- dinner and cocktails at EP/LP in Weho
- Hit up WeHo for fun Gay Clubs — The Abbey, Beaches, HiTops
- Outdoor movie at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery
- Concert at the Troubadour
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to give a shoutout to two former bosses/colleagues, Stacey Seltzer and Matt Tucker. Both helped me realize and celebrate my strengths and know my edges. They have been peerless supporters in my entrepreneurial journeys. They have been great managers and taught me so much.
Other: TikTok: @threespirit