Living the Dream: Lisa Blau

Name: Lisa Blau

Age: 33

Location: New York, N.Y.

Education: B.A. from Duke, M.B.A. from Harvard

Job Title: Cofounder and editor in chief of VitalJuice.com, a free daily e-mail delivering the latest information on fitness, nutrition, beauty, and wellness. VitalJuice currently has three daily editions: Everywhere, New York, and Los Angeles, in addition to a Moms issue that comes out every Friday.

What She Does: Lisa’s day starts at 6:30 a.m., when she begins her job of managing, overseeing, and editing copy for all of the VitalJuice.com editions. After an hour on e-mail, she’ll typically spend some time with her 10-month-old before diving into the rest of her day. Lisa works with her editors to identify which stories will be the best to cover, while also making time to connect with public relations experts and various leads for upcoming stories. When she’s not doing all of that, Lisa makes sure the back end of the business is running smoothly, writes the Moms edition, and performs a thorough analysis of newswires and blogs for future VitalJuice.com issues. Whew!

How She Got Her Gig: Lisa started VitalJuice.com in May 2007 with her friend and business school classmate Amanda Freeman. The pair wanted to find just the right concept for their own digital media company, and health and wellness was a natural fit. “It’s absolutely how I live my life. From what I put in and on my body to what I do with my body each day,” says Lisa. Combining their passion with their savvy business know-how earned the pair major industry kudos when Pilot Group, the investors for heavy-hitting sites such as Daily Candy, Ideal Bite, and Thrillist, agreed to invest in VitalJuice.com.

Vital What? The name VitalJuice.com was a well-thought-out, calculated move for Lisa and Amanda. “We wanted something to represent the fact that we were giving people healthy nuggets in small, bite-size pieces of information. Juice is generally thought of as healthy, and we thought our e-mails were like little sips of health. Vital came from the fact that we think the information we’re sharing is vital to living a healthy life,” says Lisa.

Know Your Business: To stay on top of what’s happening in the health and wellness world, Lisa reads health newswires like Reuters and HealthDay; industry newsletters on fitness, nutrition, and beauty; along with blogs and local press for their current markets—every day. And it doesn’t stop there. Lisa firmly believes in the power of networking. “Even when you don’t think you can fit another coffee into your day, I always think you never know—and make time for a networking meeting.” Because of this, Lisa and Amanda were able to use relationships they formed to fund VitalJuice and to secure additional investments in their company.

The Power of the Press: Early on, VitalJuice.com received a huge bonus—media coverage from celeb-focused TMZ. It was an absolute win for Lisa and Amanda, but their website crashed because it couldn't handle the number of hits. Lisa chalks this experience up to the importance of always being prepared for the unexpected. Now the two are on to bigger and better high-profile coverage—Oprah. “Right now we’re 100% focused on Oprah! Her motto is ‘Live Your Best Life,’ and that’s exactly what we are all about. We’re pitching hard to make an appearance on her show,” says Lisa.

Beat the Stress:
Stress management is critical to sustainability and, let’s face it, happiness. The only part of this job Lisa doesn’t enjoy is feeling like she can’t possibly do the 50 million things she needs to. So, to make sure she keeps the stress at bay, Lisa makes exercise, sleep, and eating well top priorities. “If any one of those gives in a significant way, my ability to manage stress breaks down almost immediately,” says Lisa.

This Job’s for You if: You’re creative, have a solid understanding of digital media, and have the ability to sell. “Find your passion and test your concept—be disciplined about your ability to generate revenue. If you have a solid business plan you believe in, network like crazy,” says Lisa. “Just when you’re ready to give up is usually when the business gets interesting.”


Written by: Heather Strang

Heather Strang is a writer passionate about living an authentic life. Her writing has appeared in national blogs, books and a host of print and online publications. At any given time, you'll find her writing, teaching, creating new recipes and single-handedly attempting to change the world. Email her at: heather@heatherstrang.com