How Ready-to-Eat Oats Fuel Active and Productive Lifestyles with Ashley Thompson of MUSH
Everyone meet MUSH! MUSH, our ready-to-eat oats partner, fuels the peak performer in all of us. MUSH believes in the simple combination of natural ingredients that provides you a plant-based, protein-rich, good fiber, gluten-free, dairy-free, artificial flavor & color free, preservative-free, filler-free snack that’s easy to eat when you need to keep your day going, saving you time and keeping you energized throughout the day. Speaking of oats, they are great for heart health. We recently connected with Ashley Thompson, co-founder of MUSH, to learn her inspiration for this unique take on overnight oats, how she meets and exceeds goals, and how MUSH powers it all.
MUSH. What inspired the name?
Growing up, I soaked different mixtures of cereal in milk overnight in preparation for breakfast. Believe it or not, I really enjoyed soggy cereal as well as the convenience of having my breakfast ‘already ready’ by the time I woke up. My father took note of my routine and frequently asked me, “what’s in your MUSH today?” on our drive to school. It was a nice way to start early morning conversations and a simple pleasure that brightened my day. My father is also an entrepreneur, and I love that his DNA is baked into my own entrepreneurial journey in this way.
How does MUSH fuel an active and productive lifestyle?
Active lifestyles require time efficiency and clean energy, both of which MUSH provides. Our oats are made with simple, delicious, nutrient-dense ingredients that keep you fuller for longer, and they’re ready to eat, so you don’t have to worry about wasting any time cooking or prepping. Our products are also great for any age or time of day, and that versatility really empowers people to seize the day!
MUSH in the morning, afternoon, or night?
Any and all! MUSH is the perfect breakfast, pre/post-workout snack, or even dessert after dinner. We make a variety of delicious flavors to suit all daytimes.
How do you set performance goals and achieve them? Any tips?
I like to use the SMART framework for goal setting – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. Scoping all five of those vectors effectively enables success, especially the ‘attainable’ part of a goal. Setting realistic expectations is incredibly important. One of the main reasons people don’t achieve their goals is because they give up! People and teams often set unrealistic beliefs about what it will take to achieve a goal, and they quit before getting to the finish line. Spend time understanding what a goal truly entails, and you’ll be sure to experience higher rates of success.
Finance to snacks sounds like a big jump. How did you approach that transition?
I approached the transition with a ton of humility, curiosity, and discipline. I acknowledged that I knew nothing about CPG, asked as many questions as possible about CPG, and maintained a maniacal focus on my goal of building a great product, brand, and company.
How have MUSH’s humble beginnings influenced the brand today?
Environment is the hidden force that guides our behavior. Our humble beginnings have shaped the culture at MUSH by instilling six core values in our people – learning, innovating, taking action, being resourceful, demanding excellence, and being customer-obsessed. We have a deep appreciation for our roots because of this.
When was the “A-HA!” moment? When did it click that MUSH was right for you?
So many different experiences and aspects of my life led me to this crazy idea of selling cold oatmeal. It was a long and iterative thought process that ended in an “A-HA” moment right before I quit my job. I had collected and connected countless data points to make sense of a bigger picture. The key to all of it was never giving up on ideating and thinking and dreaming and then mustering up enough courage to take the first step. You don’t need courage for the entire journey, in the beginning, only enough for those first few steps.
Favorite MUSH product?
My favorite flavor hasn’t been released yet… cliff-hanger! I absolutely love our dark chocolate, though. It satisfies any craving at any time of day, it’s so flavorful and delicious, and it’s packed full of antioxidants. Win-win-win in my book.
“Start Even If You Don’t Know How” – How do you apply this mantra to your life?
As Confucius once said, “I hear, and I forget; I see, and I remember; I do, and I understand.” I am a big believer in action learning, which is the process of doing, then reflecting, and learning. Why? Because you actually learn and understand far more by doing than through any other method of learning like reading or observing. Also, there’s asymmetric risk/reward with action in the beginning of a journey. You have so much to gain by doing something, even if it’s the ‘wrong’ thing, and so much to lose by doing nothing. Take a small step in any direction, and it will undoubtedly lead you to a better one.
MUSH and other great brands owned by great people are available right now for 15% off. Check it out and get started today.