She traded green for a green thumb. Shizu Okusa is the founder and CEO of Apothékary, a fair trade, plant-derived wellness brand. The 32-year-old left her job at Goldman Sachs to build her “farmacy of the future,” saying “I just felt very drained… I left so I didn’t get trapped into the cycle of money.”

Now 18 months into helming Apothékary, Shizu shares how she leads a team from the opposite coast, writes away the negative thoughts, and turns her pre-work stress into pre-work sweat.

4 A.M. I go to bed by 9 every day. I feel like such a grandma! But I’m currently in San Francisco, so my team is 3 hours ahead. I wake up [early] so I can ground myself and show up more present for the team and customers.

4:30 A.M. I do some journaling on an 8.5” by 11” piece of paper that I print out. It’s 1-2-3: 1 is “Today I will focus on,” 2 is “I am grateful for,” and 3 is “I will let go of.” I find that early in the morning, if I can focus on what I’m grateful for, it comes from a place of love and abundance [rather] than fear and scarcity. That’s something I’ve only introduced recently, because I found my mind has been focusing on negative stuff, and I needed to change.

5 A.M. I go straight to my coffee or matcha. Before I put the coffee into the cup, though, I have my [Apothékary] powders in the blend. So I add Mind Over Matter, which is lion’s mane, chaga mushroom, reishi, and a bit of coconut. Then I just have coffee; I don’t add any creamer or milk or sugar. I drink that for about 2-3 hours until I start to get hungry.

5:45 A.M. I usually do movement. Sometimes when I wake up and feel I’m in a rut, I like The Class because there’s an element of ”HA!” You shout and let out this cathartic breathwork, so that reminds me of my time in Bali [studying] Kundalini yoga. That’s been great for morning stress relief, or I’ll do Solidcore, which helps my core strength and focus. I do that for about an hour, then lie there for 15 minutes decompressing, stretching it out, and then just deep breaths.

7 A.M. I check Slack, and am catching up on emails for the first 2 hours of my day. Then I take my meetings mostly between 9 and 11 in the morning. I’m at the crossroads now where I think, “Do we bootstrap, or are we going to fundraise and continue to grow this with some external support?” That’s kind of where we’re at, [so] most of my calls are investor or advisor calls.

11 A.M. I have my first real protein-heavy meal. It’s funny, like pre-COVID I never really cooked. But now I do more meal prep than ever. Right now I’m focused more on eggs, a lot of Japanese sushi, or food that I make at home and has lived in my traditions for a long time. Today I had a big, warm Buddha bowl with edamame, avocado, and tamagoyaki—which is a sweet Japanese egg custard. Then I go for a walk or check in with a friend.