Interview with CEO Natalie Rechberg-Egly
Fight For What You Want But Be Flexible On Your Path
Interviewer: Yitzi Weiner - a “Positive” Influencer, Editor of Authority Magazine and CEO of Thought Leader Incubator
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
My story is deeply rooted in family. I landed in this industry following my father’s footsteps who developed the first personal fertility computer in 1986, the Lady-Comp, in an effort to support my mother in her decision to avoid hormonal birth control and the side effects that come with it. As the oldest of five daughters, I intently watched him with a keen interest as he further developed innovative and technologically advanced methods for pregnancy prevention and planning.
I always knew that I wanted to work in this field. What could be more beneficial and rewarding than helping other women? The technology we have pioneered has allowed women to plan or prevent pregnancy as they choose in a way that is easy, accurate, and fitting for their lifestyle. In the process, we are also able to guide women in connecting with their cycles while taking charge of their fertility, which has always truly been my driving force. You will be surprised how empowering it is to truly understand your own menstrual cycle.
Over the years, I worked in nearly every department of Lady-Comp acquainting myself with all aspects of the business. Keeping a pulse on the market, I noticed and some key opportunities for further innovation to meet the needs of the modern woman. I found that pill sales were stagnating and women were looking for a healthy, hormone-free alternatives that were simple, fast, and accurate. Knowing the busy lifestyle we all have, it was evident that we needed to create a tool that seamlessly connected to a smartphone so women on the go could have access to their fertility information at their fingertips.
I took the original, experienced, and trusted technology created by my father and created Daysy, the first standalone fertility tracker which does all the math for you, minimizes user errors, and can be connected to an App for more cycle insights or to share it with your doctor or partner. We started selling Daysy in May of 2014 in Switzerland. Just four short years later, we’ve expanded into 13 countries and have more than 40 employees.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
When I attended my first tradeshow with my father, I was shocked to find myself as the only female in the room where countless businessmen were discussing menstrual cycles. I watched as my father explained (in a manly tone) our products to those who came along interested in distribution. I knew then I wanted to provide a female voice in this space.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
We managed to become successful one step at a time. We avoid rushing things following a simple belief — product quality and accuracy always comes first. We do not over create just to be trendy, instead we stick to what we are good at and what we believe in.
Daysy was the first of its kind on the market to combine a medical device with an app. Nowadays there are hundreds of period tracking apps out there and yes, there are others in the space, but we continue to concentrate on what’s important: simplicity, quality, accuracy, and experience. Our mission is to provide women with the knowledge and tools they need to accurately make informed and powerful choices about their menstrual cycle, their fertility, and their body. With a 30 year history, Daysy has staying power.
Are you working on any new or exciting projects now?
Our inventive team is most fulfilled when we are challenging ourselves to elevate or evolve our current technology. There are many new possibilities and updates for Daysy that will roll out in the coming years. Stay tuned!
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
Informed by own experience, I find it valuable to allow employees to explore every department to understand the whole company and discover where they fit within the company. If they want to switch jobs, let them! Give them space, flexibility, and be an encourager. The world has enough critics and as a leader I want my employees to know I am invested in their thriving, honoring them for who they are. This championing of employees always results in higher team morale and in turn a successful business.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Undoubtedly, my father. As business partners since 2008, he taught me so much about the female health-tech world and inspired my passion, drive, and business outlook. He has challenged me throughout all these years, even doubting my plans and ideas. I am grateful I was able to prove him wrong and more importantly fully earn his trust. Today I run his operations, but he remains a valuable resource and support system for me.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Every day we offer woman an empowering tool for both body and menstrual cycle literacy, improving women’s health, wellness, self-knowledge, and self-confidence.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Don’t rush it -Of course time to market plays a huge role, but quality should always come first. Always keep the customer in mind. Great things take time. Always sleep on it.
- Fight for what you want but be flexible on your path - When I set my mind on something, it is easy latch on to a single-minded approach and narrow focus in pursuit of my goal. However, throughout the years I’ve learned flexibility is crucial. There are times that I’ve been on the wrong path and just needed to course correct. I know am cautious to always listen and be open to where our efforts may take us.
- Being an entrepreneur is a 24/7 365 days job and that’s ok - There is no day that passes that I don’t think about my job. I’ve just learned how to temper those thoughts and not let them steal my attention away from other things that matter. It is key to consciously acknowledge the work related thought that comes to mind (write it down if need be!) and let it pass.
- Keep your passion and express it - As a leader in a company your passion will affect every corner of your business. Constantly re affirm the WHY behind what you do when sharing your heart behind your project. This will give meaning and motivation to your team.
- Stay true to yourself - Many people (like myself right now!) will give you advice in how to lead and operate your business. It is important to trust your gut if any advice feels off to you. Be empowered by who you are uniquely as a leader.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?
Manifest your dreams
I live by it and see it as a daily reminder in my calendar.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this :-)
Donald Trump - I would like to educate him about female health and what it’s like to have a period. Maybe it would open his eyes to why investing in women’s health and ensuring that women have access to health services is so important to millions of women nationwide.
Meghan Markle -Meghan has always first and foremost been an activist and advocate for women. Before she was a princess, and even before she was an actress she was standing up for gender equality. I’d love to talk with her about her work combatting period poverty and how she plans to continue her advocacy work with her new platform.
Oprah Winfrey - She empowers women worldwide and is one of my personal heroes. I would like to learn how she balances her work life while maintaining meaningful relationships, all while simultaneously changing the world.