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Join host Paul Shapiro as he talks with some of the leading start-up entrepreneurs and titans of industry alike using their businesses to help solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Oct 15, 2020

This is a special episode, because the guest holds many interesting titles for our purposes: Toni Okamoto is the founder of Plant Based on a Budget, a successful author, the creator and former co-host of this podcast, and...she happens also to be my wife. And Toni has a new book coming out! This is her third cookbook, entitled The Friendly Vegan Cookbook, which is coauthored with Toni's business partner and friend Michelle Cehn.

Now, before you think this is just some act of nepotism to promote my wife's new book (which is certainly worth promoting, nepotism or not!), as you'll soon hear, Toni has a fascinating tale to tell about her success as an entrepreneur. In this episode we chat about what led her to leave the comfortable life of a paycheck and benefits to take a bet on starting her own company based on her passion: helping people save money by eating plant-based. 

With no outside investment and just by bootstrapping with revenue she's brought in, Toni has built her company into a powerhouse, providing jobs for six people (plus herself) and reaching vast numbers of people with a potent message about how to live more sustainably each day. It's normally taboo to talk about how much money someone makes, but Toni gets into the specific numbers here to offer details about her business' various revenue streams.

So if you've ever wondered how social media influencers actually make a living and what their lives are like, including the barrage of both encouragement and criticism they receive online daily, this episode will answer that plus a whole lot more. 

Discussed in this episode

About Toni Okamoto

Toni Okamoto is the founder of Plant-Based on a Budget, the popular website and meal plan that shows you how to save dough by eating veggies. She’s also the author of the Plant-Based on a Budget cookbook, The Super Easy Vegan Slow Cooker Cookbook, and the Friendly Vegan Cookbook. She’s also the co-host of The Plant-Powered People Podcast. 

Okamoto’s work has been profiled by NBC News, Parade Magazine, and she’s a regular presence on local and national morning shows across the country, where she teaches viewers how to break their meat habit without breaking their budget. She was also featured in the popular documentary What the Health. When she’s not cooking up a plant-based storm, she’s spending time with her husband Paul Shapiro and dog Eddie in Sacramento, Calif.