I was introduced to Tracy Rosensteel many years ago by my colleague, Paul Lanzarotti, who described her as the most fascinating person he ever met. This reputation is well-deserved, and Tracy and I recently met up to catch up on her ventures. We discussed her TV series, which initially aired on PBS and was just picked up by Amazon, and the deal she recently closed on Shark Tank for a business she launched during the pandemic.
Her secret to success is also the name of her show, In Pursuit of Passion. Tracy created the concept on a walk with her Dad when they discussed what would be her dream job and went on to produce and star in the series. The show chronicles her adventures with people around the world who love what they do. Episodes include Tracy joining a combat simulation with US fighter pilots and a swim to Victoria Falls’ edge with founder and philanthropist of Abercrombie and Kent, Geoffrey Kent.
Tracy is a dynamic entrepreneur with a background in finance. Her passions include photography, travel, fly fishing, and writing children’s books. Her newest business is a consumer product designed to support pet owners and save the planet. Tracy has a beloved 9-year-old French bulldog, and she grew tired of using plastic bags to pick up after him on his twice-daily walks. She also noticed how much plastic ended up in the trash cans at the corners of Manhattan. She knew there had to be a better way, so she conducted three years of research to find an alternative, and Pooch Paper was born.
Her friends encouraged her to go on Shark Tank to pitch the idea, and out of 44,000 applications, Tracy was one of 140 people that made it to the current season. In episode two that aired in late 2020, she cut a deal with Kevin O’Leary aka “Mr. Wonderful” who also gave Tracy her own nickname during the show’s negotiations, “Wall Street Tracy.” She knew that stuck when a random New Yorker recently called out “Hey, Wall Street Tracy!” on the street.
After some back and forth, she raised $250,000 from Kevin in exchange for a $1 royalty per box in perpetuity. She shared that was precisely the partner and deal she hoped for before she filmed the episode. Pooch Paper is Made in the USA and is a recycled, non-chlorine bleached paper alternative to single-use plastic dog waste bags. The company’s sustainability model helps pups, people, and the planet. After seven days, Pooch Paper is 10x more effective in composting than their competitor and is available at Amazon, Chewy, and many retail outlets, including Target.
Here is Tracy’s advice for others who are on a passion hunt:
- Consider using your day job to fund your dreams. As she launched her show’s production, Tracy convinced a former employer to hire her as a consultant.
- Keep your childlike creativity alive. For Tracy, illustrating her dog’s adventures in New York City is one of her outlets.
- Seek out and surround yourself with other passionate people. Passion is contagious.
If you would like to learn more about discovering your passions and purpose, explore this program.