Tell us a bit about yourself! How did you get started with your current career path/business journey?
I have always been passionate about helping people communicate, connect, and grow professionally. After a career in management consulting, I returned to school to earn a graduate degree in international affairs. I then started a policy group to bring together NYC-based business and policy professionals to share ideas about how organizations could have more social impact in their communities. That experience led me to a wonderful network of women entrepreneurs that began in 2015 at the Grind co-working space, and I became involved in planning learning events for the community. In 2018, we "flew the coop" and became Fly Female Founders, an educational nonprofit that helps women build successful businesses, learn new skills, share knowledge, and collaborate. We currently have a wonderful network of over 900 entrepreneurs and are excited that we all continue to learn and grow together.
How are you overcoming challenges during the pandemic as a business owner?
It has been challenging in some ways and rewarding in others. Fly Female Founders have moved our events online, which has enabled us to learn new skills and also bring our programs to a new and broader audience. However, much of our value derives from the in-person connections we make at our in-real-life events. While we are grateful to stay connected and learn new skills, we are also looking forward to a time when we can connect personally. I've also capitalized on my communications and business-writing background to help organizations develop thought leadership and communicate their best thinking to their clients and constituents.
What does your day to day schedule look like working from home?
Every day is different depending on conference calls and deadlines. Typically, I have more mental energy in the morning, so after coffee and a check on the news and email, I work from about 7:00 a.m. to about 2:00 p.m. I'll take a break to eat and watch the daily press briefing by Governor Cuomo, which I find essential for its fact-based presentation and inspirational messages. I then clean the house and go out to do whatever errands are necessary. Late afternoon is for catching up with my mother and sister in Florida, chatting with friends, and then finishing up business or personal work in the early evening after dinner. I'm usually in bed by 10:00 p.m. and hopefully don't stay up too late watching Netflix. Ozark kept me up all night, as did Bosch and Bordertown. All great shows. That's a bad habit so I'm going to try to read more. We'll see!
In what ways are you taking care of your personal well being and what are your #selfcare tips?
I will admit that my intentions are often loftier than what I do in practice. I aim to do a few things each day that further some healthy or intellectual goal: getting out for a run, going for a walk in my Brooklyn neighborhood to pick up essentials (observing social-distancing guidelines), reading (to get away from the news!) and texting frequently with different groups of friends to discuss current events. I also have standing Zoom meetings with colleagues and virtual happy hours with friends to stay connected. I have some home repair projects that I'll get to when the weather is warmer and I can open the windows to let in some fresh air!
How are you inviting others to take a seat at the table #virtually?
Being able to do our Fly Female Founders programs online has the advantage of expanding our network to people who could not always attend in person due to travel or other business and personal obligations. It's a bit easier to hop on a call from home, so our events have been well attended. We have encouraged our network to invite their friends and colleagues, and we are experimenting with different ways to network in small groups so participants can both learn from our speakers and make new connections.
What impact has Luminary made in your career? eg: Business Generated, Revenue, New Clients, Career Connections, Advancement Opportunities
Luminary has been essential. Before the social distancing guidelines, it was such a great, welcoming community to find after I had been working independently for a few years with no "home base." Over the past two months, Luminary has done a fantastic job of pivoting to building a strong online community. The transition has been very professional and I've admired how seamlessly we've been able to stay connected despite the fact that we can't enjoy each other's company in person right now. All the women I've met are super interesting, professional, and inspiring!