Tell us a bit about yourself! How did you get started with your current career path/business journey?I was a journalist for 15 years before I accidentally became a voice app designer and developer. Little did I know that some of the voice apps (known as skills) I built on the Amazon Alexa ecosystem two years ago would help steer my career in an unexpected direction. Earlier this year, Amazon named me an Alexa Champion, an honor that gives me so much pride. So when the pandemic hit, and I noticed that my voice apps were helping kids and their families get through stay-at-home orders, I decided that focusing on my company Appy Sloth was my calling. Imagine the dance moves I broke into when I saw my app Freeze Dance featured right next to a skill by Disney.
How are you overcoming challenges during the pandemic as a business owner?
I’m in completely new territory, and I’m surrounding myself (virtually) with some really smart people and constantly reviewing the milestones I’ve set for myself.3
What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why?
The unknown doesn’t scare me and I love challenges. When I was a reporter at Fortune Magazine, I had no background in financial journalism but I obsessively learned everything I could -- from dissecting corporate financial statements to schooling myself on how global markets worked -- to succeed at my job. I still love geeking out over financial markets. I think this is a mindset that comes from growing up with immigrant parents in a tough neighborhood in Brooklyn.
What’s a mistake you made early on in your career, and what did you learn from it?
I didn’t negotiate my salary when I got an offer for my first job. I asked for a raise the minute I could, and you bet I negotiated my compensation package for other roles thereafter.
What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on?
I’ve been diving deeper into the world of artificial intelligence.
In what ways are you taking care of your personal well being and what are your #selfcare tips?
I block out time on my calendar for self-care, whether it’s a daily walk, Peloton ride, meditation, or putting on a face mask. I also make sure to connect with my closest friends on a weekly basis.
How are you inviting others to take a seat at the table #virtually?
If I hear of opportunities that’d be fitting for a friend or woman in my circle, I will offer to make a connection.
What impact has Luminary made in your career? eg: Business Generated, Revenue, New Clients, Career Connections, Advancement Opportunities
Luminary holds a special place in my heart because It’s a safe space where I am surrounded by badass, smart, and authentic women. It’s a community that inspires and energizes me constantly.