As a therapist and executive coach, I frequently speak with badass women encouraged to medicate away their feelings. Ashamed over what they perceive to be "emotional instability," they fear they're "too sensitive" to warrant a seat in the boardroom. They've been told tears don't belong in the workplace. They believe they're frauds the moment they notice anxiety creeping in (and then feel another layer of anxiety telling them to get rid of their anxiety).Read More
After a few minutes of speaking with Blue Mercury cofounder and CEO Marla Beck, it's clear why a box of the luxury retailer's most popular product – M-61 Power Glow Peel – is sold every eight seconds. During our interview for The Failure Factor, the mother-of-three reveals how the trailblazing e-commerce company almost failed initially, and Beck and her husband slept on his sister's couch for months to reduce burn while they pivoted to retail.Read More
In 1999, I was thirteen years old and using the internet to talk to boys over the newly released MSN Messenger. Michael Cammarata, also thirteen, was using the internet to make his first million. Introduced to the world of StarCraft by a neighbor, Cammarata began building related websites and programming software – before convincing his older brother (on whom he had "information") to give him two thousand dollars so he could purchase a dedicated server and start a hosting business. Over the next few years, Cammarata moved from hosting to online advertising and had created $85 million in revenue by his mid-twenties. He ultimately settled in the natural space as the cofounder and CEO of Schmidt's Naturals, one of the world’s fastest growing wellness brands.Read More
I didn't realize I had insomnia until I was in college, when a friend told me he'd "woke[n] up in the middle of the night" – and that was his whole story. I remember feeling confused – didn't everyone take hours to fall asleep, then wake up in the middle of the night six, seven, thirteen times like I did?Read More
During a recent emotional rough patch, I found myself craving dance. I've spent years optimizing my mental health and have learned dance is one of the most reliable ways of shifting my mood – particularly when its positive effects aren't negated shortly thereafter with a hangover (because historically for me they've gone hand-in-hand). So knowing 3am tequila shots and a regrettable makeout would probably cancel out the therapeutic benefits of a night of clubbing, I shot a text to a couple of friends asking if they had any recommendations for accessible (daytime, sober) dance workouts in the city. Both returned with the same answer: 305 Fitness.Read More
Earlier this year, a New York Times’ article summarized recent findings that acne can increase the risk for depression. Responses to the article ranged from “Well obviously!” to heartbreaking comments like “Acne destroyed my life [because of] relentless bullying, mockery, and humiliation.” Walter Faulstroh, founder and CEO of HUM Nutrition, knows the physical and emotional pain of acne well, struggling for years to find a sustainable solution for his breakouts.
As someone who chooses not to medicate their ADHD, I’ve accepted I’ll always require multiple sets of apartment keys and will keep replacing my credit cards monthly until I finally muster the focus to sign up for Apple Pay. But my distractibility and disorganization are well worth the tradeoff for the creativity, energy, enthusiasm, and intuition that have been integral in my success. Yet another strength of the “entrepreneurial superpower” is an affinity for multitasking – I love dividing my energy between coaching, writing, speaking, podcasting, creating digital content, and managing team members (who are much better at the administrative and production tasks on which I have trouble focusing)Read More
You should never mix business and pleasure, right? Dismissing the adage, millions of couples choose to start companies together. In 2000, it was estimated that 3 million of the 22 million US small business were couple-owned, and that number has likely risen. As a therapist and executive coach, I’m often privy to the challenges (and sometimes colossal disasters) that can emerge when romantic partners start businesses – or when business partners start romances. Help-seeking selection effect aside, most partnerships can agree there are inevitable strains placed on both the relationship and the business. Thus, I’m always curious to learn from the cofounder couples who are doing it right. Lara and Ben Mead, founders of Varley women’s activewear and lifestyle brand, are an example.Read More
I often (half) joke that dating is great training for entrepreneurship. Lack of predictability and control is common to both, and the discomfort of anxiety, rejection, disappointment, frustration, anger, powerlessness, and so on are inevitable. If we want to grow our businesses, we have to learn how to navigate the entrepreneurial emotional roller coaster – and dating in 2018 is excellent practice in said proverbial emotional roller coaster (especially in New York City).Read More
As a therapist and executive coach, part of my job is helping my clients get to know themselves really well – and learn what contributes to their optimal mental health and success. While one person might thrive in a fast-paced, high-energy environment, another might feel overstimulated and suffocated. Nikisha Riley, social media influencer, model, and skincare line entrepreneur was the latter. Raised in Brooklyn, the Folie Apothecary founder knew she needed an environment more conducive to mental health when she began having panic attacks, heart palpitations, and couldn’t leave the house unless a friend was with her. Unable to cope in the city, Riley moved to Austin, Texas, where she was later diagnosed with anxiety, mild depression, and ADHD.Read More
When you hear Melainie Rogers’ story, it’s not surprising she had the courage to call out Weight Watchers on their recent – and highly controversial – marketing strategy: Oprah’s favorite diet-empire announced it was offering free memberships to teens for the summer. This move that was met with understandable outrage from the eating disorder recovery community, as nearly 100 percent of eating disorders begins with a diet; teenage years are accompanied by natural pubescent weight-gain; and heck, confidence as a teen is difficult enough without feeling pressured to shrink.Read More
Solome Tibebu’s journey to becoming a leader in healthcare innovation, award-winning social entrepreneur, and advocate for mental health and diversity began with a blog: while still in high school, Tibebu experienced severe panic attacks and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Through various therapists, medications, and psychoeducation, she finally learned how to best manage her symptoms. She was, however, dismayed by the lack of online resources or community for youth going through something similar – which ultimately left her feeling isolated and misunderstood. So she decided to do something to change that, starting Anxiety In Teens and equipping young adults worldwide with tools and community to advance emotional wellness.Read More
Over the past few years, much of my work has been dedicated to hearing entrepreneurs’ stories of struggle and perseverance. Whether I’m interviewing them for The Failure Factor or coaching them to optimize their mental health, I’m constantly in the midst of an informal qualitative research project exploring entrepreneurial resilience.
My curiosity in entrepreneurs' mental health was, unsurprisingly, influenced by my personal history. A decade-plus-long battle with perfectionism-fueled eating disorders, depression and anxiety led me to pursue a masters in psychology and a career as a therapist. Uncomfortable with relying on others or acknowledging to them my limitations, I took matters into my own hands and decided to "figure myself out" (fifteen years later, I'm still in the process...). But I realized many of the characteristics that caused my suffering came from the same roots as the characteristics that caused my entrepreneurial strengths (more on this later) and became fascinated with entrepreneurs' psychological well-being. LEARN MORERead More
Amy Briant met her current cofounder, Lisa DeLarco Bonoff, on a flight from Palm Beach to New York City. They bonded over yoga and a mutual thirst for entrepreneurship, ultimately creating LUMION: a skincare line that boasts a proprietary ingredient, hypochlorus acid. A year and a half after launch, I interview them for The Failure Factor in Bonoff's Flatiron apartment – and Briant shares her story of learning the hard way how not to behave in a cofounder partnership. LEARN MORERead More
Jessie Andrews' journey into entrepreneurship was anything but traditional. The self-made serial fashion-brand founder didn't finish high school, pursued a career in adult film, and toured as an international DJ and producer. She then taught herself the ins and outs of the fashion business – all before her twenty-first birthday. Her Bagatiba line quickly became a go-to celebrity favorite – worn by the Hadids, Jenners & Kardashians – shortly after which she launched two more brands: Basic Swim and Jeu Illimité. LEARN MORERead More
When you hear the short-story version of why she started Ollie, you might assume Gabby Slome is impulsive. While she and her husband were traveling Columbia, they found themselves being followed – by the dog who would later sit in on our interview at the all-natural, human-grade dog food company’s Flatiron HeadquartersRead More
Believe what you want in the conversation around Miki Agrawal‘s leadership, but there’s no denying she’s an expert in resilience. Known for taboo industry innovation, controversial subway ads, and a publicly challenging departure from her role as CEO of THINX, she’s appropriately titled her second upcoming book, ‘Disrupt-Her.’Read More
“You know if your leg is broken,” Bobby Kim assures me with a laugh in the opening moments of our interview for The Failure Factor. He recounts how he recently “hit an edge skate[board]ing in the half bowl” behind his company’s California headquarters.
I cringe – flashing back to my own experiences with broken bones – yet I can’t help but feel slightly heart-warmed the founder is still embodying the culture his streetwear line was built around fourteen years ago. Since then, The Hundreds has become a worldwide brand, worn by celebrities Kanye West and Justin Bieber
In my 20’s, I hoped the proverbial “baby clock” just hadn’t kicked in. I’d always felt ambivalent about having kids, and this awareness was disconcerting for me. Not yearning to one day be a parent as my friends and clients did left me questioning my makeup – and my worth. So I desperately hoped something would shift inside of me. Life is seemingly easier when we want the things we’re “supposed” to.
But said “clock” has yet to turn on, and despite my extensive training in psychology and my non-conformist mindset, I still feel ashamed of my ambivalence at times. Logically I know there’s nothing wrong with me, and voluntary childlessness is on the rise; emotionally, though, I fear others will perceive me as cold, less attractive, or “flawed.”Read More