It’s become a running joke between my dad and me that I have a new best friend every day.
The adage stems from the common practice I’ve adopted sprinting out of my interviews and exclaiming “I love them!” seconds after I hang up with our guests on Skype.
Hosting 33founders is an enormous blessing for so many reasons.
While I’m hugely grateful for the knowledge our founders and investors share, I’m most appreciative for the kindness they exude to help others; Especially my generation of entrepreneurs who are hungry to learn from their stories.
My time with Rachel Blumenthal, the Founder and CEO of Cricket’s Circle, was no exception.
The best part of our conversation was the ability to see parts of my journey evident in hers.
I spent my first few months working obsessing over everything; Was I dedicating enough time to work? Why didn’t this person respond to my email? How could I have forgotten to ask founder ‘x’ about the childhood experience that inspired them to start their business?
My obsession to accelerate my growth caused me to be less productive and miss important opportunities, especially ones to spend time with family and friends.
Being present is the most important lesson I’ll take from my time with Rachel, who’s become a role model for me to shape the way I approach my work and life.
While I deeply admire Rachel for building Cricket’s Circle to simplify the buying process for new parents (seriously you have no idea what and how much you need!), I’m most grateful that she shared her story with me.
Before our conversation, I was confident that Rachel was an innate, fearless risk taker. Thus, you can imagine my surprise when she shared that Rachel Leigh, the fashion jewelry brand she launched at 23, was created by accident.
After Lucky magazine had written about a ring she created for herself while working in PR at Yves Saint Laurent, Daily Candy prepared a feature for Rachel Leigh on the site.
The only problem with the feature was that the brand didn’t exist.
It was this onslaught of buyers, editors and customers who wanted this brand that didn’t exist.
Rachel improvised. She tracked down a high school friend to create a website, designed jewelry in her living room and started building a brand she never set out to create.
Eight years later, Rachel Leigh was named one of Oprah’s Favorite Things and sold in over 300 retailers like Shopbob and Bergdorf Goodman. Rachel licensed the brand to Glamhouse in 2011.
When it came to building the company, Rachel shares that she simply followed the “Fake it until you make it” mantra.
I’ve always been curious about how entrepreneurs ‘fake it until they make it.’ Mostly on an internal level. How does it feel to work day in and day out to prove your vision to investors, customers, and more importantly, yourself?
According to Rachel, the simplest way to survive is building something you believe in; A quality she admires in her husband Neil and friend Alexa Von Tobel.
Most significantly, perspective reigns essential. For Type A’s especially, it’s vital to understand your personal and professional work in the bigger picture.
You can only do as much as you can possibly do. You have to be comfortable and accept that.
Rachel shares that the acceptance is a psychological shift; Difficult but worth it.
The most effective way change your habits is to practice being present.
Rachel strives to focus on the now and solve immediate problems; Rather than consuming the countless out-coming tasks that demand her attention.
When it comes to presence, Rachel’s greatest role model is her son, Griffin. At four years old (and adorable!) Griffin is deeply immersed in the present, latching on to each experience he has. Based on his wide-eyed and carefree smile, I think we should follow his lead.
I urge you to tune into Rachel’s 33founders interview to listen to her honest account of life as an entrepreneur and how being present has enabled her to capitalize on enriching personal and professional opportunities.
Here’s a glimpse of what we discuss:
- The Cricket’s Circle Mission
- Her journey building Rachel Leigh from her living room to being sold in 300 retail stores
- How to calm your type A personality
- How to be present
- Why it’s important to say no
- How MeUndies Made Merchandising Their Competitive Advantage — When MeUndies thinks about their underwear subscription service they compare themselves to Netflix. What the streaming pioneer did for TV, the Los Angeles startup wants to do to your underwear drawer. The goal is to provide monthly subscribers with the staples they love while delivering elements of surprise - Think briefs with donuts and dinosaurs - right to your doorstep.
- Michael Serbinis: What I've Learned — Visionary Entrepreneur, investor and CEO and Founder of the new healthcare startup, LEAGUE, Michael Serbinis shares what he learned building three disruptive startups, selling two of them and working with Kimbal and Elon Musk.
- Seedling Relies on Childhood Curiosity to Inspire a Creative Team — On a recent flight home, I spent over an hour browsing a children’s play website, completely enamored by sets like Design Your Own Superhero Cape and Invent Your Own Insects. After sharing Seedling with everyone I know, despite few of my friends having children, I wondered why the brand struck a such a meaningful chord with me.
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