1. I’ve wanted to be an entrepreneur ever since I was a papergirl.
As soon as I could work, I did. I was 13 or 14 when I became a papergirl delivering The Courier News in Central New Jersey. I loved making money, investing my money, and growing my “business,” so to speak. I even designed my own crude accounting system that categorized how much I brought in each week. I still have the spreadsheets from my system and it makes me laugh to see how my mind was working back then. It’s also a good reminder to see how far I’ve come.
2. I swam in the Hudson River off of Manhattan, on purpose. Five times.
Every summer, New York City hosts an Olympic distance triathlon and I competed in it five times. The most remarkable thing about this race this the one mile swim in the Hudson River. I’ve always had an irrational fear of open water swimming, so I love how this race dares me to go outside of my comfort zone. I also love telling people, “Yeah, I swam in that,” when I’m near the river. To me it’s a badge of honor, but most people just think it’s gross.
3. This year I co-facilitated two workshops at Burning Man.
Once a year I come together with my playa family to expand, share, commune, and awaken our creativity and then bring inspiration and new possibilities back home. For the past three years, I’ve been blessed to be a part of a camp that’s a grounding, healing oasis in Black Rock City that serves thousands of guests each burn. This year, I co-facilitated two workshops on raising your vibration based on a practice that some friends and I created.
4. I’ve done many of the iconic treks around the world.
Every year for the past 10 years or so I’ve traveled with a group of friends on epic trekking adventures. So far, we’ve summited Mount Kilimanjaro, trekked around Patagonia (twice), explored the Mt. Everest and Annapurna regions of Nepal, the Markha Valley in northern India, Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador, and Mt. Whitney, Mt. Washington, and countless parks in the American West. I love NYC, but I love getting out of New York City and going off the grid just as much.
5. My first job after college was in political polling.
I worked for a press poll of the news networks that conducted the exit polls for the presidential primaries and general election in 1996. Every election night, we were conducting a massive, high profile research project in real time, including fielding, analysis and reporting. On election nights we worked out of the World Trade Center. While I geeked out on the research process of the job, I wasn’t as passionate about politics at the time, and after the elections, I joined a start-up doing audience research in radio, music, and entertainment
6. I’m a vegan.
Everyone always has follow up questions after this one, don’t worry I’ll elaborate. When’s the last time you ate meat? About 10 years ago. Where do you get your protein? Everywhere, I just try to eat whole, healthy foods. Why? I think there are usually a few things that come together and inspire this lifestyle. The tipping point for me was Michael Pollen’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which illuminated the choices I had been blindly making around food.
7. I grew up in an asbestos factory town.
That’s right, you read that correctly. I grew up in an asbestos factory town in Central New Jersey called Manville, named after the asbestos company, Johns-Manville. Manville is an oddity in that it’s a little, blue-collar town in the middle of one of the wealthiest counties in the country, Somerset County. My connection to Manville gives me perspectives I don’t get exposed to while living in New York City.
8. I de-stress with a sober dance party mixed with meditation.
You can often find me and some of the Front Row team at 5 Rhythms, a movement meditation class. There are 5 Rhythms offerings around the world, but the practice originated in NYC and there is a strong, intense scene here. 5R looks like a sober dance party, though it’s deeper than that, and it’s a place to go to lose your mind and get into your body in supportive environment where anything goes. When I’m in town, I love to hit the class on Sunday mornings called Sweat Your Prayers.
9. Some of my biggest business breakthroughs were inspired by sound meditations
I belong to an incredible women’s circle of fellow entrepreneurs and business owners and we meet monthly to share, collaborate, and “go wide,” meaning we pretty much discuss BIG, transformational business ideas only. Our circle often does sound meditations together and I’ve found sound always helps open my mind to new possibilities when used in this way.
10. Being an entrepreneur was one of my biggest sources of growth.
Just after I started my company, I read a Malcolm Gladwell article about how entrepreneurs take risks because they’re under the delusion that what they’re doing isn’t risky. But then, trapped in mid-mountain, they discover the truth but since they’re too far along, they’re forced to finish the job. Giving up a cushy job at CAA and becoming an entrepreneur tested me in ways I never imagined, but it’s made me the person I am today. Now, 6 years in, I can honestly say I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.