tips

Need Tips For Getting Started in Business? Ask Sarah Kunst.

The Universe Has Your Back Blog.png

Sarah Kunst, creator of the app Proday, which provides workout routines from fitness celebrities and world-renowned athletes, has been making it big in business. Her app has been funded by the L.A. Dodgers, Arielle Zukerberg, and features routines from athletes such as Delanie Walker from the Tennessee Titans. She is on the board for Venture for America, a venture capitalist herself, and a successful entrepreneur.

Sarah offers us some helpful tips for those trying to navigate the business world and create a successful startup.

Sarah Kunst.jpg

How did you get started in your career? What were the pivotal moments that helped you realize that you were on the right path?

I got started in college working for Apple in a marketing role and found a passion for tech and strong brands, which took me to Chanel out of college. Then I got into the Startup world. There was never a clear path, but I always worked hard, read about industries I was interested in, and helped people.

“If you’re smart, hard working, well read, and helpful, being successful becomes much easier because people like you, need you, and want to help you in return.”

What are ways to stand out when raising money for your startup business?

Be prepared. Read books on how to raise venture capital money. Listen to podcasts and read articles. Find old pitch decks from other startups. Comb the websites of VC funds who offer advice on how to pitch them.

Once you have an idea, digital presence, and proof that it works, you can try raising money from friends, family, or accelerators. No one is too far along for an accelerator. It’s often the easiest $100K you’ll get in your life.

proday_sarah_kunst_1.jpg

How do you overcome the continuous challenges in your career while staying passionate about your app, Proday?

Life is a challenge. Being a black woman might mean more or different challenges, but everyone has internal and external roadblocks to overcome. Controlling your mind and body helps a lot.

Meditate, workout - even just getting your 10k steps in everyday - drink lots of water, sleep a lot, give hugs to your people, dance to happy music, and eat healthy. Those things can’t be overlooked. You have tons of time each day to struggle with your business and other problems, so make sure you spend a few minutes chasing joy too.

https_%2F%2Fblogs-images.forbes.com%2Fclareoconnor%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F05%2FProday-Workplace-e1464042501161-1200x800.jpg

How do we encourage speaking out about issues of discrimination and harassment?

As the late, great Whitney Houston would advise, keep impeccable receipts. You will be discriminated against or harassed - we have research that shows it’s a virtual inevitability for women and people of color in the workplace. So keep a record when it happens. Take detailed notes, screenshots, or confirm it in writing. Read up on EEOC laws. This stuff is wrong, often illegal, and women need to hear that they are allowed to report these people.

I’ve been overwhelmed by support from men and women since I spoke up in a New York Times article about being sexually harassed. Often men don’t hear about sexual harassment so they don’t know how common it is. When you tell them, they will listen and be better allies.

What advice do you have for women that have no prior knowledge about managing money to take charge of their finances?

Sign up for mint.com to get your credit score. See what you’re spending on monthly and decide to save a little. Set up a 401k or IRA and contribute just $20 from each paycheck to it.

If $20 sounds like a lot, try just $5 a week. Tally up what you spend money on that isn’t rent, bills, or transportation and see what you’re spending on that you’re not really enjoying.

I’m a big at home coffee person. I know I can’t fund my retirement on the $5 a day I save, but it covers gas money and my phone bill and that’s not trivial.

The most important first step is understanding what you make, owe, and spend, then trying to save or pay down debt a little more.

Investing is easy and apps like Acorns and Robinhood are simple to use. Download the Yahoo! Stocks app and start following stocks that you like and understand - Apple, Amazon, Stitchfix etc. If you can afford it, put some money into buying those stocks once you feel you can explain to a friend why they’re good buys that you’ll want to hold for a while.

Women make great investors, the data proves this. We just need more of us to invest!

essence-5046.jpg

Follow Sarah at @sarahkunst

Manage Your Anxiety With These 3 Steps

3.png

Stress creeps up on us all the time. Whether you’re at work, at school, your side hustle, or just in life itself, stress and anxiety can come in all types, but it’s important to manage that sucker and get it under control.

Licensed psychologist Dr. Lauren Hazzouri, PsyD, founder of the online community for young women called #HeyLauren, told us the three ways you can manage anxiety in your life.

Step 1: Manage that stinkin’ thinkin’

Each of us has many thoughts, up to 70,000 per day! The goal is to get so familiar with your thoughts that you can instantly recognize the thoughts making you feel scared or worried. Once you know which thought patterns cause the unwanted feelings, you can change them! If you change how you think, you can change how you feel and how you behave.

 

"Thoughts lead to feelings and feelings lead to behavior."

 

Step 2: Take two (minutes to relax!)

Your body cannot be anxious and relaxed at the same time. So, consciously relax your muscles. Taking a couple of minutes to stop, breathe and get present can reduce stress, increase mood and decrease anxiety in an instant. Focus your attention on your breathing, exhale slowly. Scan your body for tension. Loosen the cramped body parts, letting go of anything you’re holding too tightly. Recall a good memory, favorite place or event. Continue to breathe, exhaling slowly. Repeat, as needed.

Step 3: Walk through it—Exposure, exposure, exposure.

If you're afraid of it, you need to do it. It's as simple as that. You cannot will yourself to courage. You have to exercise the emotional muscles that flex when you walk through the fear to overcome it. Avoidance adds to the anxiety by reinforcing it. There's no easier, softer way. You don't need it to be easy and soft. You need it to work and exposure does work. Promise.
 

"You cannot will yourself to courage."

 

You are in charge of your own life, don’t let anxiety control you. Take a breath, take action and reflect. Whether you are dealing with an in-the-moment panic attack or facing an anxiety disorder, the feelings you have are normal and treatable. You are not alone! We all get nervous sometimes, we all have freakout moments, and that’s okay. Research tells us that there are an estimated 40 million adults (—women are 60% more likely to be diagnosed than men), who suffer from an anxiety disorder.

At the end of the day know this: you are the creator of your own mind and who you become or who you are is rooted within you. Anxiety is manageable, now go out there and kick some #girlboss ass! 

For more from Lauren, visit  @dr_lauren  and sign up for her weekly newsletter at  HeyLauren.com .

For more from Lauren, visit @dr_lauren and sign up for her weekly newsletter at HeyLauren.com.

Savvy Sister Roots

It all started one sunny morning as we sipped on iced coffee by the beach soaking up the sun. Both Jamie and I had enjoyed a long summer of tanning, singing our hearts out on long car rides, making memories with friends and tasting new foods...all of course which we documented on social media. That one sunny morning on the beach Jamie and I decided to captivate on those memories and put them to good use. If we could be as excited about our own social media, why couldn’t we be excited about someone else's social media, too? As the coffee kicked in and the sun beamed hotter, it dawned on us that we could do what we love and help others do so, too. Why not captivate on what we’re good at and turn it into a career?  

From that moment on, Savvy Sisters Media, Inc. was born. It took us some time to get where we are now, but without that moment on the beach we would not be the #girlbosses we are today. I’ll be the first to tell you that starting a business is not easy, but it’s worth it. All the blood, sweat, tears and Starbucks purchases have paid off, and will continue to pay off...especially the Starbucks purchases.

If it weren’t for the people around us to guide us in the right direction, we’d still probably be brainstorming on the beach, but one of the most important things about Savvy is the bond Jamie and I have. We conect with each other on a personal, emotional and even a marketing level. Because we know how the other thinks, it makes brainstorming, pitching, creating and innovating all the more better.

From the very start, Jamie and I were always tag teaming on ideas. We started with the basics, creating our brand. With the help of some friends, we designed a logo, created a website and started social media accounts. From that point on, we went from door to door, town to town pitching to stores, restaurants, small businesses, anyone that could use our savvy social media skills. Eventually, clients started coming to us, and it was one of the many breaking points in our career.

It’s important to set goals and constantly remind yourself of them. Push your limits and don’t be afraid of the what-ifs. Write your goals down and don’t cross them off until you’ve reached them, and once you have reward yourself...preferably with more coffee! Nobody can be successful for you, it’s up to YOU to pave the path of your own journey. Our journey was not a smooth one, and it will continue to be bumpy, but the journey is a marvelous one.

Through this blog you’ll see everything from social media tips to marketing ideas to trending topics. If you have something that you’d like to learn more about, please reach out to us and let us know! We’d love to blog about topics you’re interested in, too! This journey has just begun, and I can’t wait to take you on the ride with us.

Xoxo,

Your Savvy Sister,

Tara