Ladies Get Paid Founder Claire Wasserman Helps Women Entrepreneurs Thrive

Meeting and learning from entrepreneurs so I can share their insights and stories is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing a woman I greatly admire.

Claire Wasserman wanted a strong network of professionally ambitious women who she could call on to help with the everyday struggles of climbing the career ladder, negotiating, and generally staying inspired and excelling at work.

When she couldn’t find that network, she decided to create it.

The result of her effort is a vibrant community called Ladies Get Paid, where over 30,000 women from around the world connect, network, and share knowledge through online workshops, live events, and an official conference in New York, called Get Money Get Paid.

Claire Wasserman addresses the crowd at a recent Ladies Get Paid event. Image courtesy of Ladies Get Paid.

In addition to running LGP, she’s a career coach for individuals and teams, a member of the Well + Good Council, and a writer and speaker. She’s moderated and spoken at events at companies like the New York Times, and was recently featured in the Sally Hansen global campaign, Shetopia.

In this conversation, Claire tells us all about her big-picture goals with Ladies Get Paid, her hopes for helping women business leaders find their power, and how entrepreneurs like herself can stave off burnout and truly thrive in their careers. She also opens up about the financial struggles she faced when starting her business, and what she sees as the keys to entrepreneurial success.

Head to the Fundbox blog to read the interview.

3 Insights for Social Pros From the 2018 Social Summit

This fall, Meltwater held the Meltwater Social Summit (formerly the Sysomos Summit) in downtown San Francisco. Lucky for me, this was just a 15-minute walk from my office, so I was able to stop by and catch the morning sessions, and I’m back with a recap for social media folks seeking inspiration beyond the Bay.

For context, Meltwater is a global SaaS company that offers “media intelligence software” for social media and public relations pros. My company recently signed up for the service. We’ve been using it to monitor our media mentions, our competitors, and our top keywords (“small business funding” for instance!). We also use the tool to improve our social listening, quantify the impact and value of our content, and help with PR and influencer research and outreach. It’s early days for us with this platform, but I’ve been impressed so far.

The Meltwater Summit was also worthwhile. Many conferences (especially those for marketing and PR pros) offer too much sponsored nonsense, and too little insight or actionable advice. In contrast, I felt like this was a morning well-spent.

Here are the top insights I took away from my morning at the Social Summit.

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Columbia Startup Demo Night in San Francisco

Last month in San Francisco, the Columbia Venture Community hosted our biggest event of the year: the 4th Annual Startup Demo Night. Attendees heard and saw startup demos from a varied roster of talented founders, and enjoyed an open bar, food, and great networking. This event is a lot of fun every year and in my opinion, they keep getting better. I always meet interesting people and learn something new.

To help attendees get to know the presenting founders beforehand, I created a series of Q&A profiles, highlighting the multidimensional work these teams are doing. Read on to learn about the founders of AptonomyVoga Coffee, Artery, Avoma, and Nano Hydrophobics.

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Columbia Startup Demo Night: 6 Inspiring Founder Stories

On Thursday, September 14th, 2017, the San Francisco chapter of the Columbia Venture Community will host CVC’s biggest West Coast event of the year: Columbia Startup Demo Night! We always look forward to this opportunity to meet, mingle and shine the spotlight on innovative startups from the Bay Area. This time, six startups, all with at least one founder who graduated from Columbia, will take the stage to demo their startup and compete for a cash prize in front of a panel of experienced judges.

As we gear up for the event, we’re speaking with all our Demo Night founding teams so that we can share their diverse, inspiring stories with the CVC community.

I had fantastic opportunity to meet and speak with founders from our six CVC Demo Night teams over the past several weeks. These six articles are the result of our conversations. Continue reading “Columbia Startup Demo Night: 6 Inspiring Founder Stories”

How Designers Can Fight Unconscious Bias

I published a guest post on Design Observer, called, “How Designers Can Fight Unconscious Bias: Powerful Lessons From Vectors SF.” It’s reproduced below, or you can read it over there. In it, I discuss an IDEO designer’s important talk about unconscious gender and racial bias, and how designers can help eliminate it, from the Vectors SF design conference.

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Review: Conscious Business: How to Build Value through Values

A highly meditative take on how to conduct oneself in life and in business with others, Kofman’s book, Conscious Business, contains much to discuss and learn. I picked it up in response to reading an article by Matt MacInnis, the CEO of San Francisco tech firm Inkling, where the book is required reading for all employees.

Having just wrapped up my first experience taking an early stage startup from 1 to 20 employees, and wishing to understand more about how leaders may intentionally create business culture where employees can not only create business value but thrive personally and emotionally as well, Conscious Business felt highly relevant.

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Review: The limits of “Grit”

Grit is considered a “must-read” by many in my professional circle. For good reason – it’s an engaging, thought-provoking book. It’s useful and satisfying for its clear explanation of the core concept of grit (which is essentially: passionate perseverance) and its many inspirational stories. It’s also frustrating as hell for the nuance it lacks.

On the surface, this book is about the power of effort, and how deeply, mistakenly, undervalued the power of personal will is in our society. Modern people tend to romanticize and over-value “natural talent” and under-value sustained effort – to the great disadvantage of many.

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Review: Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

While a bit repetitive and about 100 pages too long, “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” holds definite value for people searching for ways to be more effective and at peace with their choices.

“Essentialism” as advocated by McKeown is a personal philosophy of making deliberate decisions about where to spend one’s limited and precious time. It’s a mission statement aimed at reducing psychic clutter, regrettable personal commitments and extra “stuff” that ultimately does not matter in the greater scheme of one’s life.

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Sometimes marketers seriously overstep their boundaries

An open letter to the marketing team at Similac:

My mother sent me a text. “Is there something I should know?” she asked. (Hopefully, I think.) Why? Because you guys at Similac decided to send a box of infant formula – totally unwanted and unrequested – to me, care of my parents’ home address, where I have not lived in over a dozen years. I guess you stalked me on the internet enough to determine that I might be a woman, in my mid-thirties, and married, therefore potentially a child-bearing consumer profile, and you decided to send me a little “gift.”

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Review: Disrupted

Dan Lyons, ego bruised and career sidelined by an unexpected layoff from his job as a technology journalist for Newsweek, makes a pivot that seems like a sensible idea at the time: he joins the startup world and becomes a marketer for hot young marketing automation firm, HubSpot. Disrupted is a memoir of that startup adventure. It stirred a ton of thoughts and conflicting reactions for me, began many conversations and taught me a bit of new stuff about startups and venture capital. It also made me cringe and grin with schadenfreude. Issues aside, though, it’s a worthwhile read with a lot to say.

Brisk, cynical and often bitingly funny – just as you might expect from the author behind FakeSteveJobs – the book starts as a bitterly comic fish out of water story about a fifty-something man trying to fit in at a company he doesn’t understand: He seems constantly gobsmacked by the wacky energy of his Millennial coworkers, the lack of organization and structure to his days, the insistence of young people on using technology like smartphones and Google calendars to schedule even a five-minute chat, and of course things like beer at work, arts and crafts breaks on “Fearless Friday,” the nap room and the foosball tables. Continue reading “Review: Disrupted”