Innovation, Technology, & Start-Ups with Erica Amatori

For today’s discussion, we’re going to take a step into the start-up space. Whether you have your eyes set on an entrepreneurial venture in retail, finance or technology I hope that our conversation will ignite a spark within your own career path.

Let me introduce to you a powerful serial entrepreneur. Today’s guest is Erica Amatori. She’s the Director of Marketing at Burrow and Co-Founder of TheBit at the impressive age of just 23. Tune in below!

SHOW NOTES:

Erica is the VP of Marketing at Burrow, an e-commerce start-up that is changing up the furniture space. Their value lies in that their furniture is extremely comfortable and adaptable. She’s also the co-founder of thebitdaily.com a source from crypto-education and a crypto-community (1:26).

On knowing when to invest her time or money on a start-up, Erica first needs to believe in not just idea, but also the team (2:50).

“To know whether a start-up is right for me I act like my own venture capitalist firm.”

Start-ups are a roller coaster. The highs are high, the lows are low. When you don’t think there is a market for your service or product, you have to be real with yourself and move on (5:12).

It’s not a failure, it’s a learning.
— Erica Amatori

Book recommendation by Erica: The Dip by Seth Godin ß Click here to check it out.

With an idea, is it better to be authentic or original? Erica says neither. She thinks you truly need is product market fit. A demand and audience for the product (7:15).

To Erica, “innovation” means to find opportunity gaps and fill them. Finding a broken process and fixing it (9:00).

Innovative ideas come from innovative people. Character traits such as curiosity allow you to question the current processes and finding new solves. Practice this by always asking questions (10:20).

Behind every successful person there are a lot of unsuccessful years.
— Erica Amatori

Want to get start in your start-up now? Erica advises to go out there and start doing market research and find if your product or service is valuable (13:20).

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Finding Balance and Regaining Strength with Tara Laferrara

Today I am sitting down with personal trainer, yoga teacher, and entrepreneur Tara Laferrara. Tara is a businesswoman with a passion for fitness and wellness. She’s the founder of the TL Method, co-owner of Compass Fitness in Denver, Co-Founder of Beach Movement Balance and co-host of her own podcast, the A-Cup Podcast! She’s also been featured in or has worked with a number of brands from Shape and Women’s Health Magazine to RedBull and FinishLine.

We’ll be chatting about how to find balance and regain strength, two facets of life that we seek whether we’re in the gym or battling our day-to-day work routines. Tune in now below!

Tara Laferrara Brava Podcast Interview

SHOW NOTES:

Fitness and wellness is first nature to Tara. Being a teammate has grown her passion for it along the way and her inspiration to help the fitness journey of the people around her to move their body (1:30.)

Tara shares how important it is to make time for yourself each day. Carving out an hour each day for you whether it be mediation, mindfulness or movement (2:25.)

When change gets thrown in your way how can you stay the course in your own health and wellness journey? Practicing self-care to set-up yourself for success. This is especially important during the holiday season. If you take care of yourself first everything else will flow (3:50).

Tara believes that fitness is movement, eating, nutrition and mindset. Tara’s TL Method embodies this with a focus in movement. With everything from upper body workouts to challenge days, the TL Method is a curated program to make you feel comfortable in your body. Most important, the TL Method community, a motivational team of sorts from all over the world (5:15.) 

Having trouble giving yourself time for fitness and wellness? Ask yourself, what’s your priority throughout the day? Tara recommends to literally add it to your busy calendar to help make time. That is YOUR time! (8:30.)

Want to get moving while sitting…right now? Okay, let’s get started. First, sit up tall and sit all the way back in your chair. Bring your shoulders up to your ears, exhale and then bring them back down. Next, use your breath and gently twist to the right and left in your chair (11:30.)  

Want to continue following Tara’s story? She has her own podcast as well! Be sure to check out the A-Cup Podcast, a conversation between her and her best friend about female entrepreneurship (14:20.)

Hitting a roadblock in your own entrepreneur venture? Ask yourself, why I am I doing this? Is it for myself or my community? (16:20.)

Creating Smart Content, Taking Risks and Being Bold with Alisha Johns

Have you ever dreamt about an ideal reality, maybe you see yourself running your own company, managing your own shop or working your way up at the office but in a different department.

What’s stopping you? Fear can be the number one reason that restrains you from achieving that ultimate reality. How do we overcome that paralyzing fear that seeps into our minds telling us you can’t do it?

I think it’s about about taking risks and being bold. Today on the podcast I am honored to have Alisha Johns, the Founder and Creative Director of LISH creative. She’s an innovator and creator who has a flare for color and a passion for entrepreneurship. Today’s episode will be a discussion around creating smart content, how to take those risks and what’s needed to be bold. Listen now!

Photo by Julie Kahlbaugh

Photo by Julie Kahlbaugh

Stephanie Campbell and Alisha Johns

SHOW NOTES:

Alisha started her career at a few agencies in Pittsburgh for a small team that worked on huge projects. There, she wore a lot of hats that prepared her for owning her own business (2:32).

She works with up to 14 different contractors at one time. Alisha believes that showing appreciation and gratitude for your team is important for management. That, and knowing when to let go of control (3:34).

Trying to show that gratitude in your workplace? It can be as simple as thanking them and telling them that you appreciate them (4:38).

On delegation, Alisha focuses in what she is best at and then delegating the things she knows other will be better at (5:25).

Right now in her industry it’s all about video. She’s seen an increase in videos requested by clients and she believes that challenge will be how can brands differentiate their videos from each other (6:04).

The latest Instagram video launch, IGTV doesn’t seem to be attracting many viewers as of recent; but, we both agree that it is a good platform to direct viewers to engage in longer form content (7:10).

Alisha defines “Smart Content” as a way to get across to people that Lish Creative isn’t just taking pretty pictures. They (Lish Creative) are going to break down the brand (their client) and tie in content to their greater marketing strategy through learning about their consumer and tell their story (8:23).

Alisha’s creative process? Learning as much about the brand and their brands’ consumer as much as they can. Sometimes the brands’ product can be the most inspiration to spur creativity (9:27).

So many brands end up looking the same. Alisha challenges, “Why not break the mold!” (10:55).

Alisha recommends to chip away at your passion. She did so for 3 years to start her business and eventually leave her full-time job (13:10).

Want to start a side-hustle? Take initiative and just start it! It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s about starting and building a portfolio of work. Don’t worry about what people think! (14:25).

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Starting, Owning & Operating with Brianne Conley

Have you every wanted to run a retail shop? A fashionista at heart, I’ve always been intrigued about the possibility…buying seasonal trends, decking out the store…but I have no idea where to begin! Brick & mortar in the digital world? Sounds like a fashion don’t.

Enter No. 14 Boutique, a one of a kind shop. It’s creatively curated and delicately designed. Plus, it’s spearheading a masterclass on how to best utilize social media for the retail space. Join me as I interview the savvy Brianne Conley, one of the co-owners behind the brand. We’ll be diving into the “how” behind starting, owning and operating a business and you won’t want to miss it.

Tune in below to learn more!

The Brava Podcast featuring Brianne Conley No14 Boutique

SHOW NOTES:


Brianne saw a need for an affordable, trendy, small boutique, family-owned spot in Pittsburgh. She opened her business with her mom and she doesn’t think she could go into business with anyone else (1:30).

Buying product really is a bit like shopping and it’s Brianne’s favorite part of her job. She goes four to five times a year picking out new vendors to fit different seasons (4:51).

When it comes to education, Brianne when to High Point University in North Carolina and majored in Strategic Communications which helped her exponentially learning about public speaking and social media. Even so, Brianne admits a lot of what she learned is from her experience in starting her own business (6:23).  

She believes there is quite the difference between branding her personal and company Instagram. On her personal, she may highlight her day-to-day as an entrepreneur, but on her business account it’s much more focused on new product and selling (8:30).  

We discussed “Instagrammable Moments”, to Brianne that encompasses creating unique vignettes in parts of her store. For instance, her fitting rooms have quotes on the floor title (10:38).

Brianne works closely with her team and bounces ideas off of them. She works to create a community where each can talk openly (11:54).  

I love Brianne’s hiring process advice. Once when she was hiring for a new intern, she gave specific directions via email. If someone didn’t hire the very simple direction in the email then it may show that the person may not be the best fit for the brand (13:19).

Brianne is constantly working ahead, buying for seasons to come. Right now what’s in style? Leopard. It’s making a huge comeback for Holiday into the new year (17:46).

Brianne’s tip to following and chasing your dreams? “Just do it and be as resourceful as possible” (21:26).

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Launching a Network, a Start-Up and Career Path with Caroline Pugh

Are you familiar with the term, Chief of Staff? I’m sure you are. Perhaps you are thinking of the Chief of Staff to the President. Or, the Chief of Staff to your local government official.

Quite frankly, what I wasn’t aware of was the Chief of Staff to CEOs in the corporate world. This position requires men and women who can develop strategies to grow the company, provide communication for customers, sometimes specialize in unique business areas and serve as the right hand of the CEO on a day-to-day basis. What else caught my eye is that it’s an unexpected stepping stone that can launch a women’s career into a C-Suite position.

Today with me on the Brava Podcast, I’m honored to have the ambitious, smart and talented Caroline Pugh. She’s the Chief of Staff to Aneesh Chopra at CareJourney, a healthcare data analytics company based in Washington D.C.. Caroline was recently name "15 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch" by Entrepreneur magazine. She’s also been featured in Forbes, the Washington Post, Fox News, NBC, TechCrunch and Wall Street Journal for her work.

Tune in below to learn more!

The Brava Podcast Caroline Pugh

SHOW NOTES

CEOs hire a Chief of Staff to do a number of special tasks. To sum it up, Caroline shares that Chief of Staff’s can help the CEO with the top 5 decisions that will help move the needle on the company’s vision and strategy and help delegate the rest (1:57.)

Caroline used to have her own tech healthcare company in college. When she moved to D.C. she reached out to Aneesh and over coffee, was asked to be his Chief of Staff. It was an exciting time to be part of the company (3:05.)

There is not much documentation of Chief of Staffs in the private sector. Curious, Caroline sought out more than 200 chief of staffs to learn more bout their roles and measuring similarities and differences between each (4:20.)

The biggest revelation? None of these Chief of Staffs knew each other!
— Caroline Pugh

Caroline started the network in D.C. with a few mentors of hers (5:50.)

There are a lot of women in this role. 60% of the network is women. The role is beginning to prove itself as a fast track to get into a C-suite or executive position because of the built in trust and the level of exposure that the Chief of Staff role offers (6:38.)

Interested in following Caroline’s steps? She recommends understanding what kind of environment fuels you. She also recommends figuring out how you like to best work. For instance, she knew she loved fast-pace environments, start-ups, working with teams and networking with people (9:02.)

Going into college, Caroline joined the Entrepreneurship club. She realized this is what she wanted to do…be an entrepreneur or at least be in the tech start-up world. Most importantly during this time she learned how to pitch an idea and thinks it’s critical to know how to present yourself and present what you are passionate about (11:00.)

The measure of success for a start-up? Caroline thinks it should be the value you are providing your customers and product market fit, not the pressure to raise capital (13:40.)

Starting a business can be very daunting, Caroline recommends to start with short term goals first and breaking it down. For instance, writing a business plan and sharing it with two or three people you admire (15:30.)

People need to realize that there is a rise and a movement of really strong women in the tech space that are their own leaders and their own CEOs.
— Caroline Pugh

What’s next for Caroline? She finds a lot of gratitude of what she gets to do in the healthcare industry and making sure that people have access to their own healthcare data (19:20).

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