Kathryn Finney & Nelly Yusupova Answer: Did You Always Know You Would Be an Entrepreneur?
BlogHer Entrepreneurs ‘12 is in a week and two days! Over the next few days, we plan on bringing you some great interview questions with some of our speakers and mentors. Why? Maybe you can’t attend and you want to know more about how you can make the most of a great idea you’ve been considering. Maybe you’re on the fence about grabbing one of our few remaining tickets. Maybe you’re just curious about how people take an idea and turn it into a business. Whatever the case, we wanted to share some of the awesome people behind our conference this year, beyond what their speaker profiles have to say.
I got straight to the point with our questions and asked the one question I always want to know about our great entrepreneurs.
Did you always imagine yourself in an entrepreneurial role as a career choice? If not, when did it become apparent that you would be striking out on your own to achieve your career goals?
Kathryn Finney, BlogHer's Editor-at-Large, is also the Founder and CEO of TBF Group, LLC, which you may know best as The Budget Fashionista. I think her answer is awesome because she's honest about falling into her entrepreneurial role.
I'm the perfect example of the accidental entrepreneur. I'm a trained Epidemiologist (study of how diseases impact people), so the last thing I thought I would be in a "internet celebrity". I started The Budget Fashionista out of a need: there was little to no information on how to live a stylish life for less. I don't think I really got that what I was doing was a business, until I got a major book deal from Random House and appeared on the Today Show within a week of each other. It was then that a light bulb went off that, wow, I really do have something here that other people, besides my mom, read. It was at that point, when I was able to see the brand having a more global impact, that I got that this idea was going to help me achieve my goals.
Kathryn will be mentoring at both sessions (9:45-10:45 and 11:00-12:00). She's been writing some great stuff on BlogHer as of late too, so be sure to check it out (and be inspired).
Nelly Yusupova, CTO of Webgrrls, also answered the question for us. She’ll be speaking during the lunch time keynotes as well as mentoring during both sessions. I love her take on this question as well.
Growing up in the former Soviet Union, I never imagined striking out on my own and being involved with entrepreneurial endeavors. My family didn’t encourage it, my culture didn’t encourage it, and when I was younger, I had the perception entrepreneurship was something only for men. The mantra drummed into my head from a very early age was “Get a good and secure job...get married and save your money.” I thought starting or owning a business was for “them”…really smart people who knew “business secrets.”
I started with Webgrrls International in 1997 and Webgrrls was infused with the entrepreneurial spirit. It was rampant and contagious and it is there that I caught the entrepreneurial bug. I like the creativity, drive, self-determination, and the risk and reward quotient. In my opinion, there is no bigger or better life challenge and adventure than being an entrepreneur.
I think learning the “how they got to where they are” helps me understand my journey a bit better, and I hope it does for you as well.
Stay tuned through out this week and next for some interesting entreprenurial questions and answers. If you have any burning questions for me to ask some speakers and mentors, go ahead and leave one in the comments!
[Do you want to start something? Whether your goal is to strike out on your own with a brilliant idea, or to bring an entrepreneurial approach to innovation within a company, you should attend BlogHer Entrepreneurs '12 -- register now!]