Are You Living the American Nightmare?
Jessica Herrin, founder and CEO of social selling website Stella & Dot, kicked off the last session of the Inc. 500|5000 conference Friday with a high-octane talk on finding balance. Her company hosts independent makers and sellers of boutique-style jewelry and accessories, or as Herrin put it: "I created a platform for balance for other entrepreneurs."
Is it odd for a self-proclaimed frantic, over-worked entrepreneur to create balance for her peers? Not to Herrin. As the co-founder of her earlier venture WeddingChannel.com, she had been on the frontlines of a tech start-up and knew what entrepreneurs needed.
"I was 24-years-old, worked all the time, and I didn't care," she said. "Other people would come to me and say 'I want to be you.' I was like 'No! This is not the American dream; it's the American nightmare!"
She decided to start Stella & Dot, which now sees $100 million in revenue since its founding in 2007. Herrin had some quick takeaways for entrepreneurs looking for more balance in their start-up.
- Stay curious and nimble. Herrin said change is inevitable, so surround yourself with people that respond well to change.
- People are everything. She said networking and building a strong support system will lead to a more balanced company.
- Hire people with mental fortitude. "Mental stability is underrated," she added.
- Love your life. "You have to show strength and conviction in your company," she said. "If you wouldn't do your job for free, entrepreneurship isn't for you."