Contributed by Lauren Messiah, former president of EO Los Angeles, and the founder and CEO of Lauren Messiah Inc. She currently serves EO as president of EO OneWorld, a virtual membership platform with the goal of creating a more socially conscious, culturally diverse and inclusive experience for all EO members. Because a diverse EO is a strong EO. Lauren shared the following realizations from her entrepreneurial journey:
(Photo credit: Chris Beyer)
There is a moment in every entrepreneur’s life when you realize you are “unemployable.” Not due to a lack of intelligence, but because we’re like wild horses that can’t be tamed. We have to go off on our own and do our own thing; it’s the only way for us to thrive.
My unemployable moment arrived in 2004. After graduating college with a degree in fashion design—it was always my dream to work in fashion—I experienced the rudest of awakenings: Earning a degree did not guarantee a job in your industry.
That was news to me. I thought if I did the time, got good grades, and graduated, I’d have my pick of the litter when it came to employment. Not so. I ended up working retail at the mall where I shopped as a teenager.
At EO, we celebrate entrepreneurs every day. But with Women’s Entrepreneurship Day taking place this week, we’re directing our applause to all the entrepreneurs who are women! What better way to recognize these hard-working innovators than by showcasing female founders who have been featured on EO’s Wonder podcast?
Host and EO member Kalika Yap launched the podcast as a way to share stories that empower women entrepreneurs to change the world. At the very core of Kalika’s work is the belief that empowered women empower women.
Her guests include the women driving innovation, evolution and revolution in every industry imaginable—including IT, fitness, marketing, nutrition, finance and fashion.
Check out our top five Wonder women, and get ready to be empowered!
1. Lauren Messiah: This Los Angeles–based EO member has built a robust business at the intersection of personal development and personal style. Lauren believes the way you dress is more than the clothes you’re wearing. Discover—and own—your style and you’ll realize an unparalleled level of self-confidence and empowerment. In her interview on Wonder, she talks about racism in all of its forms, her experience as a black female founder and how she’s using her position to make a difference. Listen here.
2. Heidi Zak: Meet the woman who turned the bra industry upside down. Heidi Zak launched ThirdLove with Ra’el Cohen in 2013 with the (revolutionary) core belief: Every woman deserves to be comfortable and confident. Little did she know that inventing half cup sizes would lead to a whole, empowering movement. Heidi talks brand, innovation, fundraising, financing and the myth of balance. Listen here.
3. Debbie Goodman-Bhyat: How do you find yourself studying law while pursuing a career in dance at one moment and then becoming a serial entrepreneur focused on talent acquisition and executive coaching the next? You say yes, says Debbie Goodman-Bhyat. This EO member shares her unique journey and emphasizes the power of taking risks in her conversation with Kalika. Listen here.
4. Kathy David: From waitress to bank manager to CEO of her own IT security company—Kathy’s journey is a lesson in perseverance. In her conversation with Kalika, she describes making the leap from working at a bank to co-founding an IT solutions business. Listen here.
5. Heidi Golledge: As a child, Heid Golledge was determined to make money to help her family. She decided that learning computer coding and practicing her sales abilities were two steps toward that. Those skills serve her well to this day in her role as founder and CEO at Jobot—a career platform that connects AI and experienced recruiters to fill jobs. What can you learn about hiring, raising capita and employee engagement from this award-winning entrepreneur? Listen here.
For more insights and inspiration from today’s leading entrepreneurs, check out EO on Inc. and more articles from the EO blog.