Starting your own company is daunting. Should you write a business plan, even if you know the business will change? How should you file your business? An LLC? Without the proper support and resources around you it's easier to throw in the towel than to begin the process. However that was all before Above the Glass. "Above the Glass gives women entrepreneurs the knowledge, the tools and the edge to own their working lives." They are the beginner business 101 Bible!
Co-founded by Danielle Yadegar and Heather Serden they've found the solution for every women's business dilemma. Learn more about their jump from the corporate world to creating their platform chock full of free resources. Plus join Six Degrees Society & Above the Glass for a Business Plan Writing 101 Event on Monday, September 12th.
1. Both of you had such different work lives before Above the Glass. What inspired you to co-found and create Above the Glass.
Heather: I was working with creative female entrepreneurs at startups in LA who had amazing ideas, but were intimidated by the financial and operational side of starting a business. I realized that this was more than just a women in tech issue – it was a universal women’s issue. So many women are smart and incredibly capable, so I wanted to create a platform that would expose them to complicated business concepts in an approachable way. There are so many great ideas out there that need to come to life, and I knew that my background in finance and business could help make that happen.
Danielle: As an entrepreneur myself I noticed that there was a major gap in the market for actionable business advice geared towards women, and believed that ATG could change the way people start businesses - and help them get started at all. I knew my experiences in fashion and brand development could help bring Above the Glass to life in a way that was approachable and impactful for our target user.
2. As a resource to women entrepreneurs, what area do you think women struggle more so than men?
Danielle: Being bold. Even down to the way we write emails- we have been conditioned to apologize first, ask second. If you don’t ask you won't get. And you can build the most brilliant product but if you never show it to anyone, it won’t matter.
Heather: Women have trouble promoting ourselves and tend to downplay our capabilities. We need to own our strengths and be bigger advocates for ourselves- no one is going to do it for us.
3. What's been the best part of being an entrepreneur? What have been your biggest challenges.
Danielle: Above the Glass is the thing I am most proud of; it doesn’t always feel like we are moving fast enough, but every day we move the needle on what we believe will change the way the world starts businesses. With that being said, it is a constant swing of emotions, with almost no reliability. The highs are really high and lows can be crushing.
Heather: As an entrepreneur, you feel the highest highs and the lowest lows – you feel it all. The work we do is so meaningful and so fulfilling, but to create a business out of nothing and to feel the weight of all that responsibility is daunting. It feels like we face rejection every day, which can really wear on you. But we also have successes and validation that we would never achieve if we were working for someone else. At the end of the day it is about taking the hard road, and reaching heights we never thought possible.
4. At the moment you offer free resources online, how do you envision the business to evolve in the next 5 years?
Heather: We are developing increasingly sophisticated online premium tools that we will start charging for. There will always be free resources and content on the site that will continue to be a powerful source of information for women entrepreneurs.
Danielle: To compliment the paid-for resources we will also be providing an offline component of support for those who would like more one on one attention.
5. How do you find balance with the business and your personal life?
Heather: There is no balance. You fit in what you can where you can. We are so excited by what we do, it’s often what we want to spend our time on. That being said, we need to check in with ourselves on a regular basis to make sure we don’t burn out. If we feel really run down, it’s time to turn off the business side of things and just go for a walk or a vacation. It’s really important to stay sane.
Danielle: Heather is totally right. Right now, and most likely for the life of the business, they will be one in the same. Lines get blurred. Sometimes we just look at each other and say enough, time for a drink or a laugh.