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Behind Her Empire

Behind Her Empire is focused on highlighting self-made women leaders & entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.Each episode covers their unique journey and what it really takes to build an
Latest Episode6/27/2022

Key Lessons on Overcoming Self-Doubt from Goop Executive, Noora Raj Brown

Season 2, Ep. 108
Noora Raj Brown always had a passion for all things creative, but as a child of immigrant parents who were fully immersed in the technology and medical fields, she didn’t know where her creativity would take her. After a wide range of experiences and a very non-linear career path, Noora is now one of the key women behind Gwyneth Paltrow’s booming modern lifestyle brand, Goop, and serves as the company's EVP of Brand.Goop has grown steadily into a multinational powerhouse that’s valued over $250 million dollars and is a web destination for advice, guides, and features about beauty, style, and wellness. Outside of their website, they have a podcast, a docu-series on Netflix, brick-and-mortar locations, and also reach millions of followers daily on their social platforms.In today’s episode, Noora shares valuable advice on jumpstarting your career when you feel lost, dealing with insecurities, and how to avoid burnout. Part of Goop’s mission is to normalize uncomfortable conversations in order to improve people’s lives, and they don’t let any of the backlash they have received over the years deter them. This episode serves as a reminder that just because other people don’t agree with you doesn't mean you shouldn’t follow your passions; you never know what kind of impact you could have and where the journey will take you!In this episode, we'll talk to Noora about:*Why Noora recommends focusing less on benchmarks and more on what makes you feel fulfilled. [2:34]*Noora shares what her upbringing was like. [4:44]*When Noora realized that a creative career path was possible for her. [7:33]*A trip back in time to Noora’s first few years working in New York post-graduation. [8:25]*Valuable lessons that Noora learned while working in PR. [14:40]*Noora shares what led her to Goop. [16:15]*The months-long interview process that Noora went through for a job prior to Goop. [18:18]*Circumstances at Goop when Noora began working there, and the trust that was placed in her to figure things out. [20:30]*Goop’s approach to bringing uncomfortable conversations into the mainstream and how the company has maintained its ethos as it has grown. [21:57]*An example which highlights the impact that Goop is having on the greater societal ecosystem. [25:37]*The biggest challenge that Noora faces at work. [27:26]*Noora shares what she feels is the most rewarding part of her job. [29:13]*The role that alternative wellness practices have played in Noora’s life from a young age. [30:44]*Strategies that Noora has implemented in her life to avoid burnout. [33:31]*How slowing down changed Noora’s life. [35:22]*Noora’s favorite wellness products and rituals. [38:26]*London, Paris, and Provence; why these are Noora’s three favorite cities. [40:49]*The value of giving generously. [43:30]Follow Noora:* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/noorarajbrown/* Goop Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/goop/* Website: https://goop.com/This episode is brought to you by beeya:* Learn more about beeya's seed cycling bundle at https://beeyawellness.com/free to find out how to tackle hormonal imbalances.* Get $10 off your order by using promo code BEHINDHEREMPIREFollow Yasmin:* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yasminknouri/* Stay updated & subscribe to our newsletter: https://www.behindherempire.com/
6/27/2022

Key Lessons on Overcoming Self-Doubt from Goop Executive, Noora Raj Brown

Season 2, Ep. 108
Noora Raj Brown always had a passion for all things creative, but as a child of immigrant parents who were fully immersed in the technology and medical fields, she didn’t know where her creativity would take her. After a wide range of experiences and a very non-linear career path, Noora is now one of the key women behind Gwyneth Paltrow’s booming modern lifestyle brand, Goop, and serves as the company's EVP of Brand.Goop has grown steadily into a multinational powerhouse that’s valued over $250 million dollars and is a web destination for advice, guides, and features about beauty, style, and wellness. Outside of their website, they have a podcast, a docu-series on Netflix, brick-and-mortar locations, and also reach millions of followers daily on their social platforms.In today’s episode, Noora shares valuable advice on jumpstarting your career when you feel lost, dealing with insecurities, and how to avoid burnout. Part of Goop’s mission is to normalize uncomfortable conversations in order to improve people’s lives, and they don’t let any of the backlash they have received over the years deter them. This episode serves as a reminder that just because other people don’t agree with you doesn't mean you shouldn’t follow your passions; you never know what kind of impact you could have and where the journey will take you!In this episode, we'll talk to Noora about:*Why Noora recommends focusing less on benchmarks and more on what makes you feel fulfilled. [2:34]*Noora shares what her upbringing was like. [4:44]*When Noora realized that a creative career path was possible for her. [7:33]*A trip back in time to Noora’s first few years working in New York post-graduation. [8:25]*Valuable lessons that Noora learned while working in PR. [14:40]*Noora shares what led her to Goop. [16:15]*The months-long interview process that Noora went through for a job prior to Goop. [18:18]*Circumstances at Goop when Noora began working there, and the trust that was placed in her to figure things out. [20:30]*Goop’s approach to bringing uncomfortable conversations into the mainstream and how the company has maintained its ethos as it has grown. [21:57]*An example which highlights the impact that Goop is having on the greater societal ecosystem. [25:37]*The biggest challenge that Noora faces at work. [27:26]*Noora shares what she feels is the most rewarding part of her job. [29:13]*The role that alternative wellness practices have played in Noora’s life from a young age. [30:44]*Strategies that Noora has implemented in her life to avoid burnout. [33:31]*How slowing down changed Noora’s life. [35:22]*Noora’s favorite wellness products and rituals. [38:26]*London, Paris, and Provence; why these are Noora’s three favorite cities. [40:49]*The value of giving generously. [43:30]Follow Noora:* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/noorarajbrown/* Goop Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/goop/* Website: https://goop.com/This episode is brought to you by beeya:* Learn more about beeya's seed cycling bundle at https://beeyawellness.com/free to find out how to tackle hormonal imbalances.* Get $10 off your order by using promo code BEHINDHEREMPIREFollow Yasmin:* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yasminknouri/* Stay updated & subscribe to our newsletter: https://www.behindherempire.com/
6/20/2022

Turning Your Side Hustle & Passion into a Thriving Business with Camille Styles, Founder of Camille Styles

Season 2, Ep. 107
Our guest today didn’t intend for her blog to blow up into a successful business that would still be thriving 12 years down the line, but through consistency and authenticity, Camille Styles has solidified her empire.Camille is the founder of Camille Styles, the leading digital lifestyle publication that garners over 50 million impressions a month. This OG lifestyle blog was born of Camille’s simple desire for a new creative outlet, long before blogs were even a thing, and has since become her full-time focus.Camille joins us today to share her inspiring story and demonstrate that pursuing the things that light you up truly does pay off in the long run. In this episode, we talk about the viability of turning side hobbies and hustles into real businesses, and how to combat the fear of dreaming too big. We talk about the danger of confusing vanity metrics with real measures of success, and how to approach social media with authenticity.Tune in to hear Camille’s journey of leaving her career and going all-in with the Camille Styles lifestyle blog, and hear her tips on easing overwhelm and managing burnout, as well as being intentional with your time. Camille’s story is proof that you, too, can keep your fire alight and live a purposeful life both in family and in business.In this episode, we'll talk to Camille about:*The limiting beliefs that prevent people from stepping into the growth mindset. [2:39]*How Camille’s upbringing shaped her. [4:24]*Her post-college life and aspirations, and her journey to starting her own business. [6:59]*How a casual blog became Camille’s full-time focus. [10:11]*How to foster the courage to make the leap to follow your dreams. [10:59]*A brief aside: How the Beeya seed cycling bundle supports hormonal imbalances! [12:42]*Vanity metrics versus real measures of success in the age of social media. [16:40]*How Camille recognized the potential to monetize her blog. [17:03]*Camille’s mindset while growing her blog before it was a widely understood format. [18:44]*How to avoid burnout while consistently creating content. [20:43]*The necessity of dedicating seasons to ‘the grind’ and knowing when to slow down. [24:52]*Camille’s self-care and goal-setting tips and rituals. [26:42]*The benefits of being intentional with your time. [34:59]*The importance of owning your own opinions and sticking to your guns! [38:17]*How to combat the fear of showing up online. [42:16]*How to approach social media and ease the overwhelm of the myriad of social media platforms. [44:24]*Camille’s inspiring pivot to launch a new business in a completely different industry. [50:18]Follow Camille:* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/camillestyles/* Website: https://camillestyles.com/* Vision Workbook: https://mailchi.mp/camillestyles/vision-workbookThis episode is brought to you by beeya:* Learn more about beeya's seed cycling bundle at https://beeyawellness.com/free to find out how to tackle hormonal imbalances.* Get $10 off your order by using promo code BEHINDHEREMPIREFollow Yasmin:* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yasminknouri/* Stay updated & subscribe to our newsletter: https://www.behindherempire.com/
6/13/2022

Leaving Your Job & Building an Empire on Your Terms with Suneera Madhani, Co-Founder of Stax

Season 2, Ep. 106
Suneera Madhani is the co-founder and CEO of Stax, an innovative tech company that radically simplifies the payment ecosystem.After graduating from college, Suneera decided to work at a consumer goods company and after three years she realized that the corporate world wasn’t for her. She was later recruited by a payment-processing company, and it was then she realized she wanted to do someone on her own.At age 26, without money, an MBA or any corporate leadership experience…and after being laughed out of her then boss’s office, Suneera began building her now billion-dollar company inside her parents’ Orlando home.In 8 years, Suneera raised $245M in venture capital and now leads a team of 300+ employees and is committed to helping fellow women and minorities achieve similar accomplishments in business. She also is also the founder of CEO School, which is a podcast and an 8-week program that helps women become entrepreneurs & CEOs – and is on the mission to change the fact that less than 2% of female founders hit $1 million in revenue… and less than 18% ever hit 6 figures. This needs to change!Suneera gives us the scoop on what it was like to take the leap from a stable corporate job into the uncertainties of entrepreneurship and shares how she manages the ever-looming imposter syndrome to show up as her best self every day.We explore time management and Suneera’s approach to finding work-life integration, rather than balance, and how she manages running her billion-dollar business while still spending quality time with her two young kids. We also talk about what is missing in the business world: practical advocacy for women’s success, and what she believes is required to change that. Join us to hear a wealth of practical advice and wisdom from Suneera’s story of unlikely success and breaking free of the expectations of others to find fulfillment in living a life that's true to you.In this episode, we'll talk to Suneera about:* Breaking free of the expectations of others and living according to who we are instead. [3:35]* How Suneera’s experience as the child of immigrants shaped her approach to business. [6:30]* What led her to use her analytical and creative skills to start Stax at the age of 24. [10:32]* How Stax grew from 5 million in payments the first year to 23 billion in payments per year. [17:08]* Dealing with imposter syndrome in the early days of launching a business. [21:52]* Working to keep your psyche in check and show up as your best self as a CEO. [25:05]* Building habits by repeating activities, and improving with experience. [27:01]* Combatting perfectionism with the philosophy that ‘done is better than perfect’. [30:05]* Suneera’s belief in work life integration when managing family life and her company. [36:40]* The three areas she spends her time on: what she loves, her family, and making an impact. [40:04]* How she manages her time, starting with what she calls Sunday Zoom Out. [41:50]* What sparked Suneera’s idea to start CEO School during the pandemic. [45:10]* The statistic that changed the game for Suneera: only 2% of female founders are breaking a million-dollar revenue. [47:17]* What is missing in the business world: action in advocating for women. [49:12]* Why you should subscribe to the CEO School podcast. [51:10]* Calling listeners to support the female business owners in their lives. [53:10]Follow Suneera:*Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/suneeramadhani*Stax Website: https://staxpayments.com/*CEO School Website: https://theceoschool.co/
6/6/2022

How to Free Yourself From Self-Doubt & Perfectionism with Jessica Rolph, Co-Founder of Lovevery

Season 2, Ep. 105
Jessica Rolph is the co-founder and CEO of Lovevery, a company that offers products and information which help create developmental experiences in the lives of new babies and families.Jessica is passionate about giving babies the best and healthiest beginning in life. She was a founding partner in her first business, Happy Family, which she helped grow into being one of the top organic baby food companies - which eventually sold to Group Danone. Although she was confident that she was giving her babies the best nutrition, she started to become curious about what each of her three children’s brains was craving.After reading a doctoral thesis on child development, and years of her learning with her own children, Jessica decided to start her second baby company - but this time focused on brain development. Today, Lovevery has over 220,000 active subscribers to their flagship Play Kits program and has shipped well over 1 million Play Kits in the past 12 months, and continues to grow more than 100% year over year.In our interview together, Jessica opens up about how she never thought of herself as an “idea person” when it came to starting a business nor did she think she’d ever be a founder. She shares her journey on how she found purpose in life and landed on creating mission-driven companies with no prior "entrepreneurial" experience. We also talk about her biggest mistakes & lessons she made from her first business and a step-by-step approach to how you should think about fundraising, bringing on co-founders, creating product-market-fit, and so much more.Follow Lovevery:* Website: https://lovevery.com/* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lovevery/This episode is brought to you by beeya:* Learn more about beeya's seed cycling bundle at https://beeyawellness.com/free to find out how to tackle hormonal imbalances.* Get $10 off your order by using promo code BEHINDHEREMPIREFollow Yasmin:* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yasminknouri/* Stay updated & subscribe to our newsletter: https://www.behindherempire.com/
5/30/2022

Step by Step Advice for Anyone Who's Lost or Confused with Gail Federici, Founder of Color Wow

Season 2, Ep. 104
As an industry veteran, Gail Federici was the co-founder and CEO of the iconic brand John Frieda and has leveraged her experience to build her latest venture, Color Wow, a professional hair-care line geared towards color-treated hair.Gail has always put “absolute breakthrough” at the top of her product-creation To-Do list and while the beauty industry is notorious for knockoffs, she has literally zero interest in ever following a path paved by another creator.At John Frieda, Gail was truly the first to design products that were combating frizz, a word that wasn’t even discussed at the time. They eventually sold the business for over $450 million - long before beauty acquisitions were even a common thing.After a few years, bound by a non-compete, Gail eventually launched Color Wow. She another capsule collection of problem-solving products, but this time, specifically or colored hair.In our wide-ranging interview together, we talk about life before her incredible success as an entrepreneur and how she never thought, in a million years, that she’d launch a business on her own. As someone who was always jumping around different jobs and didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life, Gail shares how having twins in her late 30s was the biggest perspective shift for her and what drove a lot of her future success.For anyone lost or looking to find their path, this interview is for you - Gail is so inspiring and graciously shares so many gems for building a meaningful and successful business. We hope you enjoy this one!In this episode, we'll talk to Gail about:* Gail’s story of being a late bloomer and her advice to listeners not to put too much pressure on themselves. [3:11]* Growing up as the oldest, being an avid reader with a love of travel. [6:18]* How becoming a mother of twins in her late 30s changed her perspective on life. [7:33]* The story of how Gail got involved with John Frieda at a hair show. [13:01]* What motivated Yasmin to start her business facilitating a wholefoods approach to period management. [15:23]* How Gail’s search for products for her own hair motivated her to start Frizz-Ease. [18:59]* Why entrepreneurship came as a surprise to Gail. [18:59]* Gail’s experience, never having felt that being a woman was a deterrent to success. [27:36]* The importance of being firm, but not mean, and not to take things personally. [32:04]* Her belief that when you work to make a difference, you end up making money. [37:58]* Collaborating with celebrity stylist Chris Appleton. [44:34]* The big break that happened when Hoda talked about the products on her show. [45:26]* Why her content has fared so well: you can really demonstrate the change it makes. [54:13]* Why it is beneficial to run your company like a small business even if it is a big corporation. [56:02]* Being flexible with your ideas and open to necessary feedback and change. [1:01:12]* Product testing, methods of feedback, and making mistakes in order to progress. [1:06:35]Follow Gail:* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/colorwowhair/* Website: https://colorwowhair.com/This episode is brought to you by beeya:* Learn more about beeya's seed cycling bundle at https://beeyawellness.com/free to find out how to tackle hormonal imbalances.* Get $10 off your order by using promo code BEHINDHEREMPIREFollow Yasmin:* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yasminknouri/* Stay updated & subscribe to our newsletter: https://www.behindherempire.com/
5/23/2022

How to Believe in Yourself & Go After Your BIG Dreams with Kirin Sinha, Founder of Illumix

Season 2, Ep. 103
Kirin Sinha is the Founder and CEO of Illumix, an AR technology and media platform.Kirin started Illumix in 2017 with the mission to push boundaries and elevate the quality of augmented reality in the fields of fashion, game design, and film. Today, Illumix powers some of the world’s most popular mobile games and is helping companies and brands bridge the 2D & 3D world so consumers can interact with products & experiences in a more personalized way.With a degree in electrical engineering, computer science, and mathematics from MIT and advanced degrees in mathematics, statistics, and business from the University of Cambridge, LSE, and Stanford, Kirin is one of Silicon Valley's few minority leaders with a technical background. She’s also raised $13 million from top-tier investors like Lightspeed and Maveron ventures.However, Kirin never envisioned herself as an entrepreneur as her initial aspirations were to become a professor. It wasn’t until she had her first foray into building something from scratch with her nonprofit SHINE for Girls, which empowered middle school girls to learn math, that she realized she wanted to build a business and make an even larger impact.In this episode, we talk to Kirin about what it takes to rediscover your purpose after a major life pivot, how to work on your self-belief when you’re feeling like you’re not good enough, and why it’s so important to have boundaries when it comes to protecting your energy & going after big dreams in life. We also cover how Kirin’s time management, mindset, and self-care rituals have been a huge part of her success, both personally and professionally, and so much more!In this episode, we'll talk to Kirin about:* Kirin’s advice for building confidence by leaning into failure. [2:20]* How her mother and her grandmother have influenced who she is today. [4:18]* Hear how Kirin incorporates positive affirmations into her daily life. [6:38]* Lessons and skills that came from her exposure to both math and dance. [10:27]* What led her to pursue a career in entrepreneurship after studying math at MIT. [18:44]* Learn more about Shine for Girls and what it taught Kirin about entrepreneurship and the impact she could have through business. [22:10]* Insight into the early days of Illumix and the value of building a strong team. [29:40]* Kirin’s experience of participating in the Disney Accelerator Program. [32:03]* Practical ways that brands and consumers can incorporate AR into the real world. [33:54]* Kirin’s approach to fundraising and her advice for woman entrepreneurs: think big! [36:37]* The kinds of questions Kirin asks herself while she is on her daily walk. [42:23]* Where Kirin draws inspiration from, from newsletters and podcasts to books. [44:36]* Self-care rituals (including time management) that help her combat overwhelm. [47:55]* The benefits of building a strong network of mentors, advisors, and supporters. [53:39]* Tips for cold emailing and connecting with those who have the expertise you need. [55:33]Follow Kirin:* Personal Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kirinsinha/* Company Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/illumixofficial/* Website: http://illumix.com/This episode is brought to you by beeya:* Learn more about beeya's seed cycling bundle at https://beeyawellness.com/free to find out how to tackle hormonal imbalances.* Get $10 off your order by using promo code BEHINDHEREMPIREFollow Yasmin:* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yasminknouri/* Stay updated & subscribe to our newsletter: https://www.behindherempire.com/
5/16/2022

It's Never Too Late to Pursue Your Dreams with Michelle Ranavat, Founder of Ranavat

Season 2, Ep. 102
Michelle Ranavat is the Founder and CEO of Ranavat, a global skincare line inspired by Indian beauty rituals.It was after the birth of her two sons that Michelle made the leap into starting her own business, and part of this was inspired by her own desire for products that she could not find. Michelle talks about her postpartum journey, the challenges she faced with hair loss, and how her awareness of Ayurveda along with the ethos instilled in her by her parents was the inspiration to bring Ranavat to life.Michelle and RANAVAT have been consistently featured in publications including Allure, Glamour, and VOGUE, where Michelle was named one of the "Top 50 Influential Global Indians." Ranavat is also the first South Asian-Founded Ayurvedic Skin-Care Brand to be at Sephora.We talk to Michelle about her career before entrepreneurship and how getting suddenly laid off from her reputable finance job was one of the hardest, but ultimately best moments in her life. We also chat about how certain setbacks taught her about resilience, and why that’s now one of her superpowers in running her business.Michelle also shares how she self-funded Ranavat and supported the growth with zero outside funding, how she created awareness in the early days when she had no experience in skincare, and why patience is so important when building a well-run, successful company.In this episode, we’ll talk to Michelle about:*Michelle comments on things that hold women back from following their dreams. [2:34]*The limiting beliefs that Michelle encountered at the time of the birth of her company. [3:33]*Looking back at the lessons that Michelle internalized from her parents. [5:26]*Michelle's career in finance prior to her work as an entrepreneur. [8:31]*The challenging period that Michelle encountered before her professional shift. [10:55]*Working with her father and the itch that drove Michelle to start her business. [14:43]*Taking the time to focus, reflect, and create space for what is really important. [20:30]*The early days of Ranavat and the first product that Michelle launched! [24:07]*The growth of the business and Michelle's philosophy towards scaling. [30:04]*Escaping the comparison trap; how Michelle focused on contentment and gratitude. [31:47]*Developing a resonant message and gaining brand awareness. [34:24]*Michelle reflects on some of the most pivotal moments for her business over the last few years. [36:55]*The continual work that goes into building a brand and budgeting for advertising. [39:37]*Decisions around Michelle's role in the brand image and how this has evolved. [42:24]*Unpacking Michelle's morning routine and how she has accepted her own disposition. [45:22]*Dealing with dips in energy and periods of burnout and stress. [50:41]*A different perspective and making and learning from mistakes! [53:43]*Important lessons from customers and understanding how feedback actually works. [55:12]Follow Michelle:* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ranavat/* Website: https://www.ranavat.com/This episode is brought to you by beeya:* Learn more about beeya's seed cycling bundle at https://beeyawellness.com/free to find out how to tackle hormonal imbalances.* Get $10 off your order by using promo code BEHINDHEREMPIREFollow Yasmin:* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yasminknouri/* Stay updated & subscribe to our newsletter: https://www.behindherempire.com/