Firmology’s How I Power My Business series profiles the technology business owners use to run and grow their business.
Founder’s Note: I met Lauren when we worked together within the eCommerce division of a Fortune 100 retailer. We shared many conversations about work and fun personal life happenings during our commute and she always struck me as a highly driven go-getter who would succeed in whatever role she tackled. What I didn’t know is that she shared the same future ambitions as I had about eventually breaking free from the corporate world and working for herself. When I found out abruptly that she was leaving the company, I was absolutely ecstatic that she was pursuing her dreams with Why Not Girl!.
Name: Lauren McCabe Herpich
Title: Founder and Chief Why Not Girl!
Business: Why Not Girl!
Location: Berkeley, CA
Smartphone: iPhone 4S
Tablets: Not yet – my iPhone 4S and MacBook Air are all I need right now. Plus, both fit nicely in my bag without weighing me down. No Hunchback of Notre Dame here!
Computer: MacBook Air
Other Gadgets: My Western Digital My Passport 1TB External Hard Drive is my saving grace. I have saved everything on it, including my wedding photos and videos – I better not lose it! Fortunately, my Powered Handbag from Urbanjunket holds everything PLUS has a built-in battery pack just in case I need some extra juice to get me through the day.
What’s the story behind your business?
Like many women, it took me a while to realize that I was in fact a Why Not Girl!. As I was approaching my 30th birthday while a graduate student at Northwestern University, I was evaluating what was making me happy and proud of who I had become. I realized that it was not material things or the prominent title at work, but the multitude of life experiences that I was so fortunate to have had.
I couldn’t find one club or organization where I could share in a wide variety of adventures with other women across multiple stages of life. Everything was so compartmentalized: sports, art, food, mom, singleton. So I launched Why Not Girl! in 2012 as a website that serves to empower women to try something new and feel accomplished no matter what your age or interest. So far I have had over 10,000 visitors and have featured over 50 women who embody the Why Not Girl! spirit.
Now inspired by comments on the website, Facebook and Twit
What apps or services are essential to the operations of your business?
Why Not Girl! is built on the WordPress platform using a subscriber theme from WPZoom. I use MailChimp for our email marketing campaigns and HootSuite to manage all of our social media messaging on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Since I recently moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and want to keep in touch with my contributors and network back in Chicago and around the country, I use Skype (my family in NJ also loves seeing me via the computer). Plus, since I am constantly on the go, iCal keeps me knowing where I need to be.
What apps, services or gadgets do you recommend to other business owners?
What I have loved about creating Why Not Girl! on a bootstrap budget is discovering so many free applications and websites to help me get things done without spending an unnecessary dime: Rover is a great app from Microsoft that very accurately gives you public transportation directions and arrival/departure times in San Francisco. SurveyMonkey also provides a great way to bring in research data for free if your survey is 10 questions or less (anything more than that is too long anyway). I also can’t forget Google or Bing. No matter what search engine you use, with a little ingenuity you can find any piece of information from local business associations to media outlets to popular blogs featuring things to do and places to go in a new city.
The biggest time saver for me is not an app, but time management theory in general. While you can’t always make sure that something doesn’t come up, assigning each day of the week into a separate task has been really working wonders for me. For instance, I dedicate Monday to writing and editing all of that week’s Why Not Girl! articles and social media messaging. I have a standing meeting in the city on Tuesday so I schedule any additional meetings or business development activities in the area on that day.
Favorite personal app(s)?
Nike Training Club app! I have saved tons of money by getting rid of my gym membership and working out to the more than 85 workouts on this app. I am constantly challenged and with the explanatory videos for each move I know that I am doing it the right way. I know these are so 2011, but I am still obsessed with Words with Friends and its evil sister app Scramble with Friends. These iPhone games can suck me in for hours, especially when I have at least two games going with my husband at a time. I am also a big fan of NPR’s iPhone app. It has such a user-intuitive interface and provides you with such a great way of listening to my favorite programs like This American Life and Fresh Air and local stations of cities where I used to live.
How can others reach you?
If you have a suggestion for someone we should feature, questions we should be asking, or would like to be featured on Firmology’s How I Power My Business series, email [email protected] with the subject line: How I Power My Business