Payal Kadakia: ‘We need more diversity on the other side of the table’

Female tech founder Payal Kadakia is next in our Women Who Win series, giving us some insight into how tough you have to be to hack it at the top…

You may not have heard of Payal Kadakia just yet, but you’ll certainly know her brainchild, ClassPass, with the fitness membership app giving access to the most on-trend classes across the globe, from boxing to barre.

In the UK alone, there are classes across London, Bristol, Brighton, Edinburgh and Manchester, and it’s only spreading.

‘People always think I’m this huge fitness person,’ the ClassPass founder explained to our Junior News Editor Jenny Proudfoot over avocado toast. ‘But, I started this company because I am scared of fitness. I didn’t even own sneakers until I was in my twenties. I was not an athlete by any means. I hated gym class. No one wanted me on their team.’

But Payal found a gap in the market due to her own need, quitting her corporate job to set up her own company from scratch in Starbucks.

‘My own product has helped me feel so strong,’ she explained. ‘I feel really confident now walking into any class, and through ClassPass, we’ve made it really fun and made everyone feel like they can do that too.’

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But starting a business from scratch doesn’t come without its difficulties, something Payal wouldn’t let stop her on her mission.

‘Failure for any company is running out of capital. That’s the only failure that actually happens – when you cannot pay your bills and pay people working for you,’ she explained. ‘That’s when you have a shutdown. But until that moment, everything is fair game. And you need to make as many hard decisions as you can.’

Our Women Who Win interview series celebrates strong and inspirational female trailblazers, shaping the future for us all, and Payal Kadakia and her refusal to let anyone or anything stand in her way is that in a nutshell.

Jenny Proudfoot sat down with Payal to find out how tough you have to be to survive as a female founder nowadays and why we shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes…

What is the boldest thing you’ve ever done?

Quitting my job. That is one of the scariest things anyone can do because you’re throwing security out of the door. I always remember that day. I don’t think I realised how bold I was being at the time because you almost feel a little defeated – you’re quitting. But I was in a job where my dreams weren’t there and there was no one I aspired to be or for my company to become. The way people reacted to my quitting changed my perception. I earned a tonne of respect from all these people who were like ten years older than me because I made a really bold decision in my life. The tables had flipped and then I realised, that was the way to lead life.

What is the best advice anyone’s ever given you?

It was around the time I started building my company, from one of my earliest advisors. I was going to potentially take a job at Spotify because it was scary not having an income, and she told me, ‘If you’re not going to bet on yourself, how is anyone else going to?’. It was an eye-opening moment for me and I didn’t take any other job and focused on ClassPass from that date forward.

What has been your proudest moment?

When my parents first saw my office. We moved into our big office in New York in 2016, and while it was five years into the journey, I think my parents were wondering ‘What is my daughter doing? Does she have a real job?’, until then. You have to remember, my parents came to America with nothing, and while they believed in me and were really sweet, when they saw my office, that was a really important moment for them to be like, ‘Wow, this is your office and you employ all these people’. But really, I feel like every single time someone hits ‘book’ it makes me proud – especially after being on this journey for eight years. Obviously now we’re in the millions of reservations, but because I remember fighting for every one, I find it such a privilege.

Have you ever felt discriminated against as a female founder?

I can’t think of a particular moment, but I do remember in the early stages one of the hardest things was selling the product. I was pitching to a predominantly female-specific market but most of the people around the table that I was selling to were men. It just made it harder to raise money – that’s the reality of it. We need more diversity on the other side of the table and that’s really what it comes down to. I developed a really strong armour against gender discrimination in my youth and now I won’t let anyone doubt me. Sadly we do have misconceptions in the world – it happens everywhere. I just need to show them that even though I’m different, I can be exceptional at what I do. We need more role models in the world to make people look and change their minds.

How can we all ask for more?

Before you walk into any meeting or have that conversation, you need to convince yourself that you deserve it. Whether that comes down to writing out all the reasons why you deserve it or pumping yourself up, you have to believe it – that’s what it comes down to. If you walk into any room being like, ‘I’m going to do this and it’s mine’, it’s not a question and it’s not up to anyone else. Let it be already done.

What is your mantra?

There’s a quote by Robert Sherman that I live by which is, ‘Your greatest life is on the other side of your greatest fear’. I live by that all the time.

What will you never compromise on?

My time. I think time is the most important thing we have. I try not to feel guilty about how I spend my time because that, to me, is a compromise. If I want to go and do something, whether that be going to class or dance or whatever, I give myself the permission to make sure I do that. I think if you can figure out how you work and how you spend your time efficiently, it’s the best way to move forward in your life.

How do you achieve the right work-personal life balance?

You can’t. I mean honestly, in the earliest days, I didn’t. I was very okay with that. I learned to not feel guilty about it. I missed people’s weddings, I missed friends’ things, I was MIA for a while. I think all my friends knew I had this dream of something I wanted to build. I am a really mission-oriented person. Nothing over-rides mission to me. I truly believe people in your life should understand that.

What has held you back?

Sadly, the buck stops with you. I don’t mean this in any bad way, but it’s when you get stuck in your own thoughts and when you doubt yourself that stops you progressing. The world doesn’t want to doubt people. The world wants to root for you. I think it’s about being able to root for yourself as well. We all have moments when we get stuck in our heads and think, ‘Oh I don’t think I can do that’, but I’ve learned how to work my way out of that and find the right people in my life to help move forward.

What is your superpower?

My superpower is my ability to focus. Even when I was younger, I could be in the middle of a party and read a book.  And now, when I have something to solve or something to do, I just know how to do it really quickly. It’s intense and weaves into everything I do.

What has been your biggest mistake?

I really don’t believe in mistakes and I’m saying that truthfully. I believe that all failures are points that take you to the next step in your life. So I don’t really dwell too much on them – I rationalise each moment whether it was a down moment or an up moment, it’s a part of what will happen next.

What’s your typical day?

There’s no such thing as ‘typical’ in the life of an entrepreneur. I think it really comes down to knowing what hard decisions you need to make every single day and prioritising your time. In fact, I think that once you get into a typical routine, it’s actually the best way to fail. It means you’re too comfortable. I think as a leader you have to constantly be putting yourself in a new atmosphere and a new challenge which means it’s never going to be typical.

What has inspired you?

Growing up in America I sadly got made fun of a lot for being Indian, but it was a defining moment in my life. The hard thing was that I loved my culture – I have always had a love of dance and movement and all of my dancing is from the history of my ancestors. I remember starting to hide my culture from my friends – I felt like I was living two lives. And at some point, that adversity is what inspired my first company – a dance company. I thought, ‘I’m doing something so beautiful – maybe I can use that as a vehicle to show people what my culture is all about’.

How do you psych yourself up?

I love going to a class or running. To me, that is like meditation in a way. We’re around our phones and technology all the time, so I need moments when I’m away from that. It doesn’t even mean being silent but movement just helps me think better and helps my creativity. I just feel strong.

How do you celebrate success?

Celebrating with the people that made it happen. The best things in the world have never happened because of one person – they happened because of a group of people – so I think it comes down to saying thank you. But success to me isn’t an endpoint, and I say that in the sense that I don’t want to ever be done. To me, success is having another dream. And I never want to be done on that journey.

What is one change you would like to see for women?

I think everything I have learned in my journey comes down to being confident in who I am. And so that is what I would like to see for women, for men, for anyone in the world – to have that confidence and remember it’s all your choice – the environment you hang out in, the career you have, the people you work with, the work you do – it’s all your choice. And the more you know that, the more you hold your cards on what you can become. It’s not up to anyone else.

ClassPass is the leading online fitness membership and is available in five major cities across the UK, including London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol and Brighton. 

The post Payal Kadakia: ‘We need more diversity on the other side of the table’ appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Couple: ‘We Paid Off $114,151 in Debt in 23 Months’

Money is always a sticky subject when it comes to relationships. It’s the reason why most marriages end in divorce. Instead of letting debt take over their lives, this couple tackled it head-on. BLACK ENTERPRISE caught up with Jhanilka and Anthony Hartzog, a millennial couple who had to face the reality of discussing finances and finding a pragmatic solution to tackling their overwhelming debt.

When did you know you were in over your heads?

Christmas 2016, we were excited to get gifts for the family. We put a ton of gifts on our credit cards, as we normally pay them off when due. After the holidays, we quickly realized we were in over our heads with credit card debt and had to dip into our savings to pay them off. As a New Year’s resolution, Jhanilka decided she wanted to save more and travel more. We were completely aware that this would be a difficult thing to do. However, in January 2017, we sat down and discussed our debt as a whole. In this discussion came to the decision to pay everything off (student loans, car, credit card debt, etc). We had never realized what our total amount of debt was. We had $ 114,151 in total debt and that was when it hit us.

What was your first step to paying off debt?

Our first step to paying off debt was to calculate the total and create a game plan. Anthony religiously listened to Dave Ramsey’s podcast The Dave Ramsey Show and read his book The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. This helped us to know where to start on our journey. We began with a budget. In addition to our budget, we adopted the debt snowball method, paying off the smallest to largest debt and tracked it on an amortization spreadsheet. From there, we were able to project how long it would take us to pay off the debt by only paying the minimum. We decided to start to take on more side hustles and did this in order to move the timeline of paying it off it into 23 months. We were able to meet our goal right in time for Jhanilka’s 30th birthday.

What were some everyday practices you executed to get rid of the debt?

Some everyday practices were making sure we stayed on track with our budget (this took us 4 months to successfully accomplish), as well as having our monthly budget meetings to go over our spending habits and discuss how we could save more. Money has become a part of our everyday conversations. It came to the point that we were excited to see our progress and hold each other accountable.

What are some practices you implement now to stay out of debt?

We are staying out of debt by not taking on new debt, not using credit cards and being more intentional with our money. We now have a 6-month emergency fund. This will help us avoid taking on new debt in the event of any life-changing circumstances. We also continue to do our budget and have our monthly budget meetings.

The post Couple: ‘We Paid Off $ 114,151 in Debt in 23 Months’ appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Motley Crue Drummer Tommy Lee Marries Brittany Furlan: ‘We Did It!’

Mr. and Mrs! Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee and actress Brittany Furlan tied the knot on Thursday, February 14.

“It’s official!!!! We’re married!!!” the bride announced on Instagram alongside a photo of two dogs in wedding attire. “MR & MRS LEE YAHOOOOOOOO.”

The American Meme star, 32, gushed about her wedding gown ahead of her big day. “Only bummer about my dress for tomorrow is that it doesn’t have any pockets for snacks,” she joked on Twitter on Wednesday, February 13.

Two days prior, she marveled at her fate, tweeting, “I can’t believe I went from the most depressed, lonely girl, thinking I would die alone with my dogs, to getting married in 4 days … wow … life is a trip.”

The musician, 56, and the former Vine sensation were first spotted together in June 2017. Eight months later, they were engaged.

Lee announced their big news on Instagram on Valentine’s Day 2018 with a video that showed him holding his fiancée’s hand as she showed off her new heart-shaped diamond. 

“Well this certainly beats chocolates!” he wrote at the time, adding,“Say hello the future Mrs. Lee.”

Furlan also raved about her husband-to-be: “Best day of my life!!!! I can’t wait to get to spend forever with my best friend #engaged,” she wrote on Twitter.

The couple punked fans in May when the rocker posted an Instagram photo of himself kissing his bride-to-be while standing beneath a makeshift altar in matching robes and slippers. “Did it, I do A LOT,” he wrote at the time.

Their journey to the aisle was far more traditional, however: Furlan shared photos from her bridal shower with friends, including Lee’s bandmate Nikki Sixx’s wife, Courtney Sixx, on Instagram in January.

“I thought I was going to die alone with my corpse being found chewed on by my 3,000 dogs and now I’m here,” she joked.

Lee was previously married to Elaine Bergen from 1984 to 1985, Heather Locklear from 1986 to 1993 and Pamela Anderson from 1995 to 1998.

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Black Enterprise Founder: ‘We Owe An Apology to Martin Luther King, Jr.’

Decades after his death, the legacy and contributions of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the sacrifices he made to bring justice to African Americans and to challenge America to live up to its ideals, are being celebrated more than ever before. It’s fair to say that we have done justice to King’s memory. But the truth is America has not done justice to his dream. In fact, I, and the rest of King’s generation, now between the ages of 70 and 85, owe King an apology.

Due to our lack of leadership and accountability, and despite the conspicuous success of a minority of African Americans, we have failed to do what it takes to lead our people to the promised land of freedom, equality, and the full measure of the American dream.

Two months after the assassination of Dr. King, Earl G. Graves Sr. escorts Mrs. Coretta Scott King on June 8th, 1968 to the funeral of Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

King’s dream was about equal opportunity and economic justice for all black Americans, not just an exceptional few. After making progress toward those goals into the late ’80s, we somehow lost our desire to pursue King’s agenda. Ultimately, we simply stopped fighting, as if we no longer believed that what King died for was worth continuing to sacrifice and fight for. And for that, Dr. King, I am sorry. You left us with an example and a challenge to make a better world for our children. And we’ve failed you.

The evidence shows that our failure is as complete as it is indisputable. Nearly 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education, American education remains largely segregated by race, with black children bearing the brunt of failing public schools. We’re failing King in economic justice. Today, the wealth gap between African Americans and white Americans is wider than ever, and black businesses remain largely excluded from economic power centers–from Hollywood and Silicon Valley to Wall Street and Madison Avenue.

The quality of life for African Americans in our urban centers has hardly improved, and in many cases, has worsened, since many urban areas were destroyed by riots in the aftermath of King’s assassination. Sadly, in nearly every area, from healthcare outcomes to high school drop-out rates to entire generations of African Americans trapped in our prison system, the world we’re leaving to our children and grandchildren is no better than the one we inherited.

I was assigned by Sen. Robert Kennedy to assist Coretta Scott King with getting her slain husband’s body from Memphis to Atlanta. I know intimately the ultimate sacrifice that King made–based on the promise of future generations–so that we would have the opportunities that we enjoy today. It’s a promise we have failed to keep.

Our fight for freedom and justice is not over. We have not won. Memorials aside, my generation owes an apology to King for having dropped the baton, for not taking the torch he lit and running with it. Now, it is up to our children and grandchildren to continue the fight to ensure that King’s dream is deferred no longer, and that all African Americans, not just a select, privileged, or fortunate few, reach the promised land of freedom, equality, justice, and opportunity.

Editor’s Note: This article originally published in 2012. 

The post Black Enterprise Founder: ‘We Owe An Apology to Martin Luther King, Jr.’ appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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‘We have everything that I like’: Trump serves fast-food feast for Clemson’s White House visit

For the second time in three years, Clemson spent time in Washington with Trump. The White House said the president paid for the fast food out of his own pocket because of the partial government shutdown.
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Trina Braxton Posts a Tribute to Late Husband Gabe Solis: ‘We Grieve His Unexpected Departure’ [Photo]

Trina Braxton is speaking out for the first time since ex-husband Gabe Solis passed away due to cancer.

According to Trina, news of Gabe’s passing leaked before those closest to him knew and some of his family found out via social media — for which she apologizes.

“Unfortunately, someone leaked the story before we could make everyone aware of his passing, and I apologize to those friends and family members for finding out through social outlets.”

Take a look:

 

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On December 20, 2018, a chapter permanently closed for my sons and I. For over 16 years, Gabe Solis was an essential part of our lives. Like all families, there are good and bad moments that are endured, but those moments, good or bad still made us who we are in the present. Unfortunately, someone leaked the story before we could make everyone aware of his passing, and I apologize to those friends and family members for finding out through social outlets. I also apologize directly to the Solis Family. I do humbly ask for your prayers for our families, but my greatest request is that when you are posting comments, remember Gabe’s passing is a loss for our family. He was a father to my boys, a son, brother, and friend to many and I would appreciate privacy and respect as we grieve his unexpected departure. @gabe_solis1234 I miss you, my dear friend.

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The post Trina Braxton Posts a Tribute to Late Husband Gabe Solis: ‘We Grieve His Unexpected Departure’ [Photo] appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity news.

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Draymond Green reportedly told Kevin Durant: ‘We don’t need you. We won without you. Leave’

Draymond Green got into an argument with Kevin Durant so feisty, it caused a Warriors player to predict Durant will now leave Golden State in free agency next summer. Green blurted to Durant something along the lines of, “We don’t need you. When Green and Durant bickered last year in a similar, though less heated, incident, it was claimed Green was using “reverse psychology” to motivate Durant.

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NYPD Detective Told Weinstein’s Alleged Victim to Delete Messages: ‘We Just Won’t Tell’ D.A.

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

The former lead detective in the Harvey Weinstein sexual-assault investigation told a woman who accused the movie mogul of rape to delete messages and data from multiple cell phones before giving them to prosecutors, according the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

The alleged victim did not delete the messages and alerted her attorney because she felt uncomfortable with the request, according to a letter the D.A.’s office was required to send Weinstein’s attorney and file in court. The letter was released publicly on Wednesday afternoon.

The woman, identified only as “Complainant 2,” is the subject behind three of the mogul’s five counts of sex-related offenses: predatory sexual assault, rape in the first degree, and rape in the third degree. Her accusations stem from an incident that allegedly took place in Weinstein’s hotel room in Manhattan on March 18, 2013.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

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