How did you come up with the WIRL idea?
I didn’t pull it out of thin air; I created a platform that I actually needed. Having wrestled with a formidable case of burnout myself, I knew that the high-stress environment that healthcare professionals work in could really take a toll on our mental health. In the throes of my own burnout episode, WIRL was the light at the end of the tunnel — it was a way for me to help myself and my colleagues.
But it didn’t come to me all at once. I really had to experience falling into — and climbing out of — burnout before it clicked. Even though I’m a healthcare professional (and I fully understood what I was going through ), I refused to address it. I kept working long hours and loading more onto my plate until my burnout symptoms got worse and worse. It started with irritability, and then I became much less productive at work and at home. It took hours to finish tasks that used to take half that time.
Next, overwhelming stress started creeping in, and cynical thoughts began filling my mind. I became too tired and stressed out to even try to relax or enjoy myself — even coffee, which was once my chance to relax and treat myself, started becoming a joyless routine necessary only for a caffeine boost. That’s just not me. I’ve always been upbeat and balanced. But the stress of opening up my health care practice, managing thirteen clinicians, and having a baby at 42 was just too much.
When I finally admitted to myself that I was suffering from burnout, my inner healthcare professional came out, and I immediately put a plan into action. I began with a to-do list. This helped me prioritize my tasks, and it left me some leeway if I couldn’t finish everything. I also implemented a timer alert on my phone that reminded me to take a break throughout the day. Plus, I found ways to carve out more me-time doing things that I enjoy. It was still a challenge, but eventually, I made enough lifestyle changes to beat my burnout.
And that inspired me to help other healthcare professionals too. That’s where WIRL comes in. With this platform, healthcare professionals will be able to host workshops, meet and support each other, and great exclusive deals on great wellness-related products!
What is your day-to-day like running a tech business?
More than anything else, I’m learning every day! I don’t come from a tech background, so there are a lot of learning curves that I have to adjust to. I’m also teaching myself to become comfortable with the language and the environment. Having spent so long in the face-to-face, boots-on-the-ground side of healthcare, this is brand new to me, so it’s exciting, and it’s keeping my days fresh!
What challenges have you encountered as an entrepreneur?
I’ve come to realize that challenges are rarely as bad as they seem — if you spend the time trying to understand them, you can do a lot more than just overcome them: you can grow. For instance, the burnout episode that I mentioned earlier wasn’t just a fruitless setback. It encouraged me to start WIRL and achieve a more stable, healthy lifestyle. I think if we all stop treating challenges as deadends and start treating them as learning curves, we’ll all be better for it!
What opportunities do you see in the welltech space?
The self-care and wellness trend has been surging in the personal and business sphere. People are stressed out, and they’re looking for ways to feel better. We all want to manage our work and home lives with grace — to be better partners, parents, employees, and people in general. I think the welltech space is uniquely situated to give people actionable, life-changing services — and I’m so glad to be a part of it.
Can you talk about one person who has impacted your life?
Outside of my mother and grandmother, Bonnie Shumofsky Bloom has been a huge inspiration to me. Bonnie is a talent agent in New York City. Watching her conquer boundaries that women face daily — and then book talent, review documents, and take calls all in one breath — was amazing. I was truly blessed to see her in action, and I think of her whenever I need a mental push.
What are your favorite books, websites, films and resources?
Book: Anything by Fred Rogers.
Resources: Instagram — hashtags put the world at our fingertips!
Where is your favorite place to travel?
This a tough one. I have a lot of great memories of Gulfport, Florida and Aspen, Colorado. But I also love New York City, preferably the upper east side.