Entrepreneur and CEO Karen Cahn on How She Draws a ‘Major Line’ Between Her Phone and Her Life

Plus, what she does with an extra 15 minutes in her day.

When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Thrive Global: What gives you energy?
Karen Cahn: I’m a classic extrovert so I get my energy from other people with great energy, like my team. I am blessed to work with a group of incredibly focused and productive women who are all as dedicated to helping female entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground as I am. We all work tirelessly to help our startups position themselves the best they can to present their businesses and get funding. It’s incredibly rewarding work for us all.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
KC: Hello Fresh. They deliver two meals a week to my family and it brings us together to cook a meal and connect. The kids can make the meals, they enjoy participating and the food is yummy! No more nightly pizza or Chinese food.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.

KCLove Story by Erich Segal. It made me learn that love is the most important thing in this life. It’s a super cheesy example but it’s my truth.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?

KC: Hell to the no. When I’m in for the evening, with my kids, and we are enjoying some precious time together, it’s usually all three of us in my bed, reading, or snuggling up. So the phone is most certainly not involved in that. I try to draw a major line between my phone and my life.

TG: How do you deal with email?
KC: Oy. I suck at email. I let it pile up and then batch delete it. I have become so dependent on Slack for every communication I have internally at iFundWomen, both with my staff and also our entrepreneurs, that my email gets neglected. I try to carve out an hour a day to clear it out, but I still have an overwhelmed inbox.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?

KC: I go outside and do “grass yoga”. No mat, just me and the grass and 15 minutes of stretching and some light core work.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
KC: Since starting iFundWomen, I have not felt burned out because I genuinely, from the core of my soul, love what we are doing at the company. Helping women get their businesses funded and off the ground is my life’s purpose. I would do it for free.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?

KC: I have wins and fails every day, and I try to learn something from each moment. I learn more from failure, which I think is normal. What I like about failing at something is it means I tried, I learned something valuable, and I can apply the learnings for the next time. I don’t give up on my goals, so I look at fails as typical milestones on the journey.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
KC: “Haste makes waste”. Whenever I’m in a rush to get something done or off my plate, I think of the mantra “haste makes waste” and it immediately forces me to slow down, check my work, maybe put it to the side for a few hours or even days, and then the output is so much better thought out.

Karen Cahn is the Founder and CEO of iFundWomen, the first crowdfunding platform for female entrepreneurs and their creative ideas. Launched in November 2016, iFundwomen aims to break the gender and confidence gap in funding women-led businesses and start-ups. The company has a pay-it-forward model, offers one-on-one crowdfunding coaching, and video-production services to entrepreneurs. 

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