7year old Latina Founder, Daniella Pierson, on building a $100M startup Wondermind with Selena Gomez
Updated: 4 days ago
Hello and welcome back to the show! It’s Doone here, your host and hype girl. Today we’re learning from Daniella Pierson, the 27 year old Latina co-founder of Wondermind.
Daniella started her first company, The Newsette, as a sophomore in college, and despite not having any VC funding, seven years later The Newsette closed 2021 with $40M in sales and 8-figures of profit with a valuation of over $200 million. But that’s not all… she’s also the founder of the newly launched mental fitness startup Wondermind, that she launched with her co-founders Selena Gomez and Mandy Teefey after a powerful conversation around their mental health struggles. She is the World’s Youngest Wealthiest Self-Made BIPOC Woman.
This is seriously seriously an incredible episode. Daniella is very open about having ADHD, OCD, and Depression, and is passionate about showing the world that you can achieve success at any age, even without millions of VC dollars, while struggling with learning disabilities and mental health disorders.
You are going to love this really down to earth chat about building a startup and the high highs that come with the lowest of the lows. If you love this episode please do share it with someone that would benefit from hearing Daniella’s truly inspiring story.
Please note, this transcript has been copy pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!
Thank you so much for having me. It's such a pleasure. I've listened to so many episodes and I'm so inspired by all the women you interview. So I'm, I'm so flattered that you want to interview me. Oh my gosh, that makes me feel so good. Thank you so much. I'm so excited to be learning from you today and talking all things, mental health, talking all things, wonder, mind, how's your day going so far? Have you had any wins or any ocean moments that you wanna unload? Yeah. Yeah. Is this a therapy session I get for free. So I'm in new york. I know that you're in Australia. We just talked about that, but it's a quarter past seven p.m. I just ran here from my office. Um and I am honestly very, very tired, very drained. I stack my days um like monday through friday and honestly the weekends as well, but not with meetings just like doing stuff, but I like to stack my day and just like from 10 AM to like seven or eight, no breaks or anything, just like meeting, meeting, meeting, meeting. Um and then maybe sometimes work time, uh just so I feel like I just ran a sprint. Um And yeah, today had like a lot of emotions, just like overwhelming emotions and you know, with any entrepreneur, there are ups and downs daily and you get punched in the face at least 100 times, but I'm lucky enough to have three different businesses. So the news that the company that I started when I was 19 is a sophomore in college, which is a daily email newsletter to empower a woman new land, which is also under the news that umbrella, which is a creative agency and uh, pr and marketing and social media agency. We do huge things on Tiktok. We have huge brands like amazon and mattel that work with us. And then lastly wonder mind that you mentioned where most of my time is going, which is a mental health ecosystem. I started with Mandy Tv and Selena Gomez. So with those three combined, it's like so many more chances of being punched in the face every day and highs and lows, you know, something's going right with this company, but something is going wrong with this company. So I actually posted today about um, that I was feeling like pretty low and I like to be pretty vulnerable about that because oftentimes people can be so consumed or um, enamored by the headlines. Um, when in reality, you know that this is how I usually look after a long day and it's not the pretty head shot that you'll see in Forbes. Yeah. And I love that I really respect, you know, that you're able to show up in the world and and speak that truth and and be relatable because we're all going through challenges were all whether you're in the 9 to 5, whether you're an entrepreneur, whether you're a student, we're all dealing with our personal stress and anxiety and depression and, and social media is such a, it can be such a negative experience. I mean it can also be so positive but social media is tough and so to be able to come on a channel and see someone like you opening up and talking and sharing is so refreshing and so needed, grateful for that. Well, thank you. Um, I definitely got inspiration from my co founders, Mandy and Selena Selena actually before we ever even knew each other when I was in college. She was like the first incredibly famous person, if not the most famous person in the world to ever be honest and open about her mental health and that was way before I was ever on a snow open about my mental health and that really inspired me. And so it sucks that it took me to get to a point where I achieved everything I not even imagined for myself, but you know, 26 27 to finally be open about my O. C. D A D H. D. Depression etcetera because I felt like if I would have been open earlier than maybe I would have, you know, been seen as even less of a attractive investment for Vcs or you know, other business deals. I'm not only, you know, latino woman and Woman of color get like.4% of funding. Um I think that was last year's statistic, which is ridiculous and women get like four and so I didn't want to add, you know, quotation marks, crazy to that list. So I really kept it hidden, but it's a shame and I'm not proud of the fact that I waited until I felt like I was kind of at a point where it wouldn't affect me because truly people should see mental illness just like as if somebody has, you know, lupus or um you know, a heart problem or something like that, you know, you would never not invest in somebody because they have some sort of you know, high blood pressure. So why does mental health, you know, play a part into it? Mm Yeah. And you know, it's just so powerful what you're doing with wonder mind and what you're able to kind of bring to so many people around the world now for you, you know, for anyone actually who you know is listening and might not 100% know about wonder mind yet or what it's all about. How do you like to describe what this business is? Yeah, it's pretty multi dimensional. Um but essentially mandy tv Selena Gomez and myself came together and we said, you know, we have varying skills among us, how can we use all of those superpowers to essentially change the world and make a big impact in the mental health space. And so essentially we have an ecosystem with three prongs, media production and physical product which is launching next year, but essentially the mission and the thesis is to democratize mental health and um introduce this concept called mental fitness, which is a way lower barrier to entry than you know, mental health. Whereas you know, even someone like me a few years ago wouldn't want to touch something that said mental health with a 10 ft pole, but mental fitness, Oh, that's like just like you work out your body, you work out your mind and so it feels like you don't have to have a diagnosed mental health disorder to be a part of it. You you don't have to actually, you know, everything that we offer from content to products coming is all merchandise by feeling. So even on our website you can hit this button called filter by fields and filter the content by I feel sad, I feel lonely et cetera. And so this is absolutely a place for anybody with feelings to not only learn more about, you know, mental health and how to keep up their mental fitness daily from the best experts in the world that are usually unreachable for normal people who can't spend thousands of dollars an hour a session, but it's also, you know, a really entertaining and just sexier, you know, like psychology today or web MD where you actually feel like you can have, you know, our website or newsletter, our podcast, you know, playing next to your friends or in your office and you won't like look like you're looking at a medicine journal. So really trying to make mental health accessible. So to democratize and de stigmatize mental health. Mm I love that. And gosh, I love your website. You nailed it. Thank you. Yeah, it was definitely a team effort. Love that. Always a team effort. I just want to like rewind quickly back to this like, you know, coming up with the idea and the inception of Wonder Mind and like you kind of partnering with Selena and Mandy, how does that happen? How did you partner with Mandy and Selena on this? Like what's the lightbulb moment? What's the conversation look like when you're sitting around being like, oh, here's the idea. Like, let's dig into that for a second. That's so cool. Yeah. So everyone loves to ask this question like how did you get to Mandy tv and Selena Gomez? Uh it's actually, you know, I like to believe the word or the phrase, the harder you work, the luckier you get. And I truly believe that. And so truly just from sending an email newsletter every single day, um writing it myself from five AM to 10 AM and then doing all the other jobs and hiring people etcetera. I think it was like five years into it. It's almost the eight year anniversary of the news that I was able to, you know, develop an incredible subscriber ship and following. And we had the opportunity to interview Mandi TIF and Selena Gomez. And for those of you who don't know, they're actually mother daughter. But Mandy tiffy is respected in her own right because she's an incredible producer. And she's one of the minds behind 13 reasons why, which democratized and brought the word suicide and depression into millions of homes and really, you know, brought forward the conversation about, you know, mental health for teenagers. It just like, it fueled that by so much I I don't think there's ever been a culture moment like that, that has fueled the growth and the conversation that much. And so I had the honor of interviewing them. So instead of one of my editors doing it, I asked if I could do it and I think everyone was confused because at that point, you know, two years ago, I wasn't really creating the newsletter content every single today. But I had secretly, you know, been battling with mental health for, you know, since I was six years old. And the topic of the interview was mental health. And so I really wanted to be able to talk to these incredible women about and see from my own eyes and years, you know how vulnerable and brave they could be. And so we essentially, you know, we're all together and they were so raw and real and open and honest with me that I basically, by the end of the interview decided to tell them they were like the 4th and 5th people I had ever told in my entire life that I had O. C. D. And I basically figured it out when I was like six years old and that I had depression and A. D. H. D. And I also you know attempted suicide as a teen and they were so you know just welcoming and incredibly supportive that I felt like you know everybody should feel this way, everybody should feel like they don't have to be so scared to talk about their mental health where they don't end up getting help or they don't end up talking to people and it ends up consuming them and so we on that call we're like we need to do something uh that is bigger than all of us and that could hopefully save lives and change lives and that's really where the conversation started wow that is so wild and so powerful to have that moment where you feel so supported that you can share that. Then this ignites a new spark in you to do something on this huge global level wow I'm just like I didn't know that's how it happened. That's so cool. Yeah. Yeah it was super organic and um I think the best things happen like that. So it was a lot of you know luck and being able to grow a media company to be able to have people like many Tv and Selena Gomez to be interviewed and then you know for me to do the interview and feel so comfortable to share that and we all kind of had this feeling at the same time that like why wouldn't we be doing something like this? This should be our legacy. Oh, that's so cool. So it's pretty wild to me. I was reading about the news that it's valued at like $200 million or 200 something million dollars. Wonder Mind is valued at $100 million firstly. Um Love that for you. Crazy. Amazing. But secondly, and I know we've just touched on this a few minutes ago. I can imagine that it is just so much pressure and it takes a lot of mental strength and like you were saying you're stacked every day, you're busy, you've got a lot to deal with your being punched in the face a million times. What are some of your like frameworks and coping mechanisms that you personally use when it comes to dealing with things like stress and anxiety and depression. Yeah. So basically the new set um which as I mentioned is the news that newsletter and then also our agency called New Land. That was basically a secret for the last three years because our first client was amazon and then they continued to every they have so many divisions, hundreds of divisions and so every division heard about the great work we were doing and they wanted to work with us. And so we essentially, we're just working with all amazon groups and then finally, now we're working with other incredible companies like mattel and etcetera, but both of those are so mission driven. So the news that started basically with the, I guess mission and thesis of trying to motivate and inspire woman every single day by having a newsletter that talked about not only fashion but tech, beauty, business, politics and beyond. And then interviewed an inspiring woman every day. So it could be somebody like Diane von furstenberg who's my very Godmother that she calls herself um or Selena Gomez or it could be a teacher in the midwest who's doing incredible things for her school. Um, just anybody that could really spark inspiration because sometimes you need that, especially in a toxic inbox, which most people have, whether you're a student or You know, just in the workforce or just in general. And so that business was very different than building wonder mind because I started in college, I had zero capital. Um eventually I convinced my parents to give me a $15,000 loan um, which they made me sign a contract. If I didn't pay it back within Three years that they would own 50% of my company. So it was, it was definitely a shark, a shark loan, but they basically wanted me to work for it and not feel like $15,000, even though it is in the grand scheme of things when people raise money so little, like they really wanted me to appreciate every cent. And I Actually, I'm really happy that I didn't have that much money starting out because it really made me think about exactly what I want to do and not give me, you know, all of this money to play with. So I bootstrapped the business entirely and I tried to raise money when I was 22 or 23 after college and I got laughed out of every room. And so I owned my entire company except for the small piece that I gave to my mother who is an immigrant from Colombia and literally just never stopped believing in me even when everyone else did, maybe she should have uh, stopped believing in me as well. And so that's the reason why, you know, I was recently named the The youngest, wealthiest diverse woman in the world with my net worth of 220 million because I owned so much of my original company because I never got VC investing and in the time at the time when all these people were telling me no and I was crying and you know, I thought that it was the end of the world, I would have never thought that it would actually be such a good thing. It definitely took a lot longer, but we were able to grow by 16,000% in the last three years, even during the pandemic, by just hustling and you know, instead of convincing five or 10 people on a cap table to invest in your company, you have to convince hundreds if not thousands of people to to buy ads in your newsletter or you know, work with your agency. And so it is so hard. So I had that experience and then with wonder mind because of, you know, the backgrounds that each of us had as co founders, we decided that we wanted to actually raise and we put our own money in as well. And we were lucky enough to be able to come out with just an idea and, you know, the three of us with $100 million valuation and serena ventures led that I'm an LP and serena ventures and serena Williams is an incredible person who really believes in our mission. And so we not only got, you know, investment from them, but also an incredible advocate and just, you know, so much knowledge in the space. And then we have other incredible people on our cap table. And so, so that is a very different kind of business where you have co founders, but also investors. So it's been interesting to learn that, you know, how to walk in that kind of business. And it's, it's been pretty easy to learn because I've always treated my own business as if I had investors, you know, I, I just do everything I can to put the money back into the business and make it grow and it's all about the business and I think about myself last and so it wasn't that hard of an adjustment. Uh, so yeah, because of the fact that I'm the ceo of all of those companies are co ceo of wonder mind. I have a lot of stress on my plate every single day and I don't get the luxury of, you know, like matching my calls where it's like, okay, I'll do news that new land stuff these hours and then I'll do wonder mine stuff these hours. I just allow my, you know, team to book calls whenever because I just want to make sure that we can run as fast as possible and I don't want to have to wait a week to have a call that I'm excited about because it's convenient for me. So I, Again, like I was saying in the beginning, I kind of run these sprints, 80% of my time is spent on wonder mind. And then I would say 20% is on, you know, the news that mostly new land, but I work, you know, like 120 hour weeks. Um, I don't take a day off. And I actually loved working during the weekends because I can be at my own pace and I can do things that are, you know, maybe more creative or as the weekdays are more meeting heavy and you know more strategic etc. Um And so to answer your question because I know I just gave a ted talk to answer your question uh the way that I you know mentally reset or practice mental fitness myself is truly by seeing my therapist. So I have to I have a therapist for my like regular life just you know as somebody uh would be lucky enough to have one if they you know just had a therapist to talk to about relationships and you know problems and how to navigate life etcetera. And then I have a therapist that is specifically for my O. C. D. And so then I have a psychiatrist who I see every couple of months who manages my medicine and I am extremely lucky that I am in the position to be able to have all of this support and help when I was in college. My parents never ever you know I love my parents and my mother is an immigrant from Colombia like I said so she has that culture and my dad is like this manly man from Niagara falls new york where it's like you know you're always tough and you don't show weakness and I was always kind of like a boy to him. I was a tomboy and my identical twin sister was more like the princess and so he's always you know been a little tougher with me and so both of my parents like we're mortified when I even asked when I was maybe like 13 or 14 like I think I what I have as O. C. D. It's not like some weird quirk or whatever, can I see a therapist? Like that was not a thing um in my town or you know in society at that point I guess uh you know over 10 years ago. And so I was absolutely not allowed to see a therapist or a psychiatrist or anything in medicine. Oh my God was out of the question because of the ignorance that they had against you know um the topic and so I don't blame them. Again it's like you know there's so much stigma around it that it's it's almost you know like you can't blame people for buying into that and that's why it's so important to change the narrative. And so when I went to college and my O. C. D. He became debilitating and I was in a point where I was going to be kicked out of college for basically having my business and you know not doing as well as I wanted to in college and literally one semester before I was going to graduate college and I had zero revenue for new set. You know I had just focused all of my energy on just building the community and then building the business part after I graduated. Um And so I had a little bit of affiliate money, which means, you know, if we, if we, if I, because it was me myself and I for the first three years if I had something in the newsletter that someone would purchase then I would get like 2% commission or whatever. And so I had a little tiny bit of savings there and I used that to go behind my parents back and go see a therapist and a psychiatrist that gave me medicine. So I know how expensive these things are and I was so shocked and how few people take insurance and like because I was doing it behind my parents back so like I couldn't use insurance and I realized even if I could they didn't accept the insurance insurance I had. So it was so expensive. And so you know, as a student with like not any resources and having little money, you know that I'm making on the side, you know, going all into this. I know personally how much of a financial, you know, uh, I guess investment it is to have that kind of help. And so that's also why wonder mind is so important to myself in Salina and Mandy's because we are truly trying to democratize the information and the voices of you know, the best therapists, psychiatrists etcetera in the world to have all of the content that they contribute and that they the tip and everything that they give us to always be free. So all of our media will always be free. Um our newsletter, which is three times a week, you know, obviously everything on our social channel, but then also our website, it's always going to be free because we believe everybody should be able to know more about mental health and mental fitness, not just the select few who can afford to get that kind of care. 100%. Gosh, isn't it crazy? Like, You know, the world has obviously changed so much in the last 10 years and this conversation is really starting and with businesses like wonder mine bringing this to the forefront and people, also I think becoming so much more open about struggles during the pandemic and how we've kind, of the narrative is slowly starting to shift and there is more, you know, also research going into this space, also new options, new things like treatment through psychedelics and psilocybin and LSD and all these kind of things that are coming to the surface and aren't so taboo anymore, which I think is just amazing actually, something that I just started doing for my own kind of like, you know, small small framework is in the morning. I have cold showers and it's something that, you know, it helps with my anxiety, it helps with my mood, it gets my blood going and I just step out of that shower, feeling like magic. And it's hard obviously, but it's like one of those small tips that I give myself in the morning to just make myself feel good and it's so easy, everyone can do it and I just love it. I just wanted to say that that's crazy. I mean, I feel like a cold shower is almost like a punishment. So that good for you for making that like something that's rejuvenating and refreshing. Oh my God, you should try it. It's so good. I like hot showers. Like that's, I really look forward to shower. I love hot showers, don't get me wrong, yeah, I have a beautiful bathtub and you know, I always try to get into baths, but I just get so hot and like, I like being kind of cold and then hot and so that's why showers are like, you know better for me. Um just like once it gets too hot. Yeah. And just like I need like a glass of ice or something to just pour on my face. That that's a really good tip. There are so many things, I mean like, look, therapy isn't the only thing that I do. I also, you know, I've learned and I'm, I won't be a hypocrite. Like I'm still getting better at this, but I've learned to say no to some opportunities, even though they're very exciting just because I will literally run myself into the ground last week, I had meetings in three different states within 48 hours and so like, you know, even though things sound exciting or you know, it's a big opportunity. I've had to say no to things recently just to prioritize my myself. Um, and also, you know, sometimes, even though I, I work every weekend and I have to, because I made the decision to have three companies. If you know, I'm not feeling the B guests or whatever, I'll take a break, I'll watch Project Runway, which is my favorite show I've probably watched every season like 17 times I'll take a nap. You know, those are things that I didn't allow myself to do because I thought I was so selfish of me to, you know, have this incredible opportunity to touch so many lives and like I'm going to go take a nap, but that's unhealthy. And that's like just reframing the mindset. And so I think any way that you can almost be a little selfish, you know, if you said that you were going out with your friends one night, but you truly feel like you just need to breathe and you just need the night by yourself. Like, you know, your friends, if they're your friends, they'll understand and hopefully they will also agree that nourishing yourself is better than, you know, just making plans because then you're not going to be strong enough maybe to make the next weekend's plans. And it's just this, this cycle that can, you know, completely lead to burnout, etcetera. And so I would encourage people to be selfish sometimes about their own mental health, absolutely nourish your soul, focus on what's good for you and makes you feel good. I would love to shift gears a little bit here and talk about the business side of wonder mind. I love a good framework, I love a good blueprint and I feel like for you, you've obviously scaled the new set to this huge company. I'd love to know what the strategies that you're taking from the new set and taking that into wonder mind to grow it. And you know, I read that in the first couple of months you did seven figures of revenue. You've scaled it really quickly. So I'm interested to see that kind of breakdown. Yeah, for sure. So right now, um I told you that wonder mine is made up of an ecosystem of media production and product and so the two that have launched so far are media and production, so media being the newsletter and then now the website and obviously our social media channels and the production being the podcast network that we are building. And so the first podcast to come out um is my podcast called the business of feelings where I interview the most successful people in the world from, you know, the founder of bonobos to ruby car to you know, serena Williams about their mental health and what went on, you know in their mind when they were building their own empires because business can mean a lot of different things that doesn't just mean putting on a suit every day. And so that's really exciting because again, it normalizes de stigmatizes because in the business world, I mean it's so the stigma so high for mental health, especially people with learning disabilities like PhD etcetera. And so just being able to kind of be like, well these are the most successful people in the world and they have their ship to and they're being open and honest about it. So maybe, you know, you should reevaluate how you look at people who have these, you know, uh feelings and maybe you should, you know, be open up to yourself if you have these feelings. So a lot of the framework for the media side except for the podcast part I had already done with the new set, so especially the newsletter and so I knew it exactly. You know, how I wanted the team to build it. I have an incredible editorial team led by this woman named Casey who was ahead of content and she just had a vision for the content that I shared. And we obviously had growth strategies that, you know, I had used for the new set um and and we just kind of went rocking and rolling and we hit 100,000 subscribers in like the first month and we were able to um closed a lot of brand deals. We have so many brands that come to us and but we're very, very picky on the brands that we partner with because we only really want to partner with a handful of brands a month and make them really impactful activation. So we did something with area for instance where we um actually created custom content uh that was all about like loving your body and loving yourself and self esteem. That was only available in area stores nationwide and on our website. So it was, you know, it's really cool when you're able to partner with people and you know, fuel that business and make and monetize it the way that you have to, but also by, you know creating value for our concert tumors and are content readers and hopefully, you know, helping people in the process. Those are the kind of partnerships that really shine and so those, you know, building an audience and then also monetizing and already having relationships with some great brands that were our first sponsors really did come into handy and was incredibly handy when we launched in april and when you talk about like, you know, building community and actually like getting started, what does that look like for you? Like what's that actual kind of strategy or practical tips to building a community from scratch. Yeah, so I think it's so different. So I started to communities, um Noosa and now undermined and they have nothing to do with me uh you know, especially not wonder mine, but the news that, you know, I was never like, you know the face of the news that I literally pretended I was an intern at this cool company called the news that for like two years in college so people would actually sign up and like God, you know, I would never want to tell people I was the founder because they'd be like, I'm not going to subscribe to that. And so it wasn't like a blog or something like that. So in terms of building a community based on like being a blogger or an influencer or you know a spokesperson or an advocate, you know, I really don't have a lot of experience and that I'm so lucky that you know, people follow me and are really, hopefully, I mean I think they like, you know me being very vulnerable and I think it's just honestly my responsibility that I can't have, you know, these these huge headlines and Forbes and you know, all these incredible publications without having right beside it, like a picture of me ugly crying and being like I you know felt depressed today or whatever, being honest because I would never want anyone to think wow like, you know, she has it all and her life is perfect, I want to be raw and real and I feel like it's a responsibility for anybody with any sort of platform or success to be real about you, not like skipping on Rainbow with every single day um and I think, you know, Selena and what she just put out with the documentary really showcases that, so in terms of an influencer side, I really don't know about that, that would definitely be a question for Mandy or Selena, but in terms of building a community that's based on a brand, that's where I have expertise, so I, especially with the new set, you know, it wasn't a person, it was the news that brand and the news that voice and so I basically, I knew I wanted it to be cheeky and I wanted it to be friendly and you know, something that people would feel, you know, comfortable reading and not, I feel like we're talking down to them or anything like that, so building a persona around a brand, and then in terms of cultivating a community around that it's truly finding something that people are very passionate about, whether it's female empowerment and female rights and being a modern day woman who is not just, you know, reading fashion magazines, you might read a fashion magazine, but you might pick up the new york times right after, you know, just that community of working on on the go women or people who are busy, it's really easy when you have all of these, you know, readers who are coming to you for one thing, they all share so many values and so so many, you know, um I guess attributes that when you get them together in real life, which we've done a couple of times, it's crazy because they all feel like they really know each other. Um and the same thing with wonder Mind with Wonder Mine building a community around being open and honest and transparent and wanting to better yourself every single day through mental fitness. You know, if you have something that is something that many people can get behind and you feel like you can comment on a post on instagram and not be embarrassed about the comment and actually have people like and respond to you etcetera. That's when you have built a community truly. And so it's really special the communities we've built for new set and for Wonder Mine because it's this camaraderie in this sense that you are in this club that is not exclusive, everyone belongs, but you feel like you are a part of something and that you have, you are not alone, you know, and that that you have um an incredible network around you that has this, your same belief system. Gosh, I love that it's basically being surrounded by like a big cozy hug of people. Yeah, no, for sure, that's the idea. For sure. What's your advice for anyone listening who is out there building a business and you know, may be struggling with some kind of anxiety or depression or even just stress. Um, my advice would be to one not be ashamed. I mean anybody who is starting a business if you're not stressed, I don't know who you are, you must be wonder woman, you know, um, is a very stressful thing to do. And so first of all you are not alone and you probably can find many people that are in your same, you know spot, whether they're your same age or you know in the same location that you live in or if you're in college, you know a group. So finding other people who are also struggling is really helpful and to just get that verification even just from me that yes, like if you're stressed, if you are feeling very low and maybe highs and lows etcetera with building a business that is very normal. If it's all high, you know, truly I everything that goes up must come down. So it should be hard in the beginning, you should have to, you know, be patient and I know patience is a virtue that I definitely did not learn and I do not practice, but I, you have have to be patient. You have to, you know, believe in yourself. So that's another thing, you know, every single person is going to tell you that your idea is stupid or that you should get a real job or whatever, I mean and it might not be every single person, but a lot of people and even people that you think might know everything. But I was told by every professor, the biggest investors in the world that I would never amount to anything and you are in charge of your own destiny. These people are not fortune tellers. If they knew everything, then you know, they would probably be living on a mountain somewhere in a castle because they won the lottery. So it's just like, you know, take everything with a grain of salt, be open to feedback. And even when you get negative feedback, don't take it personally. Just use it as fuel for growth. Um, that's, that's the advice that I would give and truly give yourself a break. Like, you know, just because you want something and it's not the biggest thing ever. A year later. I mean it took me five years to become, you know, a multimillionaire etcetera. Whereas, you know, some businesses, they, you know, make millionaires in two months because their VC backed or whatever. But uh, you know, sometimes the best things take the longest time to nurture and grow and it makes you a better business leader because you really had to work hard for every single win. I love that, thank you so much and I resonate with that so much. We're always, you know, in a race, but it's often just with ourselves and good things take time and that's okay and good things take iteration and pivots and, and eventually you get closer to your goal and your north star.
So question number one is, what's your, why? Why do you wake up every day and build these three businesses? It's because I truly thought that I was capable of nothing because of my O. C. D. A. D. H. D. Depression. I had no confidence. I was not good at anything. I was a bad student. I was literally the poster child for like what a failure looks like growing up and I was able to do it just from sheer grit and survival mode. And so my mission in life is to prove to anybody, no matter what your background is, no matter what mental health issues you may have learning disabilities, you don't have any connections. Like if I did it you can do it too. And I felt so many times that it was the end um and that I should just give up and maybe even give up, you know, living and that would have been such a shame because I never would have imagined the person I grew into and it all it took was just believing in myself and truly just being so stubborn and being like I refuse to have this be my legacy. You know, I'll learn if I'm if I'm not smart, I'll learn, you know, things I'll learn how to do something and be really good at it. I don't have to be good at every subject in school or whatever it is so that that really is my my y every day um in terms of the businesses for the news and new land, it's to you know empower women every single day and with new land to use you know the biggest brands in the world's media budgets and you know Tiktok's etcetera to increase representation and diversity. And you know do these incredible campaigns that actually change people's lives. And with wonder mind it truly is to create a world where having a mental illness is just exactly the same as having a you know physical illness. No one would ever blink twice if you went to the doctor and you said and they said you have high blood pressure. You have to take this medicine. So why are people so judge mental even people in my family still you know so judgmental that I have O. C. D. And I have to take medicine every day. So that that's my why I really want to change the world because my world has been changed so much and if I can save one life then it would all be worth it. I mean I'm I'm sure you have you you're changing the world. You are you're in there. I love that. Thank you for sharing. Thank you. Question # two is what's been your favorite marketing moment so far can be across any of the businesses? My favorite marketing moment probably I guess I have to one's like really just like zero budget marketing moment and the other one is you know more recent when I first started the news that in college I had ambassador program. So I would essentially reach out to people and be like on this intern for this really cool company if you want something to put on your resume which everyone did you know almost 10 years ago um all you have to do is refer you know 10 friends and Then that turned into you know if you refer 25 friends you get a T shirt or you get stickers or whatever and so every morning after I was finished writing the news that before classes I would go to staples with the huge pile of like those envelopes with the cushion of like all the stuff I was sending to ambassadors and so every person had a handwritten note and you know it was just really cool and like looking back it really really felt like I was building something and made me feel like I was literally just putting pen to paper in every single card and getting every single subscriber myself and then you know now something that would be a lot more you know flashy I guess is we did this campaign about just being out for mental health awareness month about just being honest with your feelings and we had posters all over new york and L. A. And Selena and I post um posed in front of one of them and we just had thousands of people you know tagging us in those posts and um truly you know just painting the town, you know de stigmatized that is so cool, wow, what an amazing, like thrilling moment. Both of those moments, They're so, so different and so kind of like telling of your journey from the start to where it is now. So special and profound in different ways. Thank you. Question # three is what's your go to business resource, like if you're turning to a podcast or a newsletter or a book to learn something. Um honestly, you know, podcasts like yours where there's interviews with incredible women and you know, other entrepreneurs who are just detailing, you know, their lowest lows and how they got out of there and how they build these businesses. Those are always incredibly inspiring to me. I basically built my business, you know, while learning everything about business and uh marketing etcetera. So there were podcasts that I would listen to about like marketing and trying to get more emails and how to optimize your email list and all that stuff. But now I like to, you know, read books about management. So I'll have like um 100 people by the end of the year who report, you know, technically to me and so it's a lot different than having, you know, 10 people or five people and so just me management books, how to become the best manager, how to, you know, make myself feel accessible and try to be accessible to all of these incredible people that have, you know, dedicated their days now to work for something that me or me and Selena and Mandy, you know dreamt up, how do I make them all feel special and heard and everything when I have so few hours in the day really, those kind of materials amazing. Love that Hundreds a lot. Question number four is how do you win the day? What are your am or PM rituals and habits that keep you feeling happy and successful and motivated? Honestly, I won't lie. I mean sometimes I lose the day, like truly, even if I do something incredible and like, you know, 16 year old me would have died. Like what I did was able to do or whatever. It's just unfortunately, you know, especially with three businesses, there's just always something next. Like it's never just like I made it and it's all great and again, I chose this for myself. So I absolutely am not complaining and that's why like I work so hard because I want to do as much as I possibly can. But there are very few days where I feel like I won the day because I maybe because I'm hard on myself. But I guess when I feel like I truly won the day, it's when I, I am at peace with the fact that I didn't do everything that I knew I needed to do that I gave myself time to re nourish myself and that I spent time with people I love and sometimes that can be a losing day because I feel like I didn't do enough. But truly, you know, those days are when I feel like when I can go to sleep and I can think about all of the things that I didn't do and and be okay with it because it was worth it to, you know, have the memories and the connections with people I love or doing whatever I did instead. 100% Question # five is what's been your worst money mistake in business and how much did it cost you? I think probably in the early days of the news that I'm like, I'm so careful now, even though we have a lot more money to play with. You know, we just because I never had the luxury of just getting a huge check until you know, uh, news that was successful. I just, every single penny I look at as you know, how are we maximizing this? And so I think the biggest money mistake I've ever made was probably not firing somebody fast enough that I knew was not working out. And it probably cost me about like 100 grand. Um, in terms of the salary, but also like the opportunity cost um, of having someone who was going to be efficient. It could have been, you know, much more than that in terms of opportunity cost. But, And like from salary and also finding someone to replace them and in the time it took whatever, you know, I think it was probably around 100K. Or more. Mm Yeah that's come up on the show quite a lot when it's you know, not getting people out of the business fast enough and and trusting that instinct that you needed to let someone go. Yeah, for sure. Last question question number six, what is just a crazy story? You can share good or bad from the journey of building these businesses? Um Gosh, we have so many stories I guess. Um I'll say a bad 11 story that I like to tell people because again you can feel like such a failure as an entrepreneur as a person who works hard and just wants has a dream. Um when I was like 23 and I was trying to raise capital for the news that I had a meeting with the owner um and like the head honcho of um one of the biggest VC firms and he's very well known and old and you know, just like like the creme of the creme and I was so excited to have my meeting with him and I basically did my pitch and then like was like you know any questions and he looked at me and just started laughing and I was like what's so funny And he goes, you remind me so much of my granddaughter and I was like, oh well your granddaughter must be like really smart and like a great entrepreneur and he was like, his whole face just dropped and he was like, no, my granddaughter has no idea what she's talking about, talks way too fast and is not successful. And I was just like uh right to my face Yeah. And I was like, it was like a moment where I was like okay, and I just packed up my stuff and left and I got into the Uber and I just burst into tears and I said I refused to spend one more second trying to raise money from people like this instead of just growing my business. And it was the best decision I ever made. But at the moment I felt, I mean this person was the authority on, you know, who's going to be successful, who's not and in the moment I felt completely crushed, but it was the best thing that could've ever happened to me. Yeah. God, so disappointing. So disappointing that people, you know, act and treat others like this, especially when you're coming from a place of authority and like people look up to people like that, but thank God for the silver lining, Love that for you. Yeah, that'll show them, you know, whenever you feel like something is so wrong and it's the end, it could honestly be the best thing that's ever happened to you. I like to say, you know everything happens for a reason. 100% Daniella, this was so cool, I'm so grateful that you came on the show and shared so openly and so vulnerably. I'm just, I'm so grateful. I love what you're doing and I'm excited to see it grow. Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be part of the incredible collective of women that you've interviewed and just thank you so much for your time. Hey, it's dune here. Thanks for listening to this amazing episode of the female startup club podcast. If you're a fan of the show and want even more of the good stuff, I'd recommend checking out female startup club dot com where you can subscribe to our free newsletter, we send it out weekly covering female founder business news, insights and learnings in D. C. And interesting business resources and if you're a founder building an e commerce brand you can join our private network of entrepreneurs called hype club at female startup club dot com forward slash hype club. We have guests from the show joining us for intimate.