The view from One World Trade Center // Image Credits: Loving-New York

How Jill Salzman Connects Hundreds of Thousands of Founding Moms

This past April as I looked across the New York skyline at WeFestival NYC I spent a few minutes reflecting on how grateful I was not only to be in the presence of so many inspiring women but for the opportunity to get to know many of them through our Connect & Be Heard interview series. Moments earlier, Jill Salzman, a C&BH entrepreneur, and I debated whether cake or brownies were the best chocolate dessert. Crowned as the #ChocolateQueen, I am proud to say I reigned victorious.

I believe my relationship with Jill is a strong representation of the tangible influence WeFestival makes in women’s lives. Jill has become a friend, role model, enormous supporter, and is always there to answer questions and provide thoughtful guidance.

If you know Jill or follow her work, you’ll agree that describing her energy as contagious is an understatement. WeFestival’s Joanne Wilson called her “a dynamo.

Jill’s spent the last seven years building The Founding Moms to connect, empower, and change the lives of hundreds of thousands of women entrepreneurs who are raising families.

Despite now being a global entity and receiving press from the likes of CNN, Forbes, and The New York Times, each Founding Moms meet-up retains the special core that inspired Jill to organize her first meet-up in Chicago in 2009. Her ultimate goal was to bring together women who could help her answer the question: “How do you build a business while raising kids?” Jill would later grow to be the largest Meetup account holder in the world.

In today’s episode of The Peaks, Jill walks us through her experiences from organizing her first meet-up to shifting from a freemium model to a paid model, as well as her decision to continue bootstrapping the business.

I am not the type of person who writes down the plan and sticks to it. I veer when things veer…As an entrepreneur who bootstraps, you have to be flexible enough to know that the term flexibility changes.
I love what I do. I don’t want to exit in 5 or 10 years. Maybe that will change but I want the freedom to change it myself.

Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect in our conversation — Including an exclusive showing of Jill’s chocolate collection.

  • The serendipitous dentist appointment that changed the trajectory of The Founding Moms. The core lesson you’ll learn here: “Tell everyone what you are doing all of the time because you never know where the help is going to come from.”
  • How to preserve your company’s core as you scale
  • Why you must charge for your services, how it elevates your brand, and tips to make the shift, even for first-time entrepreneurs
  • Bootstrapping strategies for founders, why you don’t have to raise outside capital to build a thriving business, and the importance of patience and perseverance when growing your startup

Stay tuned for next week’s episode of The Peaks with Coolhaus Founder and CEO Natasha Case.

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