Ali Prato on making an impact and building a community with Fertility Rally
Describe your business in a few words?
Fertility Rally is a membership community offering 24/7 support, content and curated events for anyone going through infertility or building their modern families.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
We both had very intense and difficult infertility journeys, and we both wanted to give back to the community and help the people coming after us. We also wanted to celebrate this badass community of women–and help give them the support we wish we’d had when we were going through it.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I’ve been a journalist and writer/editor my entire career. I started in magazines and moved to online and copywriting. I started my podcast, Infertile AF, in March 2019.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
No! I had no idea. I’ve always worked for other people and was quite content with that. But as I got older, and after having my two kids, I thought, “What am I doing with my life? How am I making a difference? What work can I do that’s meaningful and that I’m super passionate about?”
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
We’ve always relied on IG the most to get the word out and gain members and connect with people. Our goal is to bring some levity whenever possible to this community, and we have really grown to love the people we’ve met. That’s why our motto is, “Worst Club. Best Members.”
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
I’ve learned that it’s a sensitive community, and rightly so, so you really need to be careful of what you write and post on social. I’ve also learned that you can’t please everyone, so it’s best just to follow your heart, keep your head down, avoid the drama and do the work.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
I am so proud of our very first Fertility Rally Live event last fall, which was one of the most amazing days of my life. We gathered together more than 30 speakers, more than 300 attendees, and dozens of sponsors for an event that was filled with love, education, inspiration, support and community. Plus, it was so much fun! We worked our assess off, like 60 hours a week, doing everything ourselves. And the feedback we got from both attendees and partners was incredible. From that moment on, we decided to do two Rally Lives per year, in the spring and in the fall. Our Spring event, which just happened, was phenomenal!
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
LOL we don’t have a team. Yet. We do have four people who help us out with our Pregnancy After Infertility support groups that take place every Monday night. We realize we just can’t do all the things, as much as we want to. They are all infertility warriors and good friends of ours, so the hiring was a no-brainer!
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
For one, our main event was supposed to be IRL, but we had to shift to virtual. But actually that was better because we were able to reach more people around the globe!
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
We will continue to grow and evolve based on our members’ needs. We’d like to gain more members, create a course, and also continue work on a Fertility Rally book. Big picture, we’d like to continue to scale the business and hopefully become a household name in terms of fertility support.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
I’ve learned that doing work you love and are passionate about is more rewarding than any other job you could have.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
I wish I knew how to keep books! I still don’t really know, so we are hiring someone soon to do that.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
Every little set back and hard day keeps you grounded, that’s for sure. This is not easy, but it’s so nice when we get messages from people we’ve supported or helped.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
I do! But it’s difficult–especially as a founder. My tips are to totally unplus on the weekends if possible, and to make sure you spend quality time with your loved ones when you can.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
My first job out of college was working as an editor at Playboy Magazine, and I worked there for 10 years. I have some really great stories from the Mansion parties, which I will tell you all someday over drinks!
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
1. Move your body every day which for me means a walk or a ride on the Peloton. 2. Celebrate the wins, which will keep you going. 3. Remember why you are doing what you’re doing–and don’t get bogged down in any drama.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
It means working for myself, being creative AF, setting the tone in terms of the work environment, and collaborating with people who share your vision and will help propel you forward and lift you up–and vice versa.