In Conversation with Alyssa Ackerman of Booked ‘N Busy
Describe your business in a few words?
Booked ‘N Busy is a learning platform helping millennial women create a healthy connection between their mind and money.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
Originally, Booked ‘N Busy was going to be a book club, nothing more and nothing less! I wanted to curate intimate settings and discussions with like-minded women where we could explore financial and spiritual works of art. While branding my book club, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, forcing me to pivot my $1,000 investment onto the internet instead of IRL.
It took months to uncover what Booked ‘N Busy was: linking finance, wellness, and mysticism into one seamless idea and executing it in a digestible manner was challenging. But with patience, prayer, and a stellar self-love routine, I was able to create a digital space where millennial women could create a healthy and paralleled connection between their mind and money; all while uncovering how the two are inherently linked. I never anticipated owning and operating a digital media company, but I’m glad I was led to do so. I’ve never felt more aligned and alive than I do now.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
To be quite honest, my professional background is colorful, extensive, and a bit all over the place. I officially kicked off my money-making life when I was 18. I worked in the beauty industry at a well-known franchise. Within 3-months of slaying at the front desk, I was promoted to Designated Manager and Regional Trainer; leading people who were far more advanced in the workforce than I was but trusted my vision and direction. This position set the tone for all of my leadership positions to follow.
I left the beauty industry after realizing I was spending a majority of my time fueling someone else’s dream instead of my own. I didn’t know what my dream was at the moment, but I knew it wasn’t working for someone else. I had to choose between good money or a happy life, fingers crossed that I chose correctly!
Shortly after, I decided to step into freelancing: I wanted to give myself an opportunity to explore life existence outside of a 9-5. I wanted to unleash my artistic and creative skills and make money while doing so. I’ve worked as a copywriter for some of your favorite women-owned brands, as a personal assistant to a fellow CEO, and countless jobs in between. I’m an excellent writer, storyteller, visual artist, and innovator. Freelancing helped me refine these skills and recognize my true calling.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I believe entrepreneurship wanted me well before I even knew I wanted it.
Since my first job at 15, I possessed an innate quality to confidently, effectively, and gracefully lead others, all while inspiring them to step into their unique magical qualities just as I had. I remember my boss telling me that I was “intimidating” but in a good way: This word was new to me and felt rather negative at first. However, when I finally understood the concept of leadership, I knew that an equal balance of love and fear was needed to triumph so I embraced this quality instead of concealing it.
To seal the deal, throughout my early career years I struggled with obeying authority figures: I wasn’t a rebel or a bad worker, but I was inquisitive and sometimes overly ambitious. I always questioned why something was done a specific way or identified areas of opportunity in which I knew it could be run better. Some of my superiors admired me for this while others despised me for finding flaws in their existing systems. Either way it went, I was always an exceptional employee because of my entrepreneurial-spirit, I just never lasted long.
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?
My strategy was simple: Create with the tools I had at my disposal and apply my diverse skillset to build content that my target audience would be interested in reading and sharing with friends. The strategy wasn’t detailed or planned out, I was really just going with the flow and following my intuition. A year later, I feel I did a pretty good job!
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?
Hiring people without enough time to give them. It’s easy for me to recognize where I need help but what I didn’t realize was that I did not possess the proper amount of energy to invest into that particularly person or that particular area in my business. Instead of trying to push everything forward all at once, I learned to practice patience, plan my operations out, and better manage my time.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
To date, I’m most proud of securing a partnership with American Express’ 100 for 100 Program. This win was extremely unexpected but I knew I was worthy of it. It gave me a boost of confidence in my business and self, reassuring that what I’m doing is impactful. You never know who’s watching!
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
My go-to interview question is a bit unconventional, but that’s what Booked ‘N Busy is all about.
After asking traditional interview questions and learning more about the interviewees professional background, I like to ask what their sun, moon, and rising signs are. This question completely changes the energy of the interview. I can see the interviewee grow more relaxed, at ease, and grasp what Booked ‘N Busy embodies.
From my experience, it’s imperative to emphasize your brand’s values, beliefs, and story into the hiring process. I wouldn’t want anyone wasting their time working for my company if they don’t feel truly aligned to our mission and ethos. Creating a team who values knowledge as currency and are eager to be a part of what you are building will last longer than others simply looking for a paycheck.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
The only constant is change. Don’t fight it, adapt to it.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
Small yet intentional things help me come down from the clouds and back down to the ground [if you have Pisces placements, you know exactly what I mean]. I read at least 30-minutes per day, I change positions from my work desk to the floor every few hours, I invest 20-minutes into my skincare ritual, and I get weekly massages to help me stay in touch with my body.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Because I’m so passionate about the work I do, at times I do struggle with creating a proper work/life balance. To combat the over-saturation, I’ve created a routine for myself, which includes an extensive morning ritual, an 8 AM to 6 PM workday, and many breaks to read, eat, and stretch in between. I also set reminders on my phone to check in on family and friends every other day. Sometimes I get so lost in the beautiful world I’ve created that I forget to step back into the physical one!
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
At age 6, I was asked by my school principal, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” “A school crossing guard.” I confidently replied.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
- Create a work schedule for yourself: Just as you would have a schedule working for an employer. Think of yourself as an employee to your company.
- Take one or two days out of the week to meal prep. This will give you more time getting to the money and less time scouring the internet for recipes.
- Monitor your mobile screen time if your phone allows you too. Seeing how much time you spend on your phone may make you reconsider where your time is being spent.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
To me, being an Entreprenista is adding value to the economy in ways that fuel your soul, peace of mind, and immediate community.