In Conversation with Jessica Naziri of TechSesh

Jessica Naziri_Blog Header

Describe your business in a few words?

I’m an on-air tech expert, blogger, influencer, and a technology and digital media entrepreneur and founder of TechSesh, a community and sisterhood for young women in tech. My mission is to help create and endorse a growing number of female role models, advocate a more equal gender ratio, and empower more women leaders in the tech space. My career is an evolution from a journalism career writing for some of the largest publications to full-time influencer and founder of TechSesh.co.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

I’ve always wanted to start my own business but was never sure I was ready. It became a mission after being let go by an LA tech start up and I was left to reflect. I was tired of going to work and being mansplained because I didn’t have a technical background or an object between my legs. I never felt fully accepted by my male peers. Needless to say, it created a fire under my belly. Not only did I want to help brands reach their female audience, but I wanted to create a community to help empower women to get into the tech industry and help break the stereotype of what someone in the industry should look like. So much of “women in tech” is focused on what women DON’T have: opportunity, mentorship, respect from peers, access to funding, etc. My goal with TechSesh.co is to change that discourse; no more pity parties & stop treating women like a charity case. 

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I was a Tech Journalist at The LA Times and CNN.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I always wanted to do something meaningful. For the longest time I wanted to be a foreign correspondent and a storyteller. After spending a large portion of my career as a journalist, starting my career at CNN and CNBC, I found another calling. Tech. Digital media. It was difficult at first, especially coming from a traditional Middle Eastern background where most women either don’t work or take safe professional routes. Till this day my parents still think I’m unemployed.

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 journey was a little different. Being that I was On Air for many years, I already had an audience that was interested in what tech I was using. When I decided to officially start as a business I became much more active on social media and luckily my audience began to notice. I wish I could say that I had a plan, the truth is that I was initially doing it for fun but turned into something special that I really enjoyed.

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?

Progress is not linear. Even nos and failure will get you where you need to go. Spend your time not wasting your time. I have spent the last few months reworking my schedule to spend my time on important things.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

My son. He is everything.

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

What is the biggest flaw? Bold right? Hire grinders. People who will do anything for the company and will stick by you.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Running a company, even in the best of times, can be intimidating, daunting, exhausting and the list goes on. Now add in the ongoing global pandemic, and it’s anything but business as usual.

We had a slew of events lined up for 2020, and unfortunately had to cancel nearly everything. Thankfully we were able to adjust and business picked right back up after the initial shock. I also had the time to finally work on some of the things that I always put aside and am super excited to implement them in 2021.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

Exciting partnerships and products to come.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

Mental health is everything. Put your phone down.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

Trying to appear “perfect” is boring. Being honest, raw and vulnerable reminds people that you are human and not just a bubbly girl with a perfect life that talks about tech on Instagram. Instagram is a highlight reel but life is not. 

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

Still managing it.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

As a mother it’s extra hard, but I think the best tip is to outsource. Get a VA to schedule your Tweets and manage your calendar, Grocery delivery on Sundays for Monday.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

I speak Farsi fluently.

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

With a little bit of trial and error, I have come across a few tactics that have helped me spend my work days more effectively: No morning meetings. Put your phone on airplane mode. Work for 30 minutes straight and then break.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

Time is everything. It’s money, it’s actual time spent with my son, it’s self care, and it’s working past midnight. Being an entreprenista is choosing when and where I spend my time. (Let’s be real I would have been fired by now if I worked for someone else).

Share it!

Posted in
Tags

Leave a Comment





Melanie Rivera of Breaker28 on making an impact while finding joy in everyday life hiccups and surprises

Describe Breaker28 in a few words? We develop leaders with H.E.A.R.T. – Healthy, Equitable, Antiracist, Real and Trust-Centered. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I have been planning my business for four years – perfecting content, testing out approaches, and I feel that I have a message and a model…

Bex Gold of Brite Hair on combining ethics and fashion to drive innovation into the haircare space

Describe your business in a few words? Brite Hair makes quality ethical, vegan, cruelty free hair color & hair care products that are accessible and fun! What made you take the leap to start your own business? I founded a hair color brand after a long-term relationship ended – I was in my 30s and…

Sonya Tkacs of Recruitlynk on why marketing and selling your business as an owner never stops

Describe your business in a few words? The Recruitlynk mission is to recruit and source top executive and management talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We strive to help sustain and nurture inclusive cultures where differences drive innovative solutions and uphold diversity in the workplace. Our goal is to effectively hire leaders who care about…

Isabelle Tierney of The Feel Good Life on helping people lead more fulfilling lives with her ground-breaking methodology

Describe your business in a few words? I help individuals, as well as businesses, relieve stress and choose well-being. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I had a highly successful private practice for more than 20 years as a marriage and family therapist, but my personal life was anything but…

Brittany Whitlock of Big Mood Digital on why the thing you are afraid of is the thing you have to do!

Describe Big Mood Digital in a few words? I train business owners, marketers and teams on how to conquer digital marketing confidently making it approachable and manageable through private sessions and courses. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I love working with passionate people who get excited to learn something…

Courtlyn Jones of The Design Database on being a creative entrepreneur, and how she is helping freelancers create the career of their dreams

Describe your business in a few words? The Design Database is an online platform and community designed to be a support system for Creatives, helping them find jobs. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I was hired as a graphic designer at my “dream company,” 10 years after I set…

Erin Pohan of Upkeeping on overcoming fear, and her three best tips for staying productive

Describe your business in a few words? My goal with UpKeeping is to continually evolve to meet the financial accounting needs of entrepreneurs. We currently offer full-service bookkeeping services, accounting clean-ups and QuickBooks training. What made you take the leap to start your own business? For most of my life, I sat back and watched…

Danielle Elias Las of Bump’n Clothing on growing a business while giving back to the IVF community

Describe Bump’n Clothing in a few words? The ultimate in maternity and postpartum apparel. What made you take the leap to start your own business? The desire to create the perfect maternity pant while giving back to the IVF community. What was your background prior to starting your own business? Attorney; In House Counsel for…

Miriam Airington-Fisher of Airington Law on combining law and entrepreneurship and how she is making an impact

Describe your business in a few words? Airington Law is a women-lead law firm specializing in defending against wrongful convictions and litigating civil rights issues What made you take the leap to start your own business? I initially started my law practice out of necessity. I went through a divorce and became a single mom…

Michele Henry of FACE FOUNDRIÉ on why she leans into her fears, and the importance of dreaming big

Describe FACE FOUNDRIÉ in a few words? Efficient and effective focused facial bar specializing in all things face, facials, lashes, brows, and skincare. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I worked in my parents’ small inground pool business from age 13 all the way through college. Being an entrepreneur is…

Ashley Spriggs of Pivot Media on the power of genuine relationships

Describe your business in a few words? We are a media firm that gets your message the attention it deserves. We offer services in Public Relations and Podcast Management. What made you take the leap to start your own business? It was the right time! I was growing my client list as an independent contractor…

Mary Allard of The Third Place podcast on inviting listeners to explore uncomfortable conversations in a safe space

Describe your business in a few words? The Third Place podcast is a weekly podcast that invites listeners into the hard conversations that we have a tendency to avoid. It is a podcast that “goes there,” within a safe place where curiosity is encouraged, differences are welcomed, and empathy is embraced through healthy dialogue. What…

Kelsea Olivia of East Olivia Creative on creating experiences that spark curiosity, joy, and connection

Describe your business in a few words? East Olivia is a boutique creative agency that specializes in large-scale floral installations. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I have been starting businesses since I was a child, selling my crafts and babysitting. As an adult, I had an innate desire to…

Tiffany Roman of Small Biz Highlight on creating a platform to help small businesses thrive

Describe your business in a few words? Small Biz Highlight is a web show, created to help introduce the people behind a small/local business, their products and services, and discuss how COVID affected them. What made you take the leap to start your own business? Back in April 2020, COVID shutdowns were in full effect…

11 Mamaprenistas share their best productivity tips to manage a business and a family

1) Tierney Larkin, Founder at Larkin Living Spaces: “Be sure to have a designated space to work that is just for you and your business. It can be a makeshift office in the corner of a room, or even a traveling cart that you can take around with you to store all of your supplies…