In Conversation with Randi Zinn of Beyond Mom & the Going Beyond Movement
Describe your business in a few words?
A content hub and active community for women seeking to take their learning and their growth to the next level, knowing that their personal work is the movement toward creating a better world!
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
I’m not sure I knew any other way! Every time I tried to place myself behind a desk in someone else’s office I became lethargic and depressed. When I moved around, ideated with a mixture of people, and started calling the shots…I came alive!
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I was always a creative- studied dance and writing in college and media studies and film in graduate school. I was always interested in women’s issues and human behavior and the healing arts. When I was 25, I lost my dad in a freak accident and had to step in, totally unprepared, to his businesses and unfinished life. I was given a fast and furious education in business, law, management, human resources, and of course, the work it takes to stay above water when things get hard. I may not have gone to school for all this, but I have done the hard work. These skills have made me who I am and taught me the soft and hard skills needed to be an entrepreneur.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I’m not sure I knew it consciously but the truth is that most people in my family were entrepreneurs. My Dad showed me every single day the fire, risk, emotions, thought and relationships required to live the entrepreneurial life. My grandfather owned a vegetable delivery business and while his model was much more simple- he was scrappy and smart. My grandmother was a paralegal in Manhattan and I’m pretty certain that had she been alive today she would’ve had her own law firm. So I think entrepreneurship is in my blood! It’s exhausting, yes. But I wouldn’t exchange it for the sense of purpose I carry inside of me every day.
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?
When I launched my first brand, Beyond Mom, I was a newbie at social media- and social media was relatively new. I relied on a fusion of growing my email list and networking non-stop. I hit event after event. I hosted events. I grabbed coffees and lunch with people i wanted to know more about. I built a powerful network that still serves me both personally and professionally. So while building a social media platform grew as I grew it wasn’t my primary strategy and in some ways I’m glad. My relationships are real and connections are deep.
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 had so many mistakes. I’ve learned from all of them. Since I’ve straddled my personal brand work and the work world I inherited from my dad’s businesses, the lessons have been fast and furious. Most of them build down to my team, to the people supporting me. I’ve realized that I must always listen to my gut. i must bring people close to me who resonate on a similar wavelength in terms of taking good care of themselves, mind, body and soul. I must welcome peoples talents and wisdom but always know that my inner wisdom about my own life is paramount. You see, I gave my power away way too often to people older and more seasoned than myself. But my truth was always there. Safe circles of like minds that can be challenged and challenge back create the best teams. The best work comes from the greatest teams. Your business comes down to the people touching it and working closely with you.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Creating brands that come from my heart and are deeply connected to the soul of women and humanity. And raising human beings while building my company – no easy task to be a mother working hard in the world!
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
I like to know about a person’s passions and habits. The person who works most closely with me is also an actress and a playwright on the side. I love this! She brings that passion and creativity to our work. I also like to know about someone’s family relationships and friendships. How they love the people in their life is how they will love you as a partner in work. I like to get a sense of who someone really is because that folds into the work everyday!
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
I always resisted virtual events and digital courses. I am a people person and I thought how in the world could that be replaced? Well, since everything has basically gone virtual, I see that learning, community and connection IS possible and it really opened me up more to new ways of creating experiences and building my business model more efficiently.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
I’m continuing to support the growth of humanity. We are emphatically weak and women need to step up so that we can finally connect as a unified humanity where no one is marginalized or left feeling “other.” This is only possible if we have the bravery to lean into our fears, to admit what we don’t know, to get curious enough that we can bear discomfort. I plan to support women in doing that through content, conversations, and learning courses to build our knowledge and language for connection.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
To trust myself always.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
I believe in it from the standpoint that I always seek balance but it doesn’t happen all in the same moment. So if a few days are heavy with work, I carve out personal time with my kids to find that “balance.” I seek balance based on what I “Feel” is needed to bring myself and my family back into integrity based on our values. It’s more of a feeling thing than a thinking thing.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
I am a total dancer and lover of music. Put me on the dance floor, good luck getting me off!
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
Movement. Good food. Connecting with my best friends in some way shape or form.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
Being an Entreprenista means being a leader not as a man but very much as a woman. Unapologetic for being emotional, connected, curious, powerful, female. Our cycles and instincts are our super powers.