Startup Investor, Author and Speaker Fran Hauser on leveling the playing field for women

Website-Header-Template

Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:

I’m passionate about leveling the playing field for women. I do this through my investing, writing and speaking. ​​ I’ve invested in over 30 female-founded companies, written two​ books to help women realize their full career potential, ​and done over 200 talks over the last three years​. Much of my current work is informed by the 20 years I spent in corporate as both a C-suite executive and a mentor to hundreds of women. ​My first book The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate ​​has been translated into six languages and was named “Best Business Book of the Year, 2018” by Audible. My second title, Embrace the Work, Love Your Career will be released in March 2022.

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

I started angel investing and advising as a side hustle, while I was at Time Inc.. I ended up loving my side hustle more than my job! I also knew that going off on my own would give me more flexibility and time with my kids.  I’ve invested in over 30 female-founded companies and have never looked back. I truly love what I do.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I worked at a wide range of companies from startups to Fortune 500 companies in general management roles. My last corporate role was President of Digital at Time Inc., where I ran the digital businesses for brands like PEOPLE, InStyle, and Entertainment Weekly.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I think deep down I did. I grew up with immigrant parents who owned small businesses and I worked with them starting at a very young age. So I’ve been entrenched in business my whole life!

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 business is very much about relationships; it’s about access to deal flow and other investors. So my strategy in the beginning was literally all about connecting with people  and being helpful. And it worked! Fast forward 8 years later, and my strategy is still the same.

What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?

In the beginning, I invested in a couple of deals purely based on the other investors that were involved. I was a bit star struck and felt “if they invested, then I should too.” I did this even though my gut feeling about the founders was off. There was something that wasn’t sitting right with me when I left a conversation with them. Both businesses failed, partly because of character/integrity issues with the founders. Needless to say, I am trusting my gut much more (and valuing my own opinions over others).

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

I just co-led my first SPV for an awesome company called Small Packages. It was their first fundraising round and we brought in 31 female investors (5 of whom made their first angel investment ever). It was the first time I took a lead role in a fund raise and it felt amazing. I have three other SPVs in the works, which is really exciting.

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

Now more than ever, it all feels like its blending. The best advice I can give is that when you’re feeling overwhelmed, stop everything you’re doing and pick one thing to focus your attention on. It might be something that’s time sensitive OR something that’s nagging at you OR maybe your child is having a meltdown and needs some love. Whatever it is, give yourself 20 minutes to focus on it. Just that one thing. 20 minutes. Check in on how you’re feeling after the 20 minutes is up. Do you have the energy to tackle another item? If yes, great. If not, take a breather and come back to your list when you’re ready.

What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?

I hired a couple of “Janes-of-all-trades” and it didn’t work. I wanted an easy solution, but ended up realizing how important it is to have experts. I ended up with a larger team (of freelancers); but each one of them is SO good at what they do.

What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?

The launch of my second book: Embrace the Work, Love Your Career.  I was inspired to write it during the height of the pandemic when I saw so many of my friends and colleagues questioning their purpose, their career path, and, on a more tactical level, their day-to-day work. I wanted to provide a framework to help them and others 𝗿𝗲𝗳𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁, 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗹𝗼𝗿𝗲, and, ultimately, 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 so that they can create a career that they love.

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

I’d like to help more founders by playing a lead role in their fundraising, I think I have a third book in me (it’s marinating as we speak!), and I’m getting more and more excited about Web3 and this next wave of innovation.

Share it!

Posted in
Tags

Leave a Comment





Teqnizan Founder Rama Prasad on Creating Functional and Fashionable Earbuds

First, let’s get to know Rama! Rama Prasad is the Founder CEO of Teqnizan located in Minneapolis. Teqnizan has explored, invented, patented, and is selling wireless bluetooth audio earrings. The earrings look and feel like jewelry earrings, and function like an earbud audio device. Rama, what excites you about being an Entreprenista League member? The…

Harvick Farms Founder Lainey Harvick on Growing Community Awareness Around Homesteading

Hello Lainey! Please tell us a little about yourself. In 2015, I became a nurse and worked in the ER through the pandemic. Gardening was a way to provide an outlet from the high-intensity career. As a mother, nurse, and avid gardener who understands the value of having support and resources I could see there…

Meet Mamaprenista Olivia Dreizen Howell and Learn How She Shifted the Cultural Narrative through Fresh Starts Registry

Hello Olivia! Please share a little bit about your business: Fresh Starts Registry is the first and only platform for everything you need to start again. We are shifting the cultural narrative to celebrate big, bold, and brave life decisions. Whether it’s a divorce, breakup, moving, job change, stepping into your truth, or any big…

Founder of Clairebella, Kathy Story, on Creating and Sharing her Artwork

Hello Kathy! Tell us a little about yourself. I am the founder and artist behind Clairebella. Clairebella is a lifestyle brand of colorful gifts and home décor. We believe every day items should spark joy. What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member? I am excited to connect with other women, support women, and…

Huckleberry Creative’s Jess Coleman on Developing Strategic Insights You Need to Deliver High Quality Work

Before we get started, here is some background information on our fabulous entreprenista Jess: Jess Coleman is the founder of Huckleberry Creative, a full-service website design and development studio with a mission to make it easy and fun for entrepreneurs to share their genius with the world. She’s an experienced marketer, copywriter, and designer who…

Marketing Maven Brooke Latham on Launching Social Canvas

Hello Brooke! Please share a little bit about yourself. As a marketing strategist, I am passionate about helping business owners grow their brands by creating comprehensive sales funnels designed to attract, convert and retain their ideal clients. My business, Social Canvas, is a full-service marketing agency specializing in working with organizations of purpose. What excites…

Emma Vollrath on Founding Her Sustainable and Innovative Athleisure Brand: Emma Lou

Hi Emma! Let’s first talk about Emma Lou: Hi! My name is Emma Vollrath, and I am the founder of Emma Lou, an innovative athleisure brand using recycled, sweat-enhancing fabrics to beat bloat, decrease water weight retention, and support women in overcoming lower stomach insecurities. Our recycled thermoplastic fabric is designed with an insulating property that…

Growing Your Business with Carlyn Bushman of Carlyn Bushman Consulting

When Carlyn stepped into Entrepreneurship to be closer to her four children, she thought it would be easy. After her first business came to an end, she realized her real passion was in helping other women grow their businesses, thus she created Carlyn Bushman Consulting.  In this episode, we sit down with Carlyn Bushman, founder…

A Web3 Deep Dive with Laurie Segall

Today, we’re sitting down with Laurie Segall, a journalist and former senior technology correspondent and an editor-at-large at CNN. Laurie has interviewed tech titans like Mark Zuckerburg and Tim Cook, and is also the co-founder and executive producer of Dot Dot Dot Media, a news and entertainment company devoted to tech and humanity. Listen in…

10 Tech Solutions Entreprenistas Can Use to Operate and Grow Their Business

Entreprenistas have a lot of pressures to navigate when building their business. Between wearing multiple hats to keep everything running from managing finances, staffing, marketing and more — it can be a lot to juggle from sunrise to sunset.  Thanks to technology, several tools are designed to streamline business operations to make life easier and…

Secrets to a Successful Fundraise with Andrea Ippolito of SimpliFed

After struggling to feed her daughter by breastfeeding, Andrea was lost and didn’t know what to do. This is unfortunately a story that is common amongst new moms. But for Andrea, she decided to change the narrative by making it her mission to educate new moms and help them meet their feeding goals.  Today, we…

Alicia McKenzie’s Mamaprenista Journey Launching Lift Like a Mother

Alicia, how did you start fostering your entrepreneurial spirit? McKenzie Enterprise dba Lift Like A Mother™ began as a way for me to share training videos with my coaches during my athletic career. Over the years, it has evolved into a coaching practice I am so proud of and a separate nonprofit to help me…

Entreprenista Honors Top 100 Women Business Leaders of 2022

Entreprenista 100 winners will be recognized at a celebration & networking luncheon this March NEW YORK, Jan. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Entreprenista League, a leading membership community for ambitious, entrepreneurial women, is excited to announce the winners of its inaugural Entreprenista 100 Awards. Presented in partnership with Chase Ink, the Entreprenista 100 Awards honors 100 exemplary…

Investigating the Metaverse: The Legal Side of Web3 with Jennifer Justice

One of the most intimidating things about Web3 is the sometimes-murky legal side of things. There are a fair amount of scams out there and it can feel pretty overwhelming, but luckily there are people who have it all figured out—and you’ll meet one of them today.  We’re sitting down with Jennifer Justice, an entertainment…

The Business of Helping Children Learn with Caitlin Greer Meister of The Greer Meister Group

As a life-long teacher, Caitlin knew from a young age that her calling was helping children. So she started tutoring, then that turned into educational consulting. Once the pandemic hit, business exploded as more schools needed her consulting for remote learning. Today, she’s about to take her business nationwide.  In today’s episode, we sit down…