Member Spotlight: Erin Halper
Give us your background and your story! We want readers to know a little more about your journey.
My business journey started back in 2009 on a beautiful August day. All of the partners and senior execs at my company were off with their families, enjoying the beautiful summer month, and I was stuck inside an air-conditioned office with hardly any work to do. I was about to get married that fall, and planned to start a family as soon as possible.
I was really good at my job, and super efficient, so I thought, “I just want to be paid for my time.” My fiance (now husband) encouraged me to take the leap and launch my own consultancy, giving me the flexibility and autonomy that I so desperately wanted.
Little did I know that the next year that “want” would quickly turn into a need.
At 31, I was pregnant with my first child when at 20 weeks along we found out that he had a life-threatening heart defect that would require at least one open heart surgery. From the dozens and dozens of doctor’s appointments to the two surgeries we endured, I constantly wondered, How would anyone do this if they were working full time?
Well, they wouldn’t and they couldn’t. I was so grateful that I had already started my consultancy which allowed me to continue working throughout my son’s entire health ordeal.
As the years progressed and my son became the perfectly healthy child he is today, I continued to consult and continued to witness more and more friends and colleagues either leaving the workforce due to lack of flexibility and autonomy, or staying in their full-time jobs but miserable and stressed every single day due to the pressures of trying to juggle it all.
Knowing from my experience as a consultant that there was this amazing in-between solution that provided flexibility, autonomy and boundless financial success, I decided to start The Upside to help more people leverage the skills and professional relationships they already had to launch a business that better fit their lives and goals.
Tell us about your business or work, so readers know about what you do and how you could potentially help them
The Upside launches and grows thriving independent consultancies for professionals redefining success beyond the 9-5. We do this through our curated membership community which boasts an incredible network of ambitious professionals pursuing solopreneurships, as well as 1:1 coaching and a soon-to-be digital course set to launch mid-2020.
There are plenty of client-consultant sourcing and matching platforms out there. But The Upside goes many steps further because we know from our own experience that to build a thriving consultancy, you have to be able to source and close premium clients on your own.
If you depend on outside platforms to grow your business, you will likely fail. That’s because the most premium, long-term and loyal clients come from your own network, not online platforms. I know because we used to be one!
So my mantra is: Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for the rest of his life. At The Upside, we focus on teaching professionals how to fish.
How did you hear about The Co-Co and what prompted you to join?
I was invited to a “market research evening” by my friend Kate DeOssie who is also in my industry. It turned out to be a room full of brilliant women discussing what we would want out of a community co-working space “if” one were to open up in our town.
Having already been to The Wing, Soho House, The Assemblage and other co-working spaces in NYC, I knew exactly what I would want it to be and was thrilled at the prospect of something this special opening in our area.
I run a business full-time and I’m a mom: I desperately needed a place to connect with other women who are interested in business and work, and a space to be productive where I had no other distractions. It’s just the perfect fit for me!
Why you love co-working and how it helps your business!
I thought I would be super distracted by all of the people in a co-working space, and that it would be full of women chit-chatting with one another, getting nothing done. It turned out to be quite the opposite!
In fact, I’m the most productive when I’m co-working at The Co-Co. Friends walk by and wave hello, but everyone knows that if you’re there, you’re working. It’s not a coffee house. It’s a work space, although the coffee there is pretty awesome.
Co-working has made me closer to many of the other working women in my community (which I’m ALL about!) and has made me a much more focused and productive business person. At this point, I can’t imagine my life without it!