Let's all just take a moment to think about how badass Erin looks in this photo. She looks like the change maker that she is. One of my favorite parts of being a photographer is getting to know my subjects. There is a chemistry that builds throughout a shoot and seeing women transform in front of me is pretty dang cool.
Ok, back to it! Erin Halper is the founder of The Upside, a membership community that supports best-in-class professionals pursuing independent, flexible careers. The Upside matches consultants with businesses that embrace the future of work.
We hope Erin's *CHANGE* tee will make as big an impact as she is making by building The Upside, "Wow. Change. It’s important. Especially today. I want people to be part of the change they want, and not just sit on the sidelines and watch," says Erin
5% of sales from our Change Muscle Tee will get donated to Girls Leadership, an organization that equips girls with the skills to exercise the power of their voice.
Each small change that we push for and make is part of the ripple effect that can truly make a lasting impact. I don't know about you guys, but I agree with Erin, we should be able to have it all, "Whether it’s starting a mission-driven business, showing up to vote, volunteering or wearing a t-shirt that expresses your values, we all need to be involved in movements that are meaningful to us for real change to happen," says Erin
AM: What do you do and what do you love about it?
EH: I’m the founder and CEO of The Upside a platform that supports corporate women pursuing independent, flexible careers and matches them with businesses that embrace the future of work. I love having a mission-driven company that gives me the motivation to fight through the tough days and work hard to make much-needed changes in the way working works in corporate America. I wholeheartedly believe that high-achieving professionals shouldn’t have to choose between working as a full-time employee or not working at all, and I love being part of this growing movement that’s redefining how we view work.
AM: What does "Be The Upside" mean to you?
EH: Having worked in private equity for more than a decade, we’d always say, “What’s the upside of the deal?” In other words, we have to plunk down this significant investment, but what do we get out of it relative to what we’re putting in? I want people to think about work and employment in the same way. Every professional and every work arrangement has an upside, especially when referring to non-traditional arrangements like flexible, part-time or scalable talent. Also, on a broader level, I want people to think about being the upside of a movement. The movement I’m referring to is the future of work, especially for women. Embracing this movement and investing in women pursuing non-traditional work arrangements will yield exponential economic and social ROI.
AM: What are your top 3 tips for someone who wants to move away from their 9-5 and start consulting?
EH: 1) Focus your consultancy on something specific: either industry or skill. 2) Leverage your existing network to find clients. Your network is much bigger than you think! 3) Communicate your value in a way that showcases your experience and results.
AM: Why did you select Girls Leadership as your charitable cause?
EH: It’s no secret: we need more women in leadership roles. Also, we are learning that those leadership and confidence seeds are planted early on in a young girl’s life. More women leaders yield so many positive results, such as flexibility for employees, equitable pay across an organization, more feminine-driven input into developing products and services, policy change, and on and on. These changes trickle down from the CEO all the way to the hourly employee. We need more women leaders. Period.
AM: Who's your dream community member?
EH: A woman who left the corporate 9-5 world to pursue a career on her terms. She wants to set your hours and rates independently, and she's confident and giving, of course.
AM: What motivates you?
EH: Fear of regret.
AM: What's your proudest accomplishment for this year?
EH: I’m so proud of our expansion into a members-based networking community of women consultants and independent contractors who are sharing best practices and advice with the common goal of furthering one another’s success. Not to mention, we made it easier than ever for our members to connect directly with quality clients, eliminating the need for a middle(wo)man. The positive feedback we've received from members is music to my ears.
AM: Three adjectives that describe you?
EH: Creative. Direct. Resourceful.
AM: What inspires you in work and life?
EH: My husband is my inspiration for both. He is my biggest cheerleader, advisor, mentor, partner, and the best damn date of all time. Marry your best friend, ladies. Trust me.
AM: What are you celebrating in life, today?
EH: Every time I receive a note from a woman whose life has been positively touched by The Upside, I celebrate. Whether it’s earning more money, closing more clients or connecting with other women pursuing flexible, independent careers, I celebrate every win for every member, as if it were my own.
AM: How do you usually celebrate your wins?
EH: Good food (obv!)
AM: What's something about you that we wouldn't know by looking at your social media profiles?
EH: People seem to be surprised to know that I don’t have a partner in this business and that I’m going at it on my own. Of course, I have so many people who help me. But I always get this look of shock from people when I answer “no” to the question, “Do you have a business partner?”
AM: Business goals for 2019?
EH: Thoughtfully grow our membership to help more women connect, share resources, earn more money, gain more flexibility and acquire quality, long-term clients.
AM: Do you have any side hustles/passions?
EH: I’m continually trying to improve my painting skills since I not-so-secretly dream of being a professional artist in my next chapter.
AM: Anything else you'd like to share?
EH: I’ve connected with other women entrepreneurs in the “future of work” space — such as the founders of The Second Shift, Werk, and Ladies Get Paid — and although we have different business models, we all have the same goal: to change and greatly improve the current landscape for working women. We get asked if we are competitors, and my answer is always a quick no. It’s the opposite: we are better together, as one strong unit advocating for change from different angles. I feel a deep connection to these women who are growing their businesses alongside me. By supporting one of us, you help all of us.