You are arranging your desire wedding ceremony and an even dreamier honeymoon. When you and your lover set out to populate your wedding registry, you understand you now have all the dishes, small appliances, and cocktail shakers you need to have – immediately after all, you’re each adults. What you seriously will need is some time away jointly to launch your lives in a unforgettable style.

Which is what happened to Sara Margulis and her fiancé Josh when they decided to request their wedding ceremony friends to assist underwrite their honeymoon in lieu of items. They launched their have organization to enable other individuals do the exact, and currently, Honeyfund is the most reliable income gifting web-site. The system has allowed 6 million givers to fund far more than $640 million in items for more than just one million couples. I spoke with Sara about shifting occupations from internet marketing to tech start out-up, the Shark Tank result, placing out on her personal, and balancing family members lifestyle with managing her own organization.

Shelley Zalis: You previously worked as the affiliate director of internet marketing at Golden Gate College. How did you make your mind up to make a occupation change and start your possess firm at Honeyfund? What was your lightbulb second?

Sara Margulis: Honeyfund’s co-founder and I were engaged to be married and preparing our very own wedding, and we experienced this dream of honeymooning somewhere unique and significantly absent like Fiji to get away from the tension of two complete-time employment. But we didn’t have the cash following paying for our very own wedding day. So as an alternative of registering completely for conventional housewares, we established a makeshift want checklist for the expenditures linked with our Fiji honeymoon – items like excursions, vacation resort evenings, island hopping flights, and many others. Our marriage ceremony company overwhelmed us with extra than $5,000 in contributions, but extra importantly, they liked the thought. They asked us to make one thing like it for other partners. Which is how Honeyfund was born.

I had just graduated with an MBA in internet marketing and my co-founder is a software package engineer. I had been functioning at Golden Gate University on marketing and advertising initiatives such as the university’s new web site, e-mail marketing and advertising applications, and a CRM implementation. We took the notion and enthusiasm from our have marriage friends, and all that skilled history, and made and introduced Honeyfund.com from our sofa.

SZ: How much prior experience, if any, did you have in the startup sector just before launching Honeyfund? How did your time on Shark Tank catapult your journey?

SM: We had been in San Francisco in the early 2000s when the technological know-how startup growth was taking place all close to us. We experienced buddies at Twitter when it 1st launched, for example. Neither of us genuinely experienced any immediate working experience in startups, but we could develop and deal with jobs. And we both of those experienced a aspiration of getting economically unbiased and possessing a versatile agenda so we could be there for our future small children.

In 2013 we were dwelling that desire: the company was supporting our family and we experienced all the flexibility we envisioned. We experienced acquired our desire household and we experienced two nutritious children who had been developing up in an idyllic town in Sonoma County, California.

When Shark Tank identified as, we had to make a hard final decision – do we develop over and above our life-style small business and enter the world of a quickly-growing startup? Getting on financial commitment money, knowing particularly how we required to deploy it, realizing how to unlock the future period of development – those people were being all unfamiliar to us. Starting off a little something is incredibly various from developing it.

However, we felt it was the right point to do for the Honeyfund brand and our member local community. So we applied for the clearly show and received cast. Our episode aired in October 2013 and it was a hit! Our web-site crashed from all the targeted traffic. We were being so thrilled to have the focus on the Honeyfund brand name. We understood that after individuals experienced read of Honeyfund they cherished the strategy. So our Shark Tank physical appearance and the deal with Kevin O’Leary released us on to the nationwide phase. This drove a good deal more targeted visitors and customers, but it also introduced us the notoriety to kind superior-level partnerships, this sort of as our registry integration with Focus on.

SZ: What are the advantages and shortcomings that come with a job transition and branching out on your have to start a company?

SM: We ended up exceptionally lucky that Honeyfund was effectively been given and grew by itself to the point that we were being in a position to make a superior living prior to remaining on Shark Tank. That was section one particular of the changeover from functioning for an individual else to performing for ourselves. It was what we had dreamed of. So we felt we were being taking pleasure in all the rewards of executing our have thing.

But the business enterprise was expanding quicker than we were being. It desired extra from us. We didn’t have enough staff members to serve our partners and maintain the website. That introduced us into a growth section that was actually tough to learn how to handle – we did not have the practical experience there. Eventually following a prolonged and winding highway, we split up and I bought my co-founder out of the corporation. So that stage of development arrived with a ton of anxiety and worries. And I felt pulled in so a lot of directions as a mom, spouse, and business operator. I stopped having care of myself and burned out. Then Covid hit and I confronted a different large challenge with the business, this time by yourself at the helm. I had to just take a very long appear in the mirror and request myself if I experienced what it can take to make certain Honeyfund could survive a 90% fall in revenues and a pandemic with no end in sight.

I made the decision to step up and do my best to retain the firm heading for its users and workforce. I invested a ton in developing as a chief, employed a management staff to take care of the expansion, and clarified my position in the enterprise. We introduced a crowdfunding campaign to invite our users and reward givers to invest in the company’s subsequent period of development. And we received via! But people ended up some of the most difficult several years of my lifetime. Staying accountable for a organization, a staff, and shoppers – it’s a enormous load at times.

However the chance to increase and become the chief of anything outstanding comes at the time in a life time – so the benefits considerably outweigh the negatives for me. I see it as a journey and I am at any time-evolving together the way.

SZ: In the previous number of yrs, there has been an increasing development of females leaving their work to get started their own enterprises for the duration of the Great Resignation. Based mostly on your working experience, is there a “right” time or are there best instances for a profession adjust?

SM: The pull involving job and spouse and children is so hard. In a good deal of means, a career with a selected selection of several hours that you can go away and appear household is so a lot more healthy for that relatives harmony and your own self-care than a commence-up. I would say there is no correct time to commence your individual matter if you are passionate about it just do it. But with this one particular caveat: women of all ages with companions and/or little ones should really imagine lengthy and tricky about the quantity of time and aim they want to be ready to give their relatives. And then dedicate what’s still left to a new undertaking. Anyone will notify you that you have to give 200% to a startup but which is genuinely not genuine. And it will lead to burnout so rapid if you are not careful.

Rather, commence your undertaking with a team that can give their comprehensive target. If you are holding the eyesight and targets, you can and really should reserve time for self-treatment and your family. I know this can be so really hard to attain, but I’m a realist so I break it down like a uncomplicated math challenge. I look at how lots of hours I have in a week and I attempt to initially prioritize my own self-treatment, then my time with my young ones and partner, then my get the job done priorities.

I also consider the seasonality of my company and my children’s university. Summertime is a good time to be in a position to give a minimal a lot more to young ones and a tiny much less to the small business. But if you’re beginning a business (like mine) that has significant summer calls for it could be hard. The crucial is acquiring extremely serious with by yourself about how lots of several hours of emphasis you are eager to give to a new enterprise.

SZ: What information would you give to girls searching to modify their occupation but who really feel discouraged or uncertain of where by to start off?

SM: I would say commence with a change toward the business or competencies you want to study and get genuinely excellent at those when operating for a person else with constant operate several hours, positive aspects, and shell out. Or be a part of a volunteer group. Once you are self-assured in your expertise and know exactly how you will take care of your time and concentrate, then established up your new undertaking within these parameters.


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