We’ve teamed up with bloom to bring you Moonshots: 10 women shooting for the moon, 10 questions on how they’re doing it. This week, Of a Kind co-founder Erica Cerulo. Check out all featured women here and come back next week for Moonshot #7.
How did you know this was the right path for you?
Before Claire and I started Of a Kind, I wouldn’t have pegged myself as an entrepreneur, but I have definitely always been someone who’s found it gratifying to have a sense of ownership in the things I’ve done—like, seeing my point of view come through. When we came up with the concept for the business and started brainstorming around it and getting revved up, it kind of just clicked for me that, oh, right, starting a company yourself is how you really shape something, and I would—do!—find that to be super fulfilling.
Do you believe we’re ever really ‘ready’ to do something? How do we start when we’re stuck?
Heck no, we’re never truly ready! But you just can’t let that stop you. It’s all about breaking big, momentous undertakings down into much smaller, very achievable component parts, I think. Those things snowball, and suddenly you have progress and are well on your way without (hopefully) getting too hung up on the fact that you’re doing something major.
Doing courageous things requires losing our excuses. What excuses did you have to get rid of to get to where you are now?
I had to get over the idea of being risk-averse. The fact of the matter is that banking on stability in life just isn’t feasible. Things change, and starting a business has made me more comfortable with that.
What have been your biggest challenges so far, and how have you overcome them?
Learning to manage a team is one of them for sue—and it’s not so much one to overcome as to work on all the dang time. In the beginning, Claire and I were doing everything ourselves—which was great in that we learned the ins and outs of every single component of building Of a Kind but not so great in that it made it tougher for us to delegate and to get out of the trenches as the business grows. But 2017 goals, right?
From the outside it looks like you’ve made it—but what are some of the things that you still feel insecure about? That you haven’t quite nailed yet?
Is there anyone who’s immune to the comparison game (that social media so fuels)? Show me that person.
What are the things you’re super proud of?
Top of the list: my partnership with Claire. The fact that we’ve built this thing, that we continue to collaborate really well together, and that we’re still—HEY!—friends is huge in my book.
How do you motivate yourself on the tough days? What keeps you moving forward?
For me, it really just helps to feel productive—to just do the things. And on the tough days, it sometimes helps to tackle mundane tasks that don’t require as much inspiration or creativity but that have to get done nonetheless and that you can feel some sense of accomplishment from having tackled. So, book the dentist appointment?
Regardless of how busy you get, what are your non-negotiables?
Cooking dinner with my husband at least a couple nights a week—there’s something about kitchen prep and veggie-chopping that makes for good terrain for conversations. And reading! The last couple years, I’ve read about a book a week, and I think that habit has provided both mind-opening and escape.
What advice would you have given yourself at the beginning of your journey?
There are so many what ifs out there that if you spend time stressing about, worrying about, or—on the other end of the spectrum—getting psyched up about them, you’ll start to spiral. You gotta focus on and put your energy into what is real—what is actually happening or in need of attention right now and not what might be going down in one month or three years.
What advice do you have for other women who are shooting for the moon?
There is no way to fully prepare yourself. You just have to dive in and get comfortable with not knowing what you don’t know—and trust that you are smart ‘n savvy enough to learn as you go.
Co-Founder, Of A Kind