Amanda Steinberg, the founder of DailyWorth, and I have been close friends for almost a decade. Today she turns 32. For her birthday, I wanted to share with DailyWorth readers a bit of the story behind DailyWorth.
Exactly two years ago, Amanda was one of thirty women exploring women, wealth and self-worth at a workshop I co-hosted called Shattering the Glass Ceiling. The premise of the event was that women can have it all: careers we love, great families, abounding wealth and lives of contribution. Amanda listened intently – and silently – to the presentation and discussions. She left thoroughly riled up.
Six months later she was blowing up my inbox with statistics on women’s earnings, the viability of online ventures, and her vision of women everywhere (herself included) having it all. For the next three months she texted me and called me and altogether harassed me with the same message: Women need to be encouraged to generate wealth, and focus on their net worth. Every day. By email. Two months after that, she was building the DailyWorth web site. And as you’ll see below, she’s clearly still riled up. Here's the interview I did with her yesterday:
Lea Endres: You’ve had a big year, birthday girl! What are you most proud of when looking back over your last 365 days?
Amanda Steinberg, DailyWorth: I gave birth to my daughter, Maya, and launched DailyWorth in the same week — obviously not on purpose! Staying graceful and present through those first few weeks in January is a huge source of pride.
LE: What helped you remain graceful & present?
AS: Giving birth to a daughter totally reinforced how passionate I am about DailyWorth’s mission to help women in their relationship to self worth and net worth. A few weeks ago, the New York Times Magazine declared “Why Women's Rights Are the Cause of Our Time,” and how the health of the world is profoundly connected to the health and well being of women. It’s so clear to me that until we are able to know our own worth, we won’t be able to earn as much as our male counterparts, and the studies show that money in women’s hands is absolutely crucial for the health of our communities, children and world. Take this quote from the same New York Times Magazine issue:
WHY DO MICROFINANCE organizations usually focus their assistance on women? And why does everyone benefit when women enter the work force and bring home regular pay checks? One reason involves the dirty little secret of global poverty: some of the most wretched suffering is caused not just by low incomes but also by unwise spending by the poor ? especially by men. Surprisingly frequently, we’ve come across a mother mourning a child who has just died of malaria for want of a $5 mosquito bed net; the mother says that the family couldn’t afford a bed net and she means it, but then we find the father at a nearby bar. He goes three evenings a week to the bar, spending $5 each week. ~ The Women's Crusade, New York Times Magazine, August 27th, 2009
Through DailyWorth, I want to put more money in the hands of women by enabling them through knowledge and networks.
LE: One year ago, DailyWorth was just an idea. How did you go from idea to thousands of subscribers?
AS: A. Lot. Of. Work. (Laughs.) There’s no other way to put it. Constant execution. Trying not to second guess myself and just publishing, every day, without hesitation. It was so many hours every day, late nights, with two small children and a husband. There was definitely not a lot of fiction read in the last year!
LE: What kept you going?
AS: 50% of our subscribers open DailyWorth emails every day. Having been in the business of email marketing for 10 years as a Web developer, I know that 17% is the average, so I can see that DailyWorth is something women want and need. And I get a constant stream of positive feedback and thanks from readers.
LE: What are the 3 most important things you did to start this business that others can learn from?
- Know how you’re going to make money from the beginning. Define your business model. I'm amazed how many entrepreneurs don't do this.
- Keep costs really low.
- Delegate and decentralize! The more I spread the work and make DailyWorth team effort, the more I’m freed up to innovate and work on things that will impact the business three months down the line.
LE: How has your own self worth shifted going through this process?
AS: When I realized after taking your workshop that in spite of all my knowledge as an entrepreneur, I was still really screwed up in the areas of handling money, I had to accept that I was being incredibly irresponsible. Which meant … that I had to take responsibility. I still don’t fully have a grasp on how much my husband and I spend every month, and I know we overspend, but we're making a lot of progress!
LE: Where are you headed? Where will DailyWorth be this time next year?
AS: By this time next year, DailyWorth will have grown by a factor of ten. We will be a real force of women unified by a common mission. The fact that women still earn 30% less than men is ridiculous. I really want DailyWorth to be a force in obliterating that. Legislation won’t solve it. It will come from women recognizing their worth and knowing how to ask for more money.
Happy Birthday, Amanda! It's been amazing to see you turn an idea into reality in such a short amount of time. I can't wait to see what you do with DailyWorth in this next year. So, dear DailyWorth readers, I have a request for you. For Amanda's birthday, let's dedicate our Facebook statuses to DailyWorth to spread the word about this important cause and website. Here's a suggested status update for your Facebook page:
Happy Birthday to Amanda, the founder of DailyWorth. Ladies – sign up for
DailyWorth and learn how to manage your money:
Lea Endres is a writer and human rights advocate currently living in Los Angeles. check out the book she co-wrote on women and money at wisewealthmanifesta.com.