You Are a Mogul
Four years ago, I sat in my bedroom and began creating a digital platform for women across the world. I wasn’t outrageously ambitious about the numbers of women I would initially reach. I was a twenty-seven-year-old business school grad, working three jobs at once. But I decided to try to build this idea I had on my own, in the hours I had to myself after my jobs were finished each night. Over a period of months, I taught myself how to code, showing my fledgling site to a few people for feedback. And then, I sent it out into the world, unsure of what its impact and reach might be. But I was hopeful it could become a vehicle to show women exactly how much we are capable of—that when we come together, we can rise faster, go farther, and truly change the world.
That platform ended up becoming Mogul, the company that I now run today, with offices in New York City, San Francisco, and Paris. One of the largest platforms for women worldwide, Mogul reaches millions of people across 196 countries through its mobile app, the web, email, social media, books, TV, films, and events. Thousands of jobs are posted on Mogul each day. It offers award-winning Unconscious Bias, Inclusive Leadership, and Gender Equity trainings. It addresses safety at work through cutting-edge harassment reporting tools. Fortune 1000 companies are pledging to Mogul that they will improve how they present
women in their communications. For every dollar Mogul earns, the company provides free educational resources to women in need through international partners such as the United Nations.
And though we find ourselves today at the pinnacle of success, it didn’t come easy, and it didn’t happen overnight. My journey, and the journey of Mogul, was fueled by unending determination and resilience, no matter how challenging the circumstances; a perpetual desire to learn more, become more; and the knowledge that, step-by-step, you can do anything you want to do and be anything you want to be.
So if you’ve ever been laid off, shut down, told no, doubted yourself, or been doubted, then look no further. Welcome to our Mogul world, where all of that is about to change. It doesn’t matter how old you are or where you are starting from—anyone can become a mogul. Especially you.
If you’re thinking that it’s not possible because you just don’t fit the powerful businessman stereotype, spoiler alert: that’s not what a mogul is or looks like anymore.
It’s true. Before I launched Mogul, when you Googled the word “mogul,” the top search results were links to businessmen like Warren Buffett and Rupert Murdoch.
But, today, when you Google the word “mogul,” we are the number-one search result. A community of women across the globe, connecting, sharing, and striving to change the world. We are redefining the word for the next generation of girls to know that they, too, can be moguls.
We all have the power to create something great, whether it is a social enterprise, a nonprofit, beautiful artwork that inspires the world, or technology that makes people’s lives easier. I share my story and the story of Mogul so that you can apply every lesson I have learned to your life today, accelerating your own growth, personally and professionally, and reaching your goals sooner than you thought would ever be possible.
And while I may seem polished from the outside in my heels and power dress, know that I’m not all business. Deep down, I’m still the
underdog, the one who didn’t believe in herself, the shy girl who moved from Paris, France, to Plano, Texas, struggling to learn a new language and adapt to a new culture all at once. But through the years, I’ve learned to step up to the moment, and to not let self-doubt hold me back. Though I’ve been compared to Fortune 500 CEOs, that’s just not me. I’m used to marching to the beat of my own drum, and to being the youngest in the room, the only female in the room, or the only Asian in the room. I’ve figured out how to not let that or anything keep me from accomplishing what I set my mind to. Even if others said no along the way, I never let that stop me. I’ve consistently made choices that led me to overcome obstacles and achieve new heights much faster than expected. Choices that I want to share with you, so that you can learn to do the same. You’ll also hear from ten of my friends and the most powerful moguls worldwide, including Nina García, Star Jones, Rebecca Minkoff, and more. They share their personal stories and insights, so that you can adopt their learning, too.
Before we get started, a brief disclaimer: I have tried to the best of my ability to recall everything that happened in these pages accurately. But I am human, just like you. I might have gotten a date slightly out of order. I surely hope I didn’t misremember a name or memory. But know that this book is my best attempt to put forth the truth of my life, and the creation of Mogul, while respecting certain people’s privacy.
And know this, too: within you lie the courage and confidence to do what hasn’t been done before, a voice that we desperately need to hear, and the ability to see problems and devise innovative solutions in a way that can truly impact the world.
Becoming a mogul isn’t about becoming rich, although that is a pleasant side effect. It’s about thinking for yourself, identifying and embracing your unique strengths and passions, and using those to make the world a better place.
When we fully step into our power, there is no predicting the heights we can reach.