Ever heard of Hello Chava? Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t, but you will, cause this technology start-up uses A.I. to power client relationships over text messaging. Extremely interesting, especially when you hear co-founder and DOER Society TechGirl Meral Arik (@my.startuplife) speak about it.
A real TechGirl
Besides her busy work at Hello Chava and her Instagram, Meral also founded the DOER Society. That is a growing community for entrepreneurial women. She built this active community on the firm belief that real, shared experiences are the best way to improve & scale mentorship. Wasn’t it scary to start her own company? “Yes! I think starting any kind of venture, big or small, is scary – but that’s what makes it exciting. Of course it helps to have great teammates and co-founders on the journey with you.”
With great power comes great responsibility, but that also means you have to give things up in order to make yourself free for something new. Meral feels the dream is bigger than anything else. “I don’t see it as “giving up” something when you’re investing in what you’re passionate about – but rather, I see it as tradeoffs. With that in mind, I’ve definitely made a number tradeoffs in my pursuit of growing Hello Chava- most significantly, I’ve traded off a “normal” schedule and social life. I always joke that I formed my side hustle DOER Society as a way for me to make more friends who are sympathetic to “the struggle” that comes with the pursuit of the startup life.”
It is hard to live the startup life in Silicon Valley, but does the fact that Meral is a woman make any difference? “I think it’s been proven many times over that women in the workplace, women in technology, and women in entrepreneurship have a systemic disadvantage to their male counterparts. I’m personally very fortunate to be surrounded by both men and women of various levels of experience who advocate for me and encourage me to bring my unique skills, experiences, and voice to the table. I know not everyone is as lucky with advocates and access- though I also know that we’re in a new era for female founders (we’re on the rise!). I’m excited play a role in making the future of business amazing for women everywhere.”
You can follow Meral on Instagram @my.startuplife, which has become a pretty successful outlet. “I think my account has grown because I’m the first person who has really taken people behind-the-scenes into the Silicon Valley startup life since day 1 of my journey as co-founder. I share my daily grind, lessons I’m learning, and many of the fun/stressful/exciting moments in between. I’m thankful for the IG community that supports me everyday!”
It is funny to mention that, being such an inspiration herself, but Meral simply knows what she wants and she goes for it. She advices other women to do exactly that: “Do it. Be fierce. This is your time.” She is a busy bee so being fierce is definitely something that fits perfectly. But how about that DOER society, why did Meral start it? “Starting a business or building a product is difficult. I believe it is absolutely essential to crowdsource advice from people going through the same journey as you – or at least a parallel one – regardless of differences in experience. I call it co-mentorship; it’s creating access to the lessons we all learn day-to-day so we can learn rapidly and get ahead in our ventures without reinventing the wheel each time. That’s what DOER Society, a community of female founders & entrepreneurial women, is all about.”
There is a lot to be proud of, and Meral has made a lot of good memories with DOER already. “As far as a specific magical moment: We hosted a happy hour for 55+ female founders at the Startup Grind Global Conference earlier this year. It was absolutely incredible watching the real-time exchange of ideas and support in real life.” It is not just networking that is important, cause in the end it is all about mentorship too. “Ideal mentorship is deep investment and guidance from a person or people that meet you where you are. It’s personalized, relevant, complete, and up-to-date.”
“It’s hard to get this from any one person or even a small group of people. My hope is that women find the kind of mentorship I described from the community in DOER Society.”
Inspired much? We sure are. You can find the DOER Society here.