• findSisterhood

Erin Halper

Founder and CEO of The Upside


Tell us about your career and how it all started?

Way before launching The Upside, I was fortunate to fall into a career in marketing within the alternative investment industry—a total fluke after struggling to find work post 9-11. I loved my career: I worked with smart, polished, and encouraging people along the way and created quite a niche for myself within the industry. Because of this niche, I was able to launch my own consultancy around the same time I was starting my family, with the ultimate goal of achieving better work/life balance where I could spend time with my little ones while still growing my career. It worked. It worked great in fact! I grew my consultancy for 7 years and then felt this incredible pull to start a company to help others achieve this same success and ultimate work/life balance. Afterall, why should we be forced to decide between working full-time and not working at all, especially after starting a family? And that’s how The Upside began: as a vehicle to change the way working works in America.

What does sisterhood mean to you?

Bonding, having each other’s backs, being better together instead of competitive with one another, sharing resources, sharing compliments, lifting a woman up so that we can all rise together…I think we are finally seeing the benefits of sisterhood on a grander scale, and I couldn’t be more excited about that!

What's your personal mantra?

There is positive in every situation.

What is your superpower?

Connecting people!

Tell us about women that inspired you and your female role models:

Gesche Haas of Dreamers and Doers is a huge inspiration and role model for me. She leads with such humility, yet strength. She is able to lead selflessly with 100% intention of helping others, and with zero ego. For someone in her position, and for someone with such success, this is an anomaly. She is a true unicorn and a great example of what strong, female leadership looks like.

What would be your advice for women who are building careers in your industry?

Oh gosh, where do I even start!?

(1) Focus on a niche: either an industry or specific function, or even better, both!

(2) Price yourself appropriately. Too low and you’ll have a hard time proving that you’re high level and deserving of serious work. Too high and you’ll have a tough time closing clients.

(3) Set healthy boundaries with clients. Stay firm on your contracts and payment terms, and do not be taken advantage of. You’re only one person with limited resources. They have lawyers on retainer.

(4) Find a network or community of likeminded people who have your back, lift you up and help you crowdsource best practices. The world of independent consulting is a wild wild west of an industry. Don’t get burned out trying to do it all alone!

One piece of advice for your 18 year old self?

Every person you come across, regardless of status, industry or likeability, is a worthwhile relationship and a future door to be opened. Nurture every single one of them and never burn a bridge.

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