When Farnoosh Torabi got laid off from her job as a journalist at TheStreet.com, it was in many ways the day her real career began. Instead of going the safe route and finding another job, Farnoosh ran with her big idea—and it changed the course of her career.
Today, Farnoosh is an award winning financial strategist, best-selling author and sought after speaker. She’s the host of the daily podcast So Money where she interviews financial luminaries, entrepreneurs and influencers about their personal stories around money.
I recently had Farnoosh on my show, Solopreneur on the Whatever It Takes Network, where she shared why she thinks living with uncertainty is the key to successful entrepreneurship—and fear of failure shouldn’t stop you. Here’s more of Farnoosh’s hard-won wisdom.
How did you make the decision to leave your last job or go out on your own? What was that job, and how did you know it was time?
I got laid off! So, the decision was made for me. And sometimes those are the best decisions. I didn’t resist the fact that I was unemployed. I turned it into an opportunity to finally break out on my own and take the little freelancing I was already pursuing alongside my 9 to 5 to go completely rogue and venture out on my own full time.
What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
A talk show host.
When did you realize this was (or wasn’t) going to happen?
I’m still hoping it will happen! My podcast is sort of making that dream come true.
What is it about your life now that you can’t believe you do, and wouldn’t believed if someone told you 5-10 years ago?
I can’t believe I get to work with companies and help them with their media strategies and educating their clients and employees about personal finance. I always assumed journalists work with newspapers and TV stations…but I’ve also worked with companies like TJ Maxx, Macy’s and Mass Mutual (and they pay better!).
Where do you think most of us waste our time? What do you recommend doing to change it? Responding to emails right away.
I must get over 100 personally directed emails each day and if I were to actually respond to all of them that instant, I’d never get any real work done. As one of my podcast guests Chris Brogan told me, “email is the perfect delivery system of other people’s priorities.” I write back to people who are on deadline first but all others hear back from me 24 or 48 hours later…sometimes a LOT later.
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever been given (did you take it?)
You might want to consider changing your name. A news director once told me this after learning I had aspirations of being in front of the camera. It’s funny because all I ever wanted as a kid was to have a different name. I wanted to be Ashley or Christina. Farnoosh was weird and the kids made fun of my name. And by the time I was in high school and college I really appreciated being different. ANd then BAM! I start a new job out of college and some old white guy is telling me to be the same again…I laughed. Of course I didn’t follow his advice.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time 10 years?
Start an email list. Period.
What lesson(s) did you learn the hard way (could be your career, or life in general):
When you write a book, no matter how awesome, there’s a really good chance that it won’t fly off shelves.
Any other advice you want solopreneurs/entrepreneurs to know? Resources you recommend or folks you like (think: books, brands, programs, services, anything you read/used and were like “YES!”)
-ScheduleOnce for setting up appointments
-TinyScan for scanning documents (I use this ALL the time as I sign a lot of contracts every year)
-A great CPA
-A great financial advisor
Watch a new episode of Solopreneur every Tuesday at 4pm on the Whatever It Takes Network.