We had the good fortune of connecting with Paulina Karpis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paulina, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I actually never planned to be an entrepreneur. I got a degree in Finance and then took a job at J.P Morgan as an analyst. I stumbled across a major problem in business education that hadn’t been solved and it drove me to start brunchwork.
I was looking into MBA programs, and was underwhelmed by my options. They were overpriced, outdated and an unrealistic time commitment. Nothing innovative had been done within business education for many years.
So I built brunchwork based on what I wish I had access to early on in my career. I wanted to offer access to a network of peers, top industry leaders and relevant education and skills.
Getting an MBA might have been the norm for our parents generation, but it really doesn’t make sense anymore. Not when there’s so many great MBA alternatives. I feel fortunate to be able to provide modern business education to tens of thousands of millennial professionals each year.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’m really proud of how far we’ve come with brunchwork. brunchwork has completely reimagined business education to make it more relevant and cost effective for a global audience. We’re able to offer modern business education via a two-month Business Intensive, membership and free newsletter that includes actionable advice from industry leaders.
Being an entrepreneur is really challenging. It’s endless problem solving. I think the biggest challenge we’ve faced so far was having to pivot our entire business model when Covid hit. Up until Covid, 100% of our revenue came from live events. We had to quickly pivot our workshops and platforms to an online only platform. A lot of our competitors shut down. We were successful because we carefully listened to our customer and adapted to their needs. We also stayed lean.
Challenges and failure are an inevitable part of running a business. Once you accept that a lot of initiatives aren’t going to go well the first time, you can start being more proactive by tracking your progress, and iterating and readjusting your strategy as needed.
At the end of the day, this journey as an entrepreneur is so worth it because of the impact I’ve been able to make with brunchwork. We’ve built an inspiring, close-knit community of business leaders that just keeps on growing.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love spending time outdoors. I strongly believe in taking time to move and exercise, especially when life gets stressful as an entrepreneur. So I would offer a lot of different hiking spots in LA, like Runyon Canyon and Wilacre Park. It’s easier to connect with a new city when you can get out in nature and catch some scenic views. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Two that deserve recognition. First a Shoutout to my cofounder, Jon Levy. When I first started building brunchwork I was new to the events business and didn’t have access to the speakers I imagined hosting our programs. I cold emailed Jon, who was very accomplished in building these kind of close-knit communities I hoped brunchwork would be. He tapped into his network, helped get some of our first speakers and the rest was history.
Also a Shoutout to The Lean Startup book. It’s something every early entrepreneur needs to read. It was extremely impactful in helping me understand iterative growth.
Other: I’m really proud of our weekly content that gives actionable tips for entrepreneurs and business leaders: Blog: https://brunchwork.com/wisdom/ Newsletter: https://brunchwork.com/newsletter Forbes Channel: https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulinaguditch/people/paulinabw1/?sh=25142f5d79b9