Lauren Kleinman has reinvented herself plenty of times during her career, eventually leaving a full-time, in-house job to start her own consultancy. With the goal of a healthier work-life balance and time for her own vision, she named it "Dreamday", and it supports innovative direct-to-consumer companies. Today, we have the pleasure of talking to her about her company, and the path that brought her to where she is today.
Lauren, thank you so much for doing the interview with us today. Let's start right away with the first question: At the moment, you’re working with Dreamday--a company that you founded. Could you tell us a little bit about what Dreamday does, exactly?
Dreamday is a marketing and growth consultancy supporting innovative direct-to-consumer companies. Dreamday focuses on the intersection of content marketing and customer acquisition. Prior to Dreamday, I was founding the team at Ritual and VP of Marketing. Prior to that, I was an early team member at Scopely, helping to scale the company to be one of the fastest-growing companies in America and one of the largest mobile game companies in the world. I am passionate about building brands, communities, awareness, and driving acquisition for disruptive companies that I can get behind and want to share with the world.
As the founder, are you involved hands-on in the day-to-day business? What does your typical workday look like?
Yes, my days are absolutely non-stop (for better or worse). I’m working on a better work-life balance but have been heads down building Dreamday and serving my clients ever since I left Ritual. Most of my days are spent between research and building out plans and strategies for clients, answering emails, and taking calls with clients or prospective partners.
Wow, this sounds super busy! Are there some particular principles that are important to you as the head of your company?
- Transparency—from the way I communicate to my team to the way I expect them to communicate with me. This hinges on a high level of trust which I hope to always foster with consistency and open and honest communication.
- Overexceeding goals–I never want to take on a client if I don’t think we can drive an immense amount of value for them. Our reputation is everything and if the fit isn’t there, it’s not worth it.
- Fun–When I left my full-time in-house role to start my own consultancy, I wanted more work-life balance. I wanted to design my own day however I saw fit. I arrived at the name Dreamday because I was thinking about the reason I left in the first place: to be able to create my ‘dream day’ every day. For me that meant being able to spend more time with my family and kids, going for a hike in the morning, making a green smoothie, and working with innovative direct-to-consumer companies that I was personally passionate about and were creating some force of good in the world every day. Having Dreamday as my consultancy’s name makes me remember why I sought out to start this business in the first place.
That's a great choice of name! Prior to Dreamday, you were one of the founders of Ritual, a health technology company. What were your main responsibilities back then?
I was founding team with the CEO and our VP of Marketing. In the beginning, I oversaw everything to get us up and launched including our branding, packaging, positioning, and PR, and towards the end of my tenure started focusing on strategic partnerships that could help the company scale including working with top-tier publications, influencers, bloggers, and ambassadors. My focus was on getting authentic and credible third-party validation that would help tell the brand story for us.
Going even further back, from 2013 to 2015 you worked for Scopely, a mobile game publisher. Clearly, you’ve reinvented yourself professionally several times. What’s been your motivation behind making those career changes?
While I was interested in mobile games, I was definitely more personally passionate about health and wellness. I realized the importance of making every day count and ideally being in a position where your work feels in total alignment with what you want to be doing. We spend most of our time on this planet at work after all!
It's wonderful when you're able to turn your passion into your profession! While starting your career, did you also experience problems and obstacles that you feel are typical for women in your field?
One of the most profound times that I questioned my professional worth and ability was when I was leaving my then-current role to start my own business. At that time, I already knew my market value was more than I was being offered. When I let my employer know, I was questioned on what I would be in the position to consult on and doubted that I could earn more. When I first started my consultancy, I would have never thought of myself as an expert.
Now that I’ve driven consistent repeated success for clients and spoken to enough people, I own my expertise and niche. I feel extremely indebted to that moment because that fueled a lot of my success. Being doubted has driven so much personal and professional development and motivated me to work that much harder.
What a story Lauren, thanks for sharing this! What’s the best advice you could give to other women who are setting up their own businesses?
Find other women who are where you want to be. Study them, their communications, their brands, and their networks. Introduce yourself and inject yourself into the conversation where appropriate. Think about what you can do to stand out while making sure you fully understand the landscape. Try not to be shy; many female founders are looking for other aspiring founders to lift up with them.
Is there a special talent you would say you have?
I think I’m an excellent connector and pretty well-networked. There are so many synergies between the brands that I work with that I’m able to leverage learnings across brands. Separately, I would say “luck” follows those who work really hard.
It definitely does. One last question Lauren: You’ve been a long-term Mailbutler user. In what ways does it help you organize your day?
I love Mailbutler; it’s an absolute game-changer! My day is always back-to-back and managing communications for tens of clients non-stop requires extreme diligence and organization. I love the standalone Undo Send plugin; if I forget to send something I meant to, I can simply cancel the sending and edit my email. I’m also a frequent user of the canned responses feature and frequently write notes to myself in each email to help keep me organized.
Thank you so much for your time, Lauren. We wish you all the best!
Have you already checked out our interview with Liviu Tanase? In our episode “A CEO on Career, California, and COVID” he not only tell us how he achieved a successful career in the US, but he also speaks about the changes that his company, ZeroBounce, made due to the pandemic.Register with Mailbutler now