There are two types of kids: ones who sell candy in the back of the bus and ones who excitedly buy the candy being sold.
I was the buyer.
You see, the entrepreneurial bug did not bite me at a young age. I was not hustling candy in the back of the bus, growing my neighborhood lawn mowing conglomerate, regulating a pyramid of fellow babysitters and I never once had a lemonade stand. I was not the type who grew up saying, “I’m going to have my own business!"
I am an accidental entrepreneur.
I graduated from the University of Florida and was determined to land my dream job in publishing. After interning at Teen People (R.I.P.) and People Magazine in New York City I was on a mission to make that my full time job. Through hustle, privilege, hard work, and a whole lot of luck I scored my dream job working at Conde Nast (hello Devil Wears Prada!). I was working at BRIDES Magazine in New York City and feeling like I had hit the jackpot. After two and half years filled with white dresses, cupcakes, champagne bubbles, sleepless nights, amazing co-workers, scary layoffs and downsizing I knew it was time to climb another mountain.
I wanted to be Don Draper. Drinking whisky at 4pm while ruminating over advertising slogans. I joined an activation agency and quickly learned TV depictions are very different than reality. I hated the job almost immediately (giant whoops!) but everything happens for a reason (or so all the slogan posters say) and 2 weeks into this not-so-great-gig I met my co-founder. Within 90 days of meeting we incorporated our company, picked a name, and worked around the clock on our idea. Like ripping off a bandaid, I quit my job (goodbye stable paycheck, health insurance, 401k plan!) and ventured into this new world.
We started The Superfan Company (previously called ZinePak) in January 2011 and every day since I have been living life as an accidental entrepreneur. I’ve learned amazing lessons, hit a lot of potholes, gotten incredibly lucky, worked harder than I thought possible, met extraordinary people, won awards, been on television, been on REALITY television, worked with celebrities whose posters once lined my teenage walls, and tried to maintain the ever impossible work/life balance.
It is my mission in life to help people realize they have an entrepreneurial spirit (even if, like me, they didn’t realize it), to help others find their voice in advocating for themselves when it comes to business and work, and above all empowering the next generation of leaders to find their footing in an ever-changing corporate landscape. It might seem like a tall order but through my speaking gigs, social channels, e-learning courses and mentoring I like to think I’m making a bit of a dent.
I’m always game for witty banter, cheering on the Florida Gators, or trading podcast recommendations on my socials (@kimkaupe).
PS. If you’re looking for the “official” fancy, all-the-accolades-and-accomplishments bio it’s under my “Speaking” tab. 😉 This one I wanted to keep a bit more real.