Introduce yourself! Who are you?
My name is Meral Arik - aka @my.startuplife on Instagram!
All the work I do is all about empowering and creating access for entrepreneurs. My startup, Hello Chava, is using technology to empower the rising cohort of independent professionals and the “business of one.” I’m also the founder of a community of entrepreneurial women called DOER Society. I firmly believe there’s never been a better time to democratize resources and lift each other up - professionally & personally - through genuine connections.

What’s your dream job?
Honestly, as cliche as this is going to sound, my current job is my dream job! At Hello Chava, I get to build a product I believe in, with a team of brilliant people who genuinely care about making a difference. My team is extremely supportive of my side hustle, DOER Society- where I have the privilege of driving change by facilitating connections between highly ambitious, good-hearted people.
To continue living out my professional dreams, I hope to see Hello Chava and DOER Society impact millions of lives someday.

What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I ask for feedback every day, multiple times a day!
Feedback is a necessary part of learning and growing. I regularly ask for focused input on everything from “what did I do well” to “what could I have done better,” and “how could I approach this problem more effectively,” etc. While I’ll admit that sometimes negative feedback can be hard to hear, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to get comfortable asking for (and listening to) it. It’s the fastest way to improve!

What is your favorite thing about where you live?
My favorite thing about San Francisco is the people- particularly, the incredible women that live in this city.
Outside of building Hello Chava and DOER Society, I emcee and moderate a number of events for women in tech and women in business, and I have many opportunities to network with members of these communities, as a result. These women are doing incredible things in their own lives and careers, and they’re going out of their way to uplift others, along the way. They keep me motivated and inspired to be the best version of myself.

What do you love most about yourself?
I love that I’m a dreamer with incredible work ethic.
I constantly envision the life and the impact that I want to have, and as crazy as it sounds, I live in this constant state of excitement, as a result. It’s to the point where when people ask me “How do you work so much?” my genuine first thought is, “How could I not?” I literally cannot wait to get up every morning and work towards my goals.

What would you say to 16 year old you?
Be kind to yourself. You’re doing great.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My parents gave me something more valuable than advice: they gave me unconditional love and support. They made me believe I could do anything I wanted to do, and be anything I wanted to be.

What is something on your bucket list?
I want to be on the cover of Forbes.

What message do you think every woman should hear?
ASK. Ask for more. Ask for more, more often than you think is appropriate. You’d be surprised what doors open just by knocking.
And if a door doesn’t open, build a house with as many doors and windows as you’d like.

Do you have any favorite websites or podcasts?
In a world where technology, platforms, and algorithms are constantly changing, I’m a big believer in “crowdsourcing knowledge” to stay current. I love participating in online communities who share news and best practices with one another- specifically, Facebook groups such DOER Society and Badass Marketers & Founders (BAMF).
I also really enjoy listening to The Tim Ferriss Show and Tribe of Mentors on podcast, and watching Gary Vaynerchuk’s content on YouTube & Instagram. They share some timeless content around mindset, productivity, and succeeding in business.

How do we stay in touch with you?
Find me on Instagram (@my.startuplife), and check out DOER Society on Instagram, Facebook, and our website.
Also, be sure to check out Hello Chava! Our flagship product is a virtual phone line with built-in automation for things like scheduling-over-text and text message marketing. If you want to modernize your business communications give Hello Chava a try - you’ll love it!
As Told By Women readers can get 6 free months of Hello Chava Pro- just use code "ATBW18" when you sign up!

More About Meral

Meral Arik is a founding team member and Growth Lead of Hello Chava (B-Corp), a technology startup using AI to power client relationships for solo entrepreneurs. Her popular instagram @my.startuplife is the first of its kind, documenting the day-to-day experiences of a young woman building a tech startup in Silicon Valley.
Meral is also founder of DOER Society, a fast-growing entrepreneurial community for women. She built this active community on the firm belief that real, shared experiences are the best way to improve & scale mentorship.