Bea Arthur knows a thing or two about making a pivot.
And no, just to be clear we’re not talking about the same Bea Arthur who starred among the OG Girl Squad – the Golden Girls. This Bea Arthur, like the other, was a bad ass. But, unlike the Bea of nostalgia’s past, this Bea Arthur has an entrepreneurial bug that bit her hard and never left – seeing her through two startups since graduating college in 2008.
Now, as for that pivoting, as a licensed therapist and startup founder, Bea has learned the importance of making nimble, not-so-easy decisions and has mastered the art of picking herself back up again. Her company, In Your Corner (formerly Pretty Padded Room), is a leader in using telemedicine to offer counseling and coaching services online through video and text. Her idea was so standout that it landed her an appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank. Even without getting an investment from the sharks, Bea used their feedback to tweak her idea, and as Fast Company put it, she “turned her mistakes into assets.”
Now, Bea is about to make a pivot again, and has decided to close the virtual doors of In Your Corner to make room for her next business venture in the online therapy space. But this time she’s turning her attention to America’s warriors – service men and women – and is launching an online resource for them later this year called Inside the Wire.
“[When you’re in the military] you can’t stop to think about your circumstances,” Bea says. “You can’t wallow and eat a burrito and watch Netflix. You have to keep your mind sharp. I got really into the idea of emotional endurance.”
In addition to being a serial entrepreneur, Bea is a TEDx speaker who shared her ideas on the “Culture of Comparison” (which, we highly recommend you YouTube.) She also was the first African-American woman to be accepted into the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator program in Mountain View, Calif. She’s also the co-host and co-producer of You’re Not Crazy, a comedic show about mental health on YouTube. She is a first-generation American who was born and raised in Houston, Texas, by her parents who immigrated from Ghana in West Africa.
In episode 13 of I Want Her Job: The Podcast, Podcast Editor Polina Selyutin speaks with Bea about her college education at Columbia in New York City, her first startup fizzling out, her work helping domestic violence survivors and how the three have swirled together to give Bea business ideas that are helping to solve problems and assist others.
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