We both talk very quickly and share ideas at the same rapid pace. Fifteen minutes into the conversation, neither one of us can identify which idea originated with whom.
Stephanie Silverman and Susan Borison launched Your Teen Magazine in 2008 after years of wishing that someone else would produce a parenting magazine for parents of teenagers. Three years and 12 issues later, Your Teen was chosen to participate in Build-It-Big: Cleveland, a local business development program for women-led businesses in Ohio.
Susan Borison graduated in 1983 with a BA in Psychology from Brandeis University and in 1990 with a JD from CWRU School of law. She is the mother of Rebecca, Jeremy, Jessica, Hannah and Jacob and the wife of Dan.
Stephanie Silverman graduated in 1990 with a BS in Finance from Miami University. She is the mother of Zach, Ethan and Laine and the wife of Todd.
What are you working on right now?
We have a quarterly print magazine, a complementary website and (3) annual community panel discussions. We are currently working on a piece with Dr. Oz and his daughter Zoe about healthy eating and lifestyle choices. They will grace the cover of our Fall issue.
What does your typical day look like?
Sue starts emailing Steph at 6:00am and Steph stops emailing Sue at midnight. In between, we talk to each other 300 times a day about each of their many meetings. Steph meets with potential advertisers and collaborators while Sue interviews professionals for editorial input. Together we chase every opportunity to grow our business. (A shout out to Starbucks for providing free office space.)
How do you bring ideas to life?
We both talk very quickly and share ideas at the same rapid pace. Fifteen minutes into the conversation, neither one of us can identify which idea originated with whom. Once we agree on an idea, we meet with various people who have taken on a mentorship role and ask for their advice. With an intentional and thoughtful approach, we take quick action. We have big dreams balanced with a tolerance and acceptance that some ideas will fail.
What inspires you?
We are inspired by the generosity of the Cleveland professional community to reach out and share their expertise. When we ask for help, Cleveland people say yes.
Our other inspiration is positive feedback. We especially love when someone stops us to tell us how much they love the magazine or how much they appreciated the panel discussion.
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
We invited our exceptional sales manager on a sales call for an ad that had already been sold. In other words, we didn’t need her to come. At the meeting, the client mentioned that they were creating a new position and were looking to hire. Our sales manager now works for them. We learned that there are some people whose absence changes the trajectory of your business.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If you have that gut feeling that you are on to something, ignore the naysayers. Better yet, listen to their good advice and throw away the negative advice. Also, follow your passion at a pace that works for you. We often move forward with baby steps but over time, baby steps have added up.
What do you read every day, and why?
Stephanie reads the NY Times every day (Sue gets the NY Times for the crossword puzzle). Sue reads Facebook every day in an attempt to understand the value of social media and to follow IdeaMensch.
What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?
Three people we should follow on Twitter, and why?
Susan Borison and Stephanie Silverman @yourteenmag. We will get back to you on the third one. We are just learning to tweet.
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
Connie Schultz. We want to meet her for coffee so maybe this shout out will advance our efforts.
When is the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it.
We laugh all day long because Steph is the funniest business spouse ever.
IdeaMensch invited Your Teen to select two questions of choice followed by their answer.
Who is the most connected person in Cleveland?
It is a tie between Earl Pike and Judy Stenta.
Who has more boxes checked off on their Starbucks cup (whose order is the most complicated)?
Sue’s – grande, decaf, non-fat, latte with 3 pumps of sugar-free cinnamon dolce.