Harper had eight jobs in ten years before starting her business in 2014. She worked in marketing, public relations and event production for a private jet company, several beauty brands, a SaaS company, a music management firm, and a beauty focused PR firm where she got her first gray hair on her first day of the job. Tweeting about lipstick became meaningless when a life-altering surgery, a result of an extremely rare immunodeficiency, Hyper IgE Syndrome, became her reality. Her last office job was producing events for Marie Forleo, Lower Eastside Girls Club, Team Rubicon and the David Lynch Foundation.
Now, she’s a business coach for service-based solopreneurs and small business owners. In 2018, after years of not finding content related to her rare condition that resonated with her, Harper launched Made Visible, a 100-episode podcast that amplified stories of people living with or affected by invisible illness. In 2020, she began facilitating writing classes for the Made Visible community to give them a safe place to share, feel more seen and heard, and to learn from established authors. She is working with companies to create content, community and inclusivity amongst employees living with invisible illnesses to have and to experience support from their employers.
Most recently, she is the co-host of Good Enough For Now alongside Stephanie Kruse, a podcast that shares stories of transition, false starts, unexpected U-turns, and other moments of reinvention that happens as we move through life phases.
When she’s not coaching, podcasting, consulting or connecting people, you can find her seeing live music, gazing at sunsets on the beach and creating kitchen concoctions without following recipes. Additionally, she’s on the board of the Immune Deficiency Foundation. Harper is originally from New York City, currently lives in Tel Aviv and is constantly redefining her definition of home.
Where did the idea for Good Enough For Now come from?
Stephanie Kruse and I were brought together as students in writing classes by the same teacher in 2020. A year later, we finally met in person just before Harper moved to Tel Aviv in November 2021. Stephanie mentioned she’d always wanted to host a podcast, and I offered advice having launched one myself. After that, we found ourselves having weekly phone calls as friends, writing about different subjects, living completely different lives with extremely different upbringings, but sharing a lot of the same feelings about life, love, what home means and how to connect the dots of careers amidst the choices and circumstances of life.
As our friendship deepened, we often commented on how many people in our respective lives were struggling with finding meaning on the bumpy road of starts, stops and pauses in careers, lives and living situations, and how lonely that felt. We knew that our stories were shared by many people like us. We often ended our calls saying we should have recorded the conversation as we knew how helpful it would be for others to hear similar tales. Thus, the idea for Good Enough For Now was born.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I often linger in my bed reading emails and scrolling through Instagram before getting up, making a matcha latte and sitting down at my computer to respond to emails that came in overnight. In living in Tel Aviv yet mainly working with people on EST, I have a full day before anyone wakes up. I often walk to the beach, see friends for lunch or a visit, wander the city and have uninterrupted work time. By 4pm, I am on calls with clients, recording the podcast, facilitating writing class and connecting with people. I’ve recently been trying to be more intentional with my scheduling so when I am in the zone with the podcast, I stay in that and don’t switch into facilitation mode and then back to the podcast. It’s definitely a juggling act.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I am all about trial and error. I don’t like to mull things over for too long – I prefer to put ideas out into the world, and learn by doing. I’m always open to feedback, suggestions and room for improvement. If I spend too much time planning to launch something, I end up getting bored and ready for the next project.
What’s one trend that excites you?
People are being more vulnerable about sharing their health challenges. I hope it’s not a trend but it’s a step in the direction of people realizing that it’s better to go through it together than alone. People are learning the value of connecting with others who are living with similar conditions and how they can benefit from one another.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am excellent at follow-through. When I say I’m going to do something, I do. When someone doesn’t respond, I follow up. Emails and correspondence don’t linger as I ensure the loop is closed. I hate having items on my to-do list, so I try to get through them at a fast pace.
What advice would you give your younger self?
You don’t need to have all of the answers right now. There will be lots of twists and turns in your career and life, unexpected and unwanted. There’s a lot in your control and a lot out of your control. Enjoy the ride and don’t stress yourself out trying to figure it all out immediately.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I’m fine without a driver’s license or knowing how to drive – it’s one of the few things I argue with my parents and my friends about.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I am not afraid to reach out to people I don’t know and it’s led to many amazing opportunities in my life. I’ve reached out to people who were not looking to hire new employees with an interest in their company and finding a way to create a job for myself. I have no problem reaching out to brands for sponsorship, PR opportunities, potential podcast guests. I have many friends and colleagues who are hesitant about doing this and the fear of rejection. That’s never gotten in my way.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The more I shared about myself personally, especially related to my health, the bigger my business grew. My story resonated with people which made them want to work with me.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I try not to look at failures, but instead I try to see opportunities for growth. I was extremely promotional about Made Visible, my podcast and writing classes, to the point that it overshadowed my business coach business and I had much fewer coaching clients in 2021 because of it. I chose to be open to change, to find new opportunities to build the work I was already doing with Made Visible, but with companies.. I am now working with companies to help their employees with invisible illnesses feel more seen and heard through workshops, content and creating resources. I haven’t looked back.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A school that is dedicated to life skills that everyone is required to go to after high school to learn how to write a resume, write a professional email, manage money, invest, etc. There are so many skills I learned in high school that are irrelevant to my life and so many skills I could have learned early on that would benefit me as an adult.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Tickets to a concert with my best friends. Spending money on concerts is always worth it to me.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
My podcast co-host, Stephanie and I use Monday to manage everything related to our show. It’s been incredibly helpful in keeping tasks organized, managing our guests and ensuring nothing slips through the cracks.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Just Kids by Patti Smith – Whether you’re a fan of hers musically/personally or not, it’s one of the best reads ever. It takes place in New York City during a time that feels very different from now.
What is your favorite quote?
I’d rather be disliked for who I am than liked for who I am not.
- Just start. Don’t be afraid to try something new and learn from your mistakes.
- Create a life and career that works for you and your well-being.
- Consistency is key.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.