Women Empowerment: 31-Year Old Mogul Founder Tiffany Pham
Women Empowerment: 31-Year Old Mogul Founder Tiffany Pham
Each week we write about a woman we admire for our Women Empowerment section. Our goal is to inspire and motivate women around the globe through these women’s stories – their successes, challenges and words of wisdom. As we continue our search for empowering women we too are inspired! Today’s Women Empowerment article focuses on a woman whose story is clear proof that passion and determination can most certainly lead to success! And her business is all about empowering women around the world through access to knowledge – and yes knowledge is power! Meet Tiffany Pham, founder and CEO of Mogul, film producer, book author, arts philanthropist – and a kind, authentic and generous hustler through and through!
Tiffany’s story almost sounds too good to be true at first glance, but upon further investigation it is clear that this 31-year-old worked her tail off to get where she is today. She is not only smart, but savvy and genuine – all qualities which most certainly played a part in her success!
In 2014 Tiffany founded Mogul, a technology platform that democratizes information for women worldwide by enabling users to connect, share information, and access knowledge from each other. The platform highlights trending content such as stories, jobs and products that are personalized to users’ interests. “One Stage, Millions of Voices” the site says across it upon landing, and with over 18 million unique visitors per month from across 196 countries and 30,470 cities this is most certainly its reality.
So how did Tiffany get to where she is today? Hard work, passion and a firm goal are the short answer. But her story began at a young age and its evolution is wonderfully inspiring.
In the early 90’s Tiffany, middle child of three, and her family, originally from Vietnam, moved from Paris, France, where they had sought refuge, to Plano, Texas. She was ten and spoke no English, the challenges this presented lit the first fire under Tiffany.
“When I first moved to America, I did not know a word of English, but it was by watching films, reading books, and listening to the radio that I ended up learning how to speak the language. Through that experience, I recalled what a powerful tool media is for learning, for change. After graduating from Yale and Harvard Business School, I knew that I had to get into the industry that had impacted me as a young woman, so I could ultimately use media to impact other women like me.”
But what really fueled her fire was her paternal grandmother who was an activist for the free flow of information in Asia. “I looked up to her so much. She had been running companies, running newspapers. It was so unlike like what other women were doing and unlike what anyone was doing in Asia,” she says. Her grandmother passed away when she was fourteen and shortly after her funeral Tiffany made her a promise that she would one day follow in her footsteps – a promise she has most certainly kept!
Tiffany always believed she would start her own company, but first she knew she wanted to learn everything there was to know about the world of media and corporate structure so after finishing her MBA at Harvard she became the Director of Business Development for CBS while simultaneously helping the Beijing government found the Beijing International Screenwriting Completion, producing independent films such as Girlfriend and Funny Bunny and serving on the Board of Directors for a number of arts organizations. Impressive to say the very least! And Forbes agreed when they named her as one of their “30 Under 30.” A title which unleashed an outpouring of emails asking her to share information about her interests, resources, etc. She began writing back one by one until it came to her – a platform where women around the world could share information – a female version of Reddit and Wikipedia – the vision of Mogul was born and her plight to for women empowerment began!
“At that time, I’d written a book on how to better align the IT infrastructure with business strategies, and I realized that if I could teach myself to code, I could make this a reality for younger women around the world like myself. So every single day I worked on the three jobs I had, and then at 3 a.m. sat down at the kitchen table and taught myself Ruby on Rails. After a couple of weeks, I built the first iteration of Mogul.”
Mogul went live in 2015 and attracted more than a million users in the first month! Tiffany raised millions and gathered a board of top names to help her grow. Today Mogul has offices in New York, Paris and San Francisco, and is on the brink of expanding to Africa and the Middle East. The platform offers discussion boards, a job board and a product marketplace. In addition, the company works with Fortune 1000 companies to help shape the way they communicate with women through advertising and in the workplace. They also offer educational courses and other women empowerment content.
Tiffany says setting aggressive goals is one of the keys to Mogul’s success – set the seemingly unattainable goal and then find a way to attain it! One of the causes that Tiffany holds most dearly is providing education to women in need so when Mogul first launched Mogul Courses, the team set one of these seemingly unattainable goals – to provide courses for free to 62 million girls in support of Michelle Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” campaign. They then set up a system whereby every time a user purchases a course, they partner with an organization to provide the course for free to girls in need.
What other words of wisdom does Tiffany have for young entrepreneurs? Read on!
Be Persistent. “Along the way, you may not get replies,” she said. “You may get some ‘nos.’ Just know that those ‘nos’ are ‘not right nows.’ They probably won’t even remember your name if you reach out two months later or a year later. It’s always worth it to reach out. What’s the worst that can happen?”
Be Confident. “Be confident in your abilities. Set high expectations. Envision that, with all of your hard work, the best scenario could happen. Then work backwards and create internal support to achieve this.”
Be Kind. Be Authentic. Be Generous. “Remember to always be kind, authentic, and generous. If it hadn’t been for the talented people I brought onto the team, Mogul wouldn’t be where it is today. Be kind with everyone, remain true to your mission, always give more than you receive, and the momentum will continue from there.”
Fail Forward. “I believe in failing forward. It’s a philosophy my father engrained in me from a young age. So long as you’re learning, you are not so much failing as you are moving forward. In the end you are more resilient.”
Perfection is Overrated. “Don’t kill yourself getting towards a perfect prototype to begin with. You just need to have that proof of concept. Put your idea out there. Start to create right away. Do as much as you can via the prototype, and don’t worry about it being perfect now. Know that it will become perfect as you go.”
Cold Email Your Career Idols. “I just spent so much time learning from as many people as possible, people that I admired in the industry that I was focused on. I really reached out to those people that I admired.”
Congratulations Tiffany Pham for creating the amazing Mogul platform and for all that you do for women empowerment!
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