Sarah Rizkalla the Boss Lady
Sarah Rizkalla the Boss Lady who left Wall Street to found a NY-based magazine to create opportunities for young boss ladies, shed the light on women of the world, and make change for the better.
Sitting behind her Wall Street desk, Rizkalla one day realized that she did not want to dedicate the next 30 years of her life to making rich people get richer. Rizkalla realized she wanted her own legacy to be about helping people and building something.
And that’s.. Yes, and that’s how she decided to create New York Minute Magazine six years ago. New York Minute Magazine (NYMM), is an online publication working to empower, equip, and encourage women, while also shedding light on the effects of inequality around the world.
It all began in May of 2012 as a one-woman show. Rizkalla now shares her story and promotes women empowerment by speaking at universities, conferences, and churches, and working with feminist groups. Rizkalla and the New York Minute team believe that being a woman is a strength, never a deficiency, and constantly work to promote the inherent badassness of women!
New York Minute Magazine goes beyond an empire state of mind. With a mission for equality, it does not matter where you live, as long as you believe in the inherent strength and badassery of women, you’re already part of NYMM family!
Women On Topp had a chance to speak to Sarah Rizkalla all about NYMM, from the moment of leaving her Wallstreet job to how she started her magazine.
What fulfillment is NYMM giving you that Wall Street could not?
New York Minute is solely focused on empowering, encouraging, and equipping women in various aspects of their lives, whether that’s conscious, healthy eating or social awareness. I have the privilege of working with young, passionate people to advance our mission, and while I learned a lot on Wall Street and am grateful for the years I had there, I needed to do something that brought me fulfillment and joy, and be where I felt like I was making a difference.
What inspired you to start NYMM?
I was sitting at my desk one day and realized that I did not want to dedicate the next 30 years of my life to making rich people get richer. I wanted my legacy to be about helping people and building something great, and that’s how the idea of NYMM came along. Now the site has morphed into focusing on women and how incredible they are.
What are NYMM goals currently?
Our biggest goal is to help women live out how amazing they are, and for them to understand that she’s a complete and utter badass, find her own success, and for her to pursue her dreams! I truly believe that being a woman is always a strength and never a deficiency. Our goal is for women to recognize that and remind themselves of it every day. We also shed light on the effects of inequality; we write about human trafficking, FGM, honor killings, wage gaps, etc. We are trying to get these issues out there so nobody can say “I didn’t know.”
Can you describe a NYMM reader?
Our readers are smart, proactive, focused on social justice, and truly believe they can change the world. They are young men and women who see serious, deeply-rooted problems in our society and don’t want to take these issues with them into the future. Our readers see equality as an incredibly important goal toward which they want to contribute.
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur besides leaving your job on Wall Street?
Like every entrepreneur, I’ve had to sacrifice where my money went, like decreasing the number of fancy places I went to for dinner, or not have the pleasure of checking out a hip new bar. However, the biggest sacrifice I’ve made is time. When you decide to build something from the ground up, you’re going to have to give up a great deal of time that could be spent with friends or family to instead invest in researching, building, and working hard at what you’re trying to accomplish.
How would you describe your work style?
I work around the clock and make sure to take many breaks throughout the day. I may have to check my phone when I’m with friends and family, though I try my best to keep this to a minimum. I am a bit of a workaholic, but I always try to take a breather and enjoy life.
Tell us about your proudest achievement.
I’ve had many great moments over the past 6 years of NYMM’s existence, but the greatest has to be an encounter with one of my interns. At the end of her internship, she told me that she had decided to go to law school, and I was confused because her major had nothing to do with law. When I asked her why, she said that she didn’t know how prevalent inequality was before she started working at NYMM, and now she wanted to fight for women. She told me that she finally realized how severe inequality is for women, not only in America but globally. I just couldn’t have been more proud of her, and I thought that if I can just get one young woman to fight for her sisters, I could probably just retire now.
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
My time is my own, and while I do work a lot, it’s nice to know that I can structure my time whichever way I desire. I love to cook and keep my diet healthy. I’m able to cook meals in between meetings or throughout the day and do little things to step away from work.
If you had one piece of advice to our readers who are just starting a business, what would it be?
Passion is always key to starting a business, but make sure you develop a business plan shortly after. Be ready to sacrifice, work hard, and prepare yourself for the times that you’re not going to be super positive about what you’re doing. Also, make sure you have an amazing support system who tell you the truth but also encourage and support you.
As entrepreneurs, we all have our good days and bad days. What do your typical bad day and typical good day look like? And how do you stay motivated all the time?
The good days are ones where I actually feel like we are making a difference. If I feel like we’re opening our eyes to issues that society needs to desperately deal with, and if the young people working at NYMM are learning, growing, and flourishing, then that’s a good day for me. A typical bad day for me is when I don’t feel as much passion and motivation as I normally do. Sometimes I’m bogged down with the fear that I’m not making a difference or our mission is too big to tackle, but the content we produce, the amazing people we connect with, and the information we share all combines into visible, valuable progress.
Do you believe in the inherent strength and badassery of women? Follow and read NYMM.
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