Comedian and entrepreneur Christine Hauer has advice we all can learn from.
Facing a challenging job market after graduating from college, Christine’s tenacity took her from jobless to founding her own company. After getting a masters in International Business and moving to New York City, Christine finally landed a job through a great connection. Years later, Christine founded the consulting company Hifive specializing in empowering people with social and networking skills needed to make that type of connection.
Outside of her full time job, Christine is an improv actor, impulse artist and budding author, currently writing her first book. We sat down with Christine to learn about her entrepreneurial path, what a day in her life looks like, and how she has dealt with rapid company growth.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I love karaoke, live in Brooklyn by way of South Carolina, and get excited a lot. A few years ago I started a company called Hifive that coaches folks on networking and social skills. Alongside that, I’m Culture Champion at Praytell (happily named PR Week’s 2015 Boutique Agency of the Year) and produce and star in a play called Period in Period about the comical history of women’s periods.
Describe a typical day in your life.
Sleep until I absolutely have to get up then head into the Praytell office to maintain, advance and bear hug its quirky culture via office management, HR, internal communications, and a couple other lovely support buckets. After that, I head to acting class – I study at the Deena Levy Acting Studio – in the city where I blow the roof off my emotional-gusto thermometer via scene study, movement and thespian stuff. Later that night, possibly see a comedy show, music show, or head home and work on my Hifive book – the meeting people playbook. Then sleep again.
What was your experience like starting Hifive? Tell us about an unexpected challenge and how you overcame it.
Hifive was born in a bathroom. I was unhappy with my current job and mid-handwashing, my brain sprouted an idea centered on the name Hifive. I went straight back to the office, bought the domain name and wrote my letter of resignation. From there, Hifive morphed from a marketing, branding and social media agency into a networking and social skills consulting company.
The biggest and most unexpected challenge I experienced was, very surprisingly, right after an article was posted in Bloomberg Businessweek. This led to thousands of people reaching out and wanting to work with me. Great right? At that time, I had taken on a full-time job at Praytell, joined a new modeling agency and was not prepared for that amount of growth. That is still hard for me to type out loud because I’m the type of person that wants to say yes, more, big. Hifive was just 25-year-old me, sitting in WeWork figuring it all out as I went and this super duper press made me see what I still needed to learn. Take away? I knew I was on to something. I knew what my competitive advantage was. And I knew I needed to take a step back and craft it a little bit more so it could be as fabulous as I envisioned – without sacrificing the quality of my vision.
How do you find balance in your life and manage stress?
I do a lot of painting. I really enjoy abstract watercoloring and finger painting and messing around with different “impulse” focused artwork. I sit in my living room, tear out a piece of canvas paper, squeeze out some paint and then just go. I paint whatever I feel, with no picture in mind – it is totally impulse driven. Here’s an example of a recent piece. Get a cheap paint set and take an hour to paint out your feelings – it’s hyper gratifying.
What’s one piece of career advice?
Keep that side hustle up. We live in a world where it’s best to have 3 vs. 1 job. By that I mean – have your main squeeze, but keep up side projects so you’re fresh. I work at Praytell, but also maintain Hifive, study acting and produce on the side. Doing a mix of work and projects keeps me more creative and less bored.
Tell us about your experience with about.me.
I joined about.me back in 2013, right around the time I started Hifive. It’s such an awesome platform. I tell everyone I meet to make one since it’s a super easy place for your bio, social media links and websites to live. And it helps your personal SEO. I think it’s helpful for all types of people since it’s clean, de-cluttered space for people to be able to quickly get the gist of you. And, with all the noise out there, sometimes all you need is just one page, with one bio, telling you what one person does. So helpful.
Anna Lizaur is a Marketing Manager with about.me. She graduated from the University of Virginia. Anna is fluent in Spanish and can count to 100 in Chinese.