Women Inspiring Women: Michele Romanow

This month, we’ll be hearing from inspiring women in our network and sharing their stories. We’re passionate about supporting women, especially in their health and wellness journeys. Read on to get top tips for living, working, and playing optimally from women trailblazers.

Profile: Michele Romanow

From CBC Media Center: Tech titan Michele Romanow is an engineer and a serial entrepreneur who started five companies before her 33rd birthday. Michele is the co-founder of Clearbanc, which gave entrepreneurs more than $100M in funding this year. She previously co-founded SnapSaves, which was acquired by American tech giant, Groupon in 2014. Michele was also the co-Founder of Buytopia.ca, which acquired ten competitors including Shop.ca and WagJag and was ranked #3 on the Profit Hot 50 list of fastest growing companies. She’s ranked in WXN’s “100 Most Powerful in Canada” and listed as the only Canadian on Forbes magazine’s “Millennial on a Mission” list.

What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Never be comfortable. It’s always in the scariest moments where you grow the most. At the beginning of Clearbanc, we were trying to close a deal with Uber and I remember being at a restaurant seeing Travis Kalanick having dinner with Eric Schmidt. I looked at my co-founder, Andrew and said, “Well, they say do one thing a day that scares you!” and I marched up and interrupted their dinner. I was scared out of my mind, but the conversation turned out fine and it led to us closing the deal! It was the first partnership that put Clearbanc on the map.

How do you stay productive and be your best self at work?

Ruthless prioritization. It sounds simple, but I find it’s really easy as a founder to feel overwhelmed — there are a lot of things going wrong, constantly! I force myself to sit down with my notepad (and without my phone) and write down the 3 things that can move the needle for the company that I need to do today — it’s usually closing a big hire, partnership or deal. Often, those 3 things are the hardest and by knocking them off first, I create this momentum to carry me through the day.

What’s your top mental health tip for when the going gets tough?

Listening to your body is super important. If you need more sleep, give yourself the time to do that. If you’re hungry, stop what you’re doing and grab a healthy bite to eat. Working out is one of the greatest sources of stress relief for me. Only when you build your body, you can build your brain and stay grounded. I’m a big fan of meditation with apps like Headspace. I also love tuning into podcasts which help me detach from immediate problems, letting me take a step away and come back to it with a clear mind.

What are your top health hacks?

I’m not a morning person and don’t like waking up but force myself to get in a workout every morning. My most productive times of the day are late at night where I can get a lot of independent work done. My hack is if I go to bed in my gym clothes there is too much cognitive dissonance to take them off so I just go even if it’s for 20 mins. I usually turn off my screens an hour before I sleep and then I would read a book or listen to a podcast to help me fall asleep.

Meal prepping has been such a big saviour for my partner and co-founder Andrew and I. During the week we would meal-prep and then do a nice cheat meal on the weekend where we would stay in and cook, or go out and eat during pre-COVID times.

What’s your favorite fun activity?

Bike rides! My partner Andrew and I love taking our bikes around Lakeshore in downtown Toronto and we’d usually do 3 hour rides on the weekends in the summer. If I’m indoors then a Peloton workout for sure.

This month, we’re sharing inspiring women’s stories. Who inspires you? Leave their name and social media link in the comments below!

Read more Women Inspiring Women profiles here.

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