We reorganized the company today. We brought in a new, interim CEO, who's not me. For many entrepreneurs, that is their worst nightmare.

But I couldn't be happier. For one thing, it's a sign that my company, Brazen Careerist, is doing well. Remember when the company was running out of money and my electricity was getting turned off? There was no one worrying then that I was the wrong person for the CEO position. No one cared because it looked like we were going under.

But then the media started talking about how we could be LinkedIn for Gen Y and we started moving fast. I don't worry about of money anymore, and we are moving at a faster speed because we can see where we are going, how we'll make money, and how we'll grow the community.

1. Know where your strengths are.
The thing that makes me great is my writing. I have spent my whole life writing, constantly trying to figure out how to earn money writing. My favorite thing I've ever written is this blog. I adore the conversation, I adore the format, the never-ending research, and the self-referential links, because that's how my mind works: connecting random stuff together all the time trying to figure out the best path to happiness. Blogging is my dream-come-true media. Read more

My company just launched, all-new, at BrazenCareerist.com. For those of you who have been asking for the past year: “What’s your business model?” You can read about it on TechCrunch. If you want the full pitch, you can read the press release, (and you should know that all last week, when I wasn’t blogging, I was writing six thousand versions of our press release.)

Here’s some advice for everyone who is starting a company: Write your big press release first, before you do anything at all. And then work backwards. Map out the milestones you need to make the press release come true, and that tells you how to run the first stage of your startup.

To be clear: we did not do that. I mean, if we did, our press release would have had to say, “Ryan Paugh announces that he has just made it through two years of Ryan Healy and Penelope Trunk fighting tooth and nail over totally irrelevant details of building a social network that is a career management tool for the next generation workforce.”

Then Ryan Healy and I would rewrite that press release ten times because Tech Crunch announced that they are sick of people using the term “next generation” and Ryan doesn’t want to use it but I think it’s fine because it’s in a different context. (LinkedIn is for gen x. Brazen Careerist is the job site for the next generation, demographically speaking. ) Read more

When I launched my company, Wired magazine contacted me to write a column about how to run a start-up. The editor, Dylan Tweney, blew me away with his offer. It wasn't just that he took me to lunch in the grown-local lunchroom at Wired. He also had this unbelievable faith in me that I knew what I was doing as a CEO.

Here is a confession of lameness: I said I'd write the column and then I lost confidence. I thought I didn't know enough about running a company to give other people advice.

Since then, I’ve spent two years running a start-up in the worst funding market in decades. After insane amounts of struggling, we have raised about $1 million, and for the first time, I do not feel panicked about keeping the company in business. We will have to raise more money, but I can see the path to that, and I think I can do it.

At the same time, I had a recent flurry of outside affirmation: Psychology Today featured me as a person who has outstanding resilience, and Self magazine is featuring me in their August “success” issue. So even though I squandered my opportunity to have a column in Wired, I am ready to give advice about how to run a start-up.

I'm going to answer the question people ask me most often: “What do I do when my company is out of money?”

Here is the answer: Read more

I have said about ten million times that there is no more glass ceiling, there is no more salary gap between men and women, and there is no reason to keep bitching about sexual harassment because it's merely a legal issue, not a men-are-evil issue.

Okay. So if the gender gaps are not around these feminist favorites, then are there any gender gaps we should be concentrating on? Yes. Here are three:

1. The startup gap. Women need to be compensated at a higher rate than men if they are to give up their personal lives in order to work. Law firms accomplish this by keeping women on partner track even when they're part-time. Corporations do this by offering flex time and other business-bending options for high-performing women who want to take care of kids.

VCs talk endlessly about why there are so few women running venture backed companies, but it's incredulous talk. The reason is that VCs don't pay women more. Here's the bottom line: If you take a man and a woman doing the same office job and the same parenting job, the man will think he's doing a good job at parenting, but not the woman.

This makes genetic sense. The men had to think the kids were fine when they left the cave to hunt. Or else they wouldn't leave and no one would have eaten. The women had to think the kids always needed more attention. Otherwise, the women would say, “This is good enough” and then the kids would starve or get eaten by lions. Read more

My company is running out of money again. Well, really, it already happened. But it's happened so many times that I am sort of used to it. It’s a routine. You may recall that part of the routine is not paying my electric bill. But there is more.

1. Focus on something you can control.
You might have noticed that my blog posts are very frequent right now. It's a way to cope with the funding drama. I have so much control over my blog. And if I obsess over the traffic statistics then I have that crack-head feeling of immediate feedback, and it feels good, and even if half the people are telling me how much they hate me: Traffic is traffic.

Another part of the out-of-funding routine is fighting with Ryan. When I am totally focused on running the company, and I'm not worried about payroll, then things go smoothly and Ryan and I have great conversations about the future of social media and the future of resumes and where we fit.

When we run out of money, Ryan and I focus on our cycle of miscommunication: I say something rude that I don't know is rude. Ryan gets defensive because he isn't able to say, “That's rude. Please don't talk like that.” I have no idea why he is defensive, he just sounds like he's up in arms about nothing to me, because if I knew I had been rude in the first place, I would not have been, so of course I don't know. And when he is up in arms, I yell back. And then he says that I am impossible to deal with because I'm rude and I yell. Read more

I get questions all the time about how I manage having kids and a startup at the same time. After trying to answer the question a few times, I realized that there’s the pretty-much-BS answer about how it’s all about being clear on your values. Or there's the complicated, too-long-for-interviews answer.

To really get tips for being a CEO with young kids, you’d have to hang out with me for a day. Like, last Tuesday. Which was just another day of being a parent and running a startup. Except this day starts at midnight. When I decide that I am not going to go to sleep because I have to get up at 3:30 a.m. to drive to Milwaukee to catch a plane to Atlanta at 7 a.m. And here's the first tip:

1. Get sleep. The kind that is not warm and sweet.
I decide I'll stay up late and work but what I find is that I'm mostly eating. First coffee. Then coffee doused in sugar. Then peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which I covet each morning I make them for school lunches. But normally I restrain myself.

I see now I'm too stressed for normal restraint, so I go to bed.

My three-year-old is in my bed. If I get in, he will snuggle and whisper “I love you” in his sleep. But when I get up to go to the airport, he'll have a fit, because what kid wouldn't hate to wake to his mom leaving his house in the middle of the night?

To shield my son from childhood trauma I take him out of my bed and put him in bed with my ex husband, who is sleeping in the bedroom down the hall so that I can leave on business trips.

2. Be great at business travel. But get out of it whenever you can.
I set the Blackberry for 3:30 a.m. And when it wakes me I feel like I slept for ten seconds. But this crappy itinerary was my idea. Because I was so excited to go in and out in one day and not have to stay in a hotel. Read more

One of the reasons I moved from New York City to Madison, WI is that I knew I would start another company. I wasn’t sure what it would be, but I had already launched two startups, and I could feel another one coming. It’s a sort of itch I get when I have too many ideas piling up in my head: I think to myself, “One of these must be good for something.”

People ask me how I picked Wisconsin. The bottom line is that I wanted to be able to support my family and take the wild risks that come with having a startup. Supporting a family in NYC or Silicon Valley is insanely expensive especially for someone who has no cushion to fall back on during the months when funding is tight. (Which is a major reason you see lots of Silicon Valley startups from twentysomething men with no expenses and few startups from women with kids, and heated discussion on TechCrunch about salaries for founders who can’t make ends meet.)

So, here are some things to think about when you know you are going to do a startup, and you know you are going to move.

1. The first stage of a startup is constipation, which can happen anywhere.
The beginning of a company is slow and meandering. You have pretty much no idea what the company is or what you are doing with it, or if you even picked the right partner to do it with. You sit in a room and argue for a while. And you throw in the towel ten times. And then go get it and try again. You develop a bunch of revenue models that are either so lackluster that they are not worth your time, or so outstandingly huge that they are not believable.

During this time, it does not matter where you live. You are not hiring. You are not pitching your business because you don’t have a pitch. And you are probably not spending much money because you know the near future does not include a lot of money coming in. Read more

Brian Wiegand is a very low-profile guy who has sold three companies, most recently to Microsoft. He is big enough that TechCrunch writes about him as a good bet for anyone betting. But the bane of Brian's existence is that his exits have all been for under $50 million.

This is enough for him to have a private jet and be King of Madison (Wisconsin), but not enough for him to get a lot of respect in Silicon Valley. A quote from my advisory board member who lives in Silicon Valley: “For big VCs, $50 million is a rounding error.”

So Brian is not looking for people to mentor or boards to sit on because he is consumed with running his fourth company, Alice.com, which will compete with Wal-Mart and Target.

I do not tell Brian that I will have a hard time ever missing a trip to Target to shop at Alice because Target has such great clothes that are so cheap they are almost free.

Well, actually I did tell him that. And I told him a bunch of other stuff, because I decided that I need him as a mentor. Eventually, I got him to agree to be on the board of my company. Here's the process I took to convince him to help me. And these are good steps for anytime you have someone you'd like to ask to be your mentor: Read more

We finally locked up funding for my company. There are some catches, though, and one of them is that we can't use the funding to pay back debt.

This is a problem because our company has been out of money, pretty much, since November. We have revenue, but not enough to cover operating expenses. So we've all given up a portion of our salary for a while now. And we stopped paying rent. And we didn't pay freelancers, (which meant that for the past months, any time something broke, it was very high stakes because we couldn’t hire someone to fix it.)

The lack of money got so bad that one day I was driving to Chicago to meet an investor but the company credit card (which is really Ryan Healy's credit card) was declined. And I didn't have money for gas. So I had to drive back to the Brazen Careerist office and get money from Ryan Paugh, who is the only person in the company who has any sort of financial cushion in his life. But he only had $20, which is not enough to get to Chicago, so the investor had to meet me in Milwaukee. And buy me lunch.

The no-money thing has also been stressful at home. At first I cut back on stuff that was not a good idea. Like, cut back on the vet for our two new kittens, and then it turns out they are not that new, at least to the world, because one got the other pregnant. And now it's really expensive because we have to have a cat abortion. Read more

People ask me all the time, “What blogs do you read?” The answer is that I read different ones at different times. It’s a mood thing, I think. I could give you my favorite blogs for finding cool research, or my favorite blogs from my friends, or my favorite fashion blogs for when I don’t know how to wear a pair of shoes I love. But the list I’m going to do today is the list of blogs I read when I get frustrated that running a company is so hard.

ValleyWag
Oh, I love Owen Thomas. He has a knack for making anything in Silicon Valley look totally stupid. And he is so sharp, that when I am feeling totally stupid, he can actually make me believe that I’m not alone. Art Spiegelman elevated the comic book format by using it to talk about the Holocaust. Owen Thomas elevates the gossip rag format by using it to tell people how to run a business.

TechCrunch
You know what? I hate reading this blog because it’s like a frat party but they forgot the beer and the girls. Still, I know that part of feeling like a competent entrepreneur is knowing what’s going on in the community. Plus, who can begrudge Michael Arrington kudos for making the most boring topic in the world — big egos taking down big egos — funny and interesting? Read more