Inspirational Woman: Angelica Malin | Founder and Editor-in-chief, About Time Magazine

Angelica MalinAngelica Malin is an entrepreneur, podcast host and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of About Time Magazine, one of the UK’s most popular lifestyle websites.

Since launching About Time in 2014, Angelica has grown the Magazine’s monthly readership to 85,000 and social following to more than 100,000. It was recently featured among the top 50 female-founded companies in London. A regular commentator on female entrepreneurship and empowerment and the future of work, Angelica also hosts the “Work It” and “Work in Progress” podcasts, interviewing some of the most successful CEOs in the UK today. Angelica has just launched the About Time Academy, whose first guests include Deliciously Ella and Daisy Buchanan.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I’m the Editor-in-Chief at About Time Magazine, and the Founder of the About Time Academy, which launched in early April. I launched the Magazine straight out of university, when I was only 22, and with very little knowledge of the digital media world. I set out to create my own platform, and as our readership and social following grew, my career went in new and often unexpected directions: I found myself launching festivals and hosting podcasts for the likes of NatWest and Santander, invariably with female empowerment at their core. We ran quite a few event series too; these were so successful that they became the basis for the Academy, which launched in early April.

I hope this goes some way to showing that portfolio careers can be as diverse as they are fulfilling. My day-to-day involves running the Magazine, organising reader events, popping up on TV and radio, and appearing on panels at events – as well as trying to squeeze in a reformer Pilates class!

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I always knew I wanted to be my own boss. My parents had encouraged me to think creatively about my career, and to think big. I didn’t sit down with a pen and paper to plot it out, but I had a vision in my mind: of a career that could take me around the world, that would inspire and challenge me, and that would never be boring. We’re living in an incredible age with so many tools and resources at our fingertips, and in many ways being an entrepreneur is easier than ever. If you can dream it, you can do it.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

How long have you got? The problem with launching a business straight out of university is that you have no experience. I’ve learnt everything on the job, through real-life experiences and mistakes, including steep, costly learning curves. Many of the challenges could have been easily overcome by a little mentorship or experience, so I always advise aspiring entrepreneurs to get a few years of experience in their chosen industry before launching their own thing, and to find like-minded creatives to support them. It will be less draining on your time, money and emotional resources in the long run – trust me.

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is imposter syndrome – doubting my own abilities and achievements. It’s very common among women in business, I’ve found, to let self-doubt creep in, and that stops us from taking risks. It’s funny how, often, the biggest challenge comes from within rather than from colleagues or competitors.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

I’m very proud of the work we’ve done in highlighting incredible female entrepreneurs throughout the UK with our events and festivals. Last February we hosted About Tomorrow, a series of 12 panel talks held over six weeks, profiling female entrepreneurs across a range of industries, from tech to food. Over 2,000 people attended, and the buzz was incredible. It’s so rewarding when you can see other women connecting on a deeper level and gaining confidence by sharing their best and worst experiences. It’s beautiful, actually. Sisterhood in action.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Resilience. We’ve had so many setbacks over the years – from huge industry changes on a macro level, to website issues on a micro one – and I really think what has defined it all for me is getting up, dusting yourself off and trying again. I’ve learned to be more emotionally tough, adjusting to change and disappointments; and I always tell myself that without the lows, you wouldn’t have the incredible highs that business can bring. It’s also about ownership – I chose this life over a nine to five – and you have to own that decision.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I feel good about mentorship, though I’ve found that formal mentorship is not always that easy to come by. I would say start treating everyday life as an opportunity in mentorship. I’ve met some of my mentors in informal settings such as dinners, events, or through friends. Mentors can come in all shapes and sizes, and don’t necessarily need to be older than you. Just make yourself open to getting as much help and advice as possible, and you’ll find they will come to you. I am currently mentoring through the Women in Journalism scheme, and would recommend it if you’re interested in a career in journalism.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?

Funding! We’ve still got such a way to go before it’s even a remotely level playing field in the world of VC funding. Less than 1p in the pound was invested in companies founded entirely by women in 2018. I would love more women to have the confidence to go for financial investment, and hope we can accelerate the pace of change by equipping more women with the skills they need to succeed, such as confidence in public speaking and pitching, and more schemes for female entrepreneurs.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Stop comparing yourself to others. There is no ‘one size fits all’ in business; every entrepreneur will find their sweet spot. That might mean a huge office in Shoreditch with a global team, or it might mean being a ‘solopreneur’, working from a beach in Bali. Running your own business is also about lifestyle design: how, exactly, do you want your life to look? What makes you feel happy and inspired? Design your work and ambition around that, and don’t try to copy someone else’s model. Your business is as unique as your future. Design a career that’s right for you.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

I’m really excited about the launch of our new venture, the About Time Academy. We’re stepping up our events game with four events a month throughout London – no pressure! I’ll be interviewing inspiring authors, experts and influencers, and looking at all the topics it’s ‘about time’ we discussed. We’ve got everything from ‘how to build a business with soul’ with Deliciously Ella, to ‘how to stop working and start living’ with Josh Cohen. I love bringing digital into the physical through reader events. It truly gives my work such meaning and purpose, and I can’t wait to expand on this side of the business more.

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