Sarah Lawrence College - BA with a focus in writing and psychology
If she could, Anna Young Lombardi would instruct her younger self on the importance of “trusting your judgment … and being honest with the way you feel.” This is the same kind of wisdom Anna put to the test when she left a job at an established luxury magazine to become the first employee of BurnThis, a tech startup seeking to connect people by “making sweat social” with a healthy dose of inspiration.
As senior editor, it’s Anna’s job to build the budding BurnThis brand through curating content on the site, organizing partnerships and managing social media. And it’s a challenge Anna embraces. “Each day, I’m challenged, learning and creating—what can be better than that?”
Wherever you are right now is where you’re supposed to be.
How did you discover your current job?
Things happen for a reason. A little over two years ago, I was working for a popular website when I formed a relationship with a woman who later would become one of BurnThis’s co-founders. Then, last spring, I become creatively frustrated in my position at an international luxury magazine: I felt I was ready to make a move, but I didn’t know where to begin. So I started pouring my down time into my passion for health and wellness with my food blog. Not more than a few weeks into launching my site, I received an email from one of BurnThis’s founders. Remembering my background in Web and social media, she was reaching out for some advice, and three months later, I took a leap of faith and officially became their first employee.
What responsibilities do you have in your role?
As senior editor, I’m responsible for handling the content on our website (sweat), but also work strategically with building our brand through creating fun and innovative partnerships while curating our social media.
What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?
I believe in what we are doing. I believe in the brand, the people I work with and the message we’re sending. We are a team; a group of powerhouse women who listen and respect one another’s opinion. When you work in an atmosphere where you’re becoming a better person, you’re in the right spot. Each day, I’m challenged, learning and creating—what can be better than that?
What challenges keep you awake at night?
Building our audience. There can always be more exposure, more likes and more followers. The creative ways to draw in different demographics is endless and a challenge I love, but it becomes hard to shut off.
Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
Being that BurnThis is a tech startup and I’m a bit of an overachiever/ workaholic, balance can get tough for me. There’s always more that can be done and more that should be done, but I try to remember how important it is to practice what I preach. Balance is essential to a healthy lifestyle, and making sure I make time for me only makes my work stronger. I try to do little things throughout the day that make me happy, whether it’s taking an hour jog or whipping up a recipe for my blog. Another tactic I try to implement is shutting down technology at least two hours before bed (I’m not too great at it).
What are some of the rules you live by?
Rules are made to be broken! Just kidding, but I hate the idea of “rules.” So, some of the beliefs I follow are:
1 / Everything in moderation.
2 / Every day is a new opportunity.
3 / Spread kindness.
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
That’s a loaded question! To be involved with a tech startup, you need to be equal parts creative, patient, hardworking and fun. Something I think is really important (and not mentioned often) is a background in psychology. You need to understand what people want; the user experience on all fronts is super important.
What one piece of advice do you wish you could tell a 21-year-old version of yourself?
Twenty-one was only four years ago for me! That said, the amount of change between then and now seems much greater. I’d tell myself to chill out. Wherever you are right now is where you’re supposed to be. Continue trusting your judgment, doing what you love and being honest with the way you feel. You get what you give, so stay positive.