Last Updated on September 8, 2021
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About Sana Akhand
I’m a first generation South Asian female- and a total rebel! I was raised to be the “perfect housewife & mother”, to avoid American culture and follow a culture I’ve never known as my own, to get a corporate job until I become a mother. One day, I was fed up and quit my 6-figure job, gave up my double story condo in Brooklyn & 4-series BMW, and every single thing that I owned except for whatever fit in a carry on & booked a 1-way flight to Mexico. I traveled the world as a Digital Nomad with my husband for 1 year until I was ready to come back to NYC to live a life that I was proud of. A life full of connections, exploring and learning.
About Jet Black Social Club
That’s why I created Jet Black Social Club. A place for New York Millennials to escape the grind & unwind. A club to meet the real people & explore the real culture of NYC. And of course, to explore other cultures via travel retreats too! Our events will be truly unique. No boring meetups here. We’re bringing together local artists, musicians, chefs, mixologists & more to create experiential events that bond people beyond the awkward small talk. Our mission is to make the world less lonely and build genuine connections outside of work.
How Did You Get Your First Several Customers Or Users? How Many Users Or Customers Do You Have Now?
I networked A LOT. I didn’t want my friends and family to join so I didn’t make it open to anyone-everywhere. I’m extremely selective about who we allow in the club. So I attend networking virtual events and if I like someone’s vibe, I send them an invite. We officially launched on Jan 1st and we have almost 50 members. Our goal is to strategically get 2,000 members in NYC, then expand to London & Toronto over the next 2-3 years.
How Does Your Company Grow And Acquire New Customers?
We have a referral program for current members to invite new people. We believe good people know good people. If people don’t know a member & want to join, they can request an invite on our website and take a short personality test to get approved to join.
What Actionable Tips And Tricks Do You Have For New Founders Who Are Looking To Get Their First Thousand Users Or Dollars?
Get the monetary goals out of your head & it’ll naturally come. Focus on building the best product or service with a great brand. Resonate with your audience so you can build a community. Give tons of free value to build trust first- then both users & dollars will come organically. Stay consistent!!!
What Is Something You’ve Learned That Would Not Be Obvious To Somebody Who Hasn’t Worked In Your Space Before?
There are so many amazing tools and resources out there to take your branding & offering to the next level! Don’t think you need to settle with what is popular. We switched from Zoom to Mixily for virtual events, left slack for Geneva Chat to host our community & our members love how anti-work everything feels!- A true virtual escape.
What’s The Craziest Thing That’s Happened To You (Good Or Bad) On Your Founder Journey?
I got an offer from an investor to buy out my company less than 6 months after starting it! It was insane. I was excited that someone believed in my mission so much, but I wasn’t ready to give up 100% of my business. They offered to hire me as a CEO since they loved how I was running the community. But I didn’t leave my 9-5 to create a business, to just go back to a 9-5 and rules and regulations. I’m a true rebel at heart!
What Are Your Favorite Books?
Favorite Fiction: Mexican Gothic – slow start but totally insane ending & I still have nightmares from it Favorite Non-Fiction: Stillness is the Key- great for mind, body & soul & Supermaker by Jaime Schmidt to gain confidence in entrepreneurship: You don’t need to have all the right answers, just keep trying & trust your gut.
Anything You’d Like To Plug?
My clubhouse club: NYC Social Club- we host a room every Friday at 5pm ET and play a round of “Would You Rather” with a fun group of people!
- Using Creative Marketing To Catapult Business With Lori Cheek of Cheekd
- Learning To Launch A Company With Eden Bitton of Crowds Trivia
- Being Vulnerable With Caryn Sullivan of Pretty Wellness
Book summaries, notes, interviews, and more!
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