Basic Info

Darrah Brustein
Contributor Status:
Initial Contribution Date:

Career Info

Primary Industry:
Coaching / Training, Entrepreneurship
Personal Career Headline:
Serial Entrepreneur & Networking Guru

My AdVert

Career Snapshot:

Darrah Brustein is a serial entrepreneur and networking guru who’s founded Equitable PaymentsNetwork Under 40 and Network Over 40.  She also authored Finance Whiz Kids to teach children financial literacy through fun and engaging illustrated stories.

AdMission Statement (AKA Personal Brand Pitch):

Equal parts teacher, connecter, and founder, my work stands for entrepreneurial empowerment. In the fall of 2018, I launched “Life by Design, Not by Default” sharing stories with visionaries like Deepak Chopra, Adam Grant and Jen Sincero in a 45 speaker online summit reaching over 7,000 people. For the past 10 years, I founded and scaled two businesses in tandem: a networking events company serving 30,000+ people and a payment processing company spanning 38 states. As a writer and interviewer, my articles have been read by over 1 million people across Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Thrive Global.  My motivating motto is “build a life of your own design, a career to fund it, and a network to support it” which has inspired thousands to reach higher and dream bigger. Most recently, I launched the video series “Diving Deep With Deepak & Darrah” to make deep topics relatable and translatable into your life.

My AdVice

How did you get into the industry?:

After 10 years growing my first companies, I had an intuitive sense that there was a new incarnation of my career on the horizon, and I had to slow down enough to figure out what it was. After much time reflecting and looking inward, I realized that the number one thing people asked me was ‘How do you live the life that you do?’. After a decade of designing my life on my own terms, others wanted the freedom to do the same and felt stuck and unfulfilled. So, I embarked on doing things I love like writing and creating video content to take every resource, tool, and mindset I’d learned and offer it to others so they could define success for themselves, build a career to elevate and fund it, and a network to support it and open doors to the success they’re seeking.

What's next for the Business in the near future?:

I’m working on my second book, so that’s on the longer-term horizon. After running events for over 30,000 people in a handful of markets, we are now beginning to share our virtual course that teaches others how to increase their income, impact, and influence by hosting their own networking events.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business? Greatest Accomplishment?:

Partnering with Deepak Chopra on our weekly video series has been undeniably positive. To sit with him and learn one-on-one both from his wisdom and business experience, all while sharing it with the world, has been such a growth opportunity!

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?):

When I was about 2 years into my first company being built (the credit card processing company), we lost our client who accounted for about 80% of our revenue at the time. I was gutted. We had only recently become profitable and more so, I felt like my identity was tied to the success of the company, so it felt really personal. I’ve learned since both to find my value outside of work as well as to diversify our revenue streams!

Ideal experience for a customer/client?:

Folks who engage with my content like the ‘Life By Design, Not By Default’ virtual summit walk away feeling both inspired and activated to take action. They typically come to my work when they feel stuck or achieved certain benchmarks, and realize that they don’t feel as great as they’d hoped, so they’re in a transition, looking for more fulfillment and happiness. My work shows them both that they’re not alone as well as gives actionable resources to move forward and carve out their own path.

How do you motivate others?:

Transparency. I’m very clear with folks that I’ve been where they are and it’s why I empathize and can create the content I do to help them.

Career advice to those in your industry?:

Stay true to yourself. There are a lot of entrepreneurs, specifically those in the digital content space, who get caught up comparing themselves to how everyone else is doing it. So, they mimic their style, and water down their authentic voice and message. Thus, not standing out. There is one you. Own it.

Also, be sure the business you create is in service to the life you want. I was guilty of getting on the hustle/grind/burnout wagon so that I could build a ‘bigger is better’ company. Until, I realized that I was neglecting my values and things I cared about for years. Then, I reverse-engineered my companies to work in favor of the life I wanted, not consume it.

My AdVantage

What do you do best?:

I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was put on this planet to be a connector. I’m best and putting the puzzle pieces together of who should know whom for the advancement of both.

What makes you the best version of yourself?:

Showing up. It’s the daily persistence and progress that have helped me create what I have so far. Even when I don’t feel like it, I do the work.

What are your aspirations? (Personal and Business):

To help 1,000,000 people or more to define what success looks like for themselves, create careers to fund and elevate it, and networks to support their vision.

Biggest Success?:

Going from an emotionally shut-down human to one who values and exercises vulnerability and can finally feel the spectrum of emotions.

Most Challenging Moment?:

Deciding to keep going in my first business after two embezzlements, losing our whale client, and my mom suggested I quit.


Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Favorite Places/Destinations?:

I’ve designed my life to allow me to travel 60% of the time for pleasure and work from wherever I am, so travel is a huge part of my life! Some of my favorite spots are Bali, Italy (I speak Italian), and Peru.

Current Passions?:

Black and white photography.

What Else To Know

Tell Us More:

What do you love most about Your City?

I live in Atlanta and love so much about it! The climate, the warm people, the airport, the cost of living, and the greenery.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?


Where do you enjoy getting lost?

In my own city! Reminds me to have a curious perspective even when things seem mundane.

What Else to Know?

I created this guide that has been downloaded 1.2 million times called “The 55 Best Questions To Ask To Break The Ice And Really Get To Know Someone”. It’s all about going deeper and feeling more connected. I think it hit a nerve with people because we crave to feel seen and known, and as ‘connected’ as we are today, we feel quite lonely.

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