Arielle Loren is a top business strategist and funding expert for women. She is the CEO and founder of 100K Incubator, the first business funding mobile app for women in Apple and Google’s app stores, helping early-stage women entrepreneurs get funding for their businesses.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I was raised in New Jersey and had a beautiful childhood. My father really instilled in me the power of discipline and getting your work done at a very young age. He put this hunger in me, where I am my biggest competitor and I have higher standards for myself than anyone else could ever set for me.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

I wish I would’ve learned sooner that there’s more than just 2-3 ways to fund your business. The media tends to focus on venture capital, angel investors, and business loans from big banks. There are over a dozen more sources from government-backed Small Business Association loans to business grants to personal loans (for those businesses that haven’t established enough revenue or proof of concept) to business lines of credit to business credit cards, and so much more. I tell women that it’s time that we get educated about all of our options and leverage other people’s capital the way that men have been doing for centuries.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

The biggest mistake we see most entrepreneurs make when going after funding is not taking the time to get educated on all of their funding options. When women first enter the 100K Incubator app, we put them through a 50-video bootcamp on how to prepare for funding, what their funding options are, and how to use funding to scale to their first $100,000 in sales. But even women who are already earning over $100,000 in sales find extreme value in the curriculum, because it breaks down funding and scaling in a way that most have never heard. The videos are super short, but the curriculum is extremely detailed to make sure that women understand that this is a full process. Getting the funding is actually the easy part, but learning what drives and scales your business, that’s where your true talent, grit, and creativity is tested as an entrepreneur, and it’s not an overnight process.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

During rough moments I reminded myself to relax. In regards to business, It’s important to tell your clients to relax too! Whether you raise $10,000 or $1,000,000, what you learn along the way is far more valuable than the headline saying how much you raised. And that while helping women get access to funding is rewarding and an accomplishment in itself, it’s far more exciting helping them use that capital to create real sustainable 6-7 figure businesses that change their lives, their families’ lives, and their futures. The joy is being a catalyst and a witness to more women understanding the complete cycle of entrepreneurship, and that getting access to funding is really just the first step.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

I wouldn’t have a personal and professional balance without having a dynamic team. I always say it’s important to allow others to thrive in their area of genius. Setting these defined roles and their objectives helps the success of the company altogether.”

What is your morning routine?

My morning routine starts around 6 AM and it consists of meditation and prayer along with daily exercise and healthy foods. It’s very important that my mornings start with self-care because it helps set the tone for the rest of my day and I’m able to then provide great service to others.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

Being very clear and intentional about my time. When you’re constantly coaching, sometimes your time is completely consumed in helping those around you and your life ends up on the back burner. I can be of better service when I set strict boundaries and refuel.

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

Aside from setting strict time boundaries around my workdays, within my business, having a strong sales funnel makes all the difference, placing strategic advertisements on your social media platforms and lastly, choosing platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to place your ads since they have better analytics and tracking abilities to see if the ads are actually working.

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

The Alchemist! The Alchemist changed my life completely and encouraged me to trust flow and timing. Once I set my intention for a goal, I do believe that God aligns the right people, places, and things to conspire in my favor. The Alchemist reminded me that we, as humans, are limitless in God’s image and that the focus should be on destroying the barriers and walls within ourselves that keep us from that limitless flow.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

“Shortcuts draw blood but the long road draws sweat!”