E34 Multi-passionate Entrepreneur Series with Jerica Bornstein: PhD. Candidate and Founder of Cultivating Connections

Jerica Bornstein is a PhD. candidate researching how our relationships–the people we surround ourselves with day to day–positively or negatively impact our health, wellness, mindset, and likelihood that we achieve our goals. She’s also the founder of Cultivating Connections, a monthly meet-up in Austin, TX where people can feel free to get vulnerable, connect human to human, and go way beyond the “How are you”, “I’m fine” bullsh*t. We hosted their January meetup at ThriveHQ and it was a huge success with 30+ people!

I wanted to bring Jerica on because she provides a really unique perspective. Typically, I bring people on here who are working corporate jobs and starting side hustles, or are already entrepreneurs with multiple projects going on, but Jerica brings something different to the table because she is a student who is also building things that are impacting our community outside of her PhD program research.



Jerica’s story is a lesson for anyone who is still a student right now, weighing multiple options, and not sure what you’ll do after school. Know that you don’t have to wait until after school or the month before you graduate to start impacting your community and fostering connections. You can do it RIGHT NOW.

“Sometimes you might go into something and think it’s the right choice, and maybe it’s not in the long term. But you’ve gained skills and you can always pivot.” -Jerica Bornstein

This will also help anyone who has a community project that is still small but gaining traction, and you’re wondering how to make it bigger, because I started doing some live, off the cuff business consulting with Jerica and together we brainstormed some really awesome ideas for her. She also has lots of good job opportunities in front of her and was unsure of which to choose so I gave her some coaching around how to make the choice. 

Keep listening to hear more about how Jerica ended up in Austin, why she always felt like an outcast in college but how it helped her get to where she is today, what got her interested in this research topic, how she ended up starting Cultivating Connections and what impact it’s had on our community. 

If you’re interested in talking more with Jerica about her research, joining Cultivating Connections in Austin or even establishing your own CC meet up here or in a different city, reach out to Jerica on her Instagram @jericax and follow Cultivating Connections at @cultivatingconnectionsatx.

The next CC woman-only event is on March 4th in Austin, Texas, called “Girls with Goals”, hosted by my lovely wife Erin Finley! Sign up here

If you’re looking for a space to host a meet-up or event in ATX and are curious about ThriveHQ, hit us up on Instagram @thriveonlife or contact us! https://thriveonlife.com/services


Further Readling/Listening

Podcast Episode 7: Thrive on Friendship with Jeff McSweeny

Blog: Good Business Starts with Relationships

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