5.5 years ago, Shachar Orren made a brave decision to leave a 10 year career span as a journalist, to join a 5 people company, aiming to change how internet users create and share engaging digital content. 2 years later she started leading their brand marketing & content strategy globally from the NYC office in Manhattan, and is now the “Chief Storyteller” at this successful endeavor you might have heard of, called Playbuzz. But what seems like enough entrepreneurship for one adult lifetime, didn’t seem to do the trick for her, and she joined forces with a friend and created a vigorous community of Israeli women in New York, with 2500 members and counting. So how will a storyteller answer our inconsequential questionnaire? Read & Learn:
By Noa Faran
1. What was the last song you listened to, and what do you most expect to listen to next?
According to my “Recently played” on Apple music, it’s Beyonce’s new “Homecoming” live album, recorded during her 2018 Coachella performance. Seeing her live on the Formation world tour in 2016 in New York was a night I will never forget, it was unbelievable. In general, I always look forward to listening to songs that make me happy, remind me of special moments in my life, and that I know all the lyrics to.
2. What do you want to be when you grow up? How would your 10-year-old self react to what you do today?
One of the benefits of growing up is a better understanding of what it is you enjoy doing. I started my career as a journalist. Writing and getting paid to do it is what my 10 year old self was dreaming about – but after almost 10 years of doing that, I wasn’t sure if being a journalist is what I really want to do forever. As my career evolved into leadership in content strategy and marketing for a startup, I realized that what I want to do when I grow up is make great content happen, and that can mean so many things. As a journalist I thought the skills I have would be worthless in a different industry. But in today’s world, content is the foundation to everything. The biggest companies in the world are relying on creative, innovative content, or content marketing strategies to reach their business goals, to achieve scalable growth, to create an authentic community (which is another one of my passions). This is what I want to be involved with, it’s what excites me the most.
3. What’s the career highlight you’re most proud of?
I’m mostly proud of any career moment that required me to be brave. A few examples: writing my first piece that was published in a magazine – it was a 300 word text about ice cream that took me 2 full days of anxiety to write; Deciding to leave my journalism career to take a leap with a (then unknown) startup with 5 employees (best decision I’ve made); Moving from focusing on content only to a marketing focused role that pushed me right out of my comfort zone. I hope I’ll have many more moments of bravery to be proud of in the future, I find that I never regret them.
4. For right now, What or who inspires you the most?
Kick ass women who are smashing boundaries are always inspiring me the most. I like to mention Emily Weiss, the founder and CEO of beauty brand Glossier, who started as a fashion blogger, created a strong community of female readers who loved her content, and decided to create beauty products that serve their needs, and build her client base through great content and lots of feedback (now her company’s valuation is over $1.2 billion). In interviews she often talks about how she didn’t really have any idea what she was doing, but she was driven and she went for it. I find that type of honesty very inspiring from successful people. Hey – I also have no idea what I’m doing most of the time! So maybe that’s ok. But I don’t even have to look that far for inspiration, I’m surrounded by such cool women – my friends, my colleagues, real people inspire me the most because I can see different sides of their greatness, not just the good parts.
5. What do you most enjoy spending money on?
I enjoy spending money on many things, mostly the kind that create positive memories, like vacations or other meaningful experiences with people I love, or items that remind me of these moments in time. I will say though that the thing I feel the least guilty about spending money on is anything to do with fitness. Exercise is practically a religion in New York, everyone has the particular type that they believe in, and they practice that belief 3-5 times per week, every week. Mine is spinning (at SoulCycle), Pilates (at SLT) and Yoga. I took probably over 450 classes in the past 3 years and I ask all of you to please never tell me how much money that means I spent on this hobby, thanks!
6. What is your superpower?
I’m considered in certain areas of New York and Tel Aviv (or mostly in my own head) as the queen of karaoke (specifically Eminem songs), but even better than that – I never get a hangover! I just sleep it off and wake up good as new.
7. If you could go back to anytime in history, where would you go?
Back to the 1990s. Anything to do with that decade is my guiltiest pleasure – the music, the TV shows, the celebrities, the velvet scrunchies. It’s the decade that shaped who I am and I wouldn’t mind experiencing it again as an adult.
8. What would be the title of your memoir?
“Oops I did it again: Stories of a clumsy person” (Seriously, you can always count on me to break something, spill something or trip on something, I pride myself on being elegantly awkward).
9. What is your most irrational fear?
I’m mostly a rational fears kind of person, health and failure and finances and not being good enough and am I doing the right thing and all those lovely anxieties that keep most of us up at night (not to mention the fear of anxiety itself). But I would say my most irrational fear is of being bored. I always surround myself with content to cure that concern, if I accidentally leave the house without my airpods (which means I can’t listen to podcasts or audiobooks during my commute to work) – I can totally lose it. I always need to have some form of content I can consume to fill up the blank spaces. You can catch me going on a flight with 2 physical books, 3 downloaded audio books, 17 podcast episodes, a laptop and an Ipad, and eventually spending the time watching dumb movies on the airplane mini screen. Luckily it’s a mostly irrational fear because there is so much going on around me that entertains and excites me, and I plan for it to stay that way.
Enter the world of Playbuzz: www.playbuzz.com