Rebecca Kirstein

co-founder Business As Unusual

What is it about business that makes it “unusual”?

There is no “business as usual” anymore. Our culture has changed. People have changed. The world has changed. These days, for business to be successful, it has to change, too. Modern business must be community-centric to succeed. It’s about people, profit, and planet. Collaboration instead of competition.

At Business as Unusual, we guide businesses—particularly startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs—so they can be more profitable but also to strengthen their community and create a legacy. Business as Unusual clients want to take their businesses to new levels of success and, at the same time, contribute in a meaningful way to the community and the future.

What is your motivation in helping others with their businesses?

I believe that successful local businesses are the backbone of our community and our local living economy. I am fired up to contribute to the success of others so that we may all thrive.

What are some of the most common obstacles for people in their businesses?

Perspective. When you are locked into something day after day, it is really hard to step back and get perspective on what to do to move forward. It takes someone coming in fresh, ideally someone with the experience and knowledge to provide valuable guidance. Also, fear of change. Even when people know what they want to do with their business, taking that first step can be terrifying without support.

As an entrepreneur, what other businesses are you involved in?

The businesses that I have founded, contribute to, and/or continue to play an integral role in are BK Studios Photographers, Metier Investments, Portraits for the People, MIX Victoria, The Freebird Collective, The Nest, The Landing Pad, and Business As Unusual.

What drives you in your business and your life?

I believe that in order for people to experience the true joy of life, we must become who we are meant to be. For those of us who decide to go into business for ourselves, transforming our passion, creative energy, and inherent talent into viable income is a risky venture. But for me, the rewards of living an authentic, fully actualized life are worth the risk.

What makes you happiest when working with your clients?

When I connect people who need business help with the people who have the expertise to help them. Business is all about people and modern business is all about collaboration. It brings me so much joy to connect people—to be a catalyst in our entrepreneurial ecosystem.

What are your words to live by?

“How do you want to feel? Do what makes you feel that and do it with reckless abandon.”

What does life outside “the Nest” look like for you?

Hiking, camping, dogs, connecting with my natural surroundings and the creatures within it. Friends and family. I could survive on these things alone. And maybe a little cheese. And wine. Oh, and chocolate. Sign me up for that desert island.