From Floor Work to Network, Olympic Medalist Nastia Liukin Shares Her Latest Passion
The “She’s Next” Empowered by VISA event connected a plethora of women entrepreneurs to like-minded peers and resources to increase career-expanding opportunities in DC on September 24, 2019. Five-Time Olympic Medalist Nastia Liukin joined the event to share gems of success on this event’s panel, and DC Life had the pleasure of speaking with her.
DCL: My name is Moni Pearson with DC Life Magazine and La Doodlebug Media. I’m here with five-time Olympic medalist and entrepreneur, Nastia Liukin at the “She’s Next” Event Empowered by VISA. How difficult was your transition from Olympic performer to entrepreneur?
Nastia: I think transitions are extremely difficult for anybody, no matter what type of transition in life you’re going through – whether it’s finishing your professional athletic career and going into real life, or whether you’re graduating high school/college and going into that next chapter of your life. No matter what transition in life you’re going through, it can be scary and you’re not always going to have a plan right away, but that’s okay. Identifying what your passions and goals are is the most important thing.
I was lucky to have many incredible mentors throughout my life, so I wanted to give the opportunity where professionals can learn from others. That’s the motivation of the Grander app.
The purpose behind it is to connect others – whatever industry they’re in, whether it’s gymnastics, law, broadcasting, etc.
DCL: What would you suggest when it comes to finding mentorship? Where should one start to ask for help if they are afraid to reach out?
Nastia: I think events like the “She’s Next” by VISA are so awesome because you can sit in a room listening to different panels, but you can chat with people as well. You should always try to connect with as many people as you can. I wasn’t very good at that when I was younger, and I feel so lucky be doing it now. Events like this are incredible because you can connect with people in your own area. It’s a great place to build relationships… friendships, and business opportunities could come out of it. LinkedIn is really great too because you can make connections with companies directly. I know it’s kind of scary for some people that are used to being in their bubble – I can relate when I was an athlete and I had to grow beyond that.
DCL: You seem to be a very fashionable woman who mixes her athleticism with style based on your Instagram page, so what’s the inspiration behind that?
[PHOTOGRAPHER AIMS CAMERA DOWN TO HER SHOES TO CAPTURE ENTIRE OUTFIT]
Nastia: Now you’re getting my airplane travel shoes! LOL
Obviously most people know me for my athleticism, but incorporating them both is really cool because normally you don’t have a combination of the two. I always love to post a bit of both, it kinda brings me back to my roots. When it comes to content creation, everyone has the ability to create amazing content, but how do you make yourself different? Stepping outside of the norm and making yourself different is the main thing that I aim for on my pages. I love fashion.
DCL: Can you tell me about the Grander app you created? What can people expect from this app?
Nastia: We are currently in a rebranding process, so don’t go on that app yet. [LOL] I believe just to have something beyond social media or LinkedIn and beyond an in-person event is a great thing. It’s also for the people who don’t always like to communicate in person – we’re so used to scrolling and being on our phones. It’s a place for us to gain inspiration and informative content while connecting to other people within your industry.
DCL: We certainly can’t wait to see all that this amazing app has to offer! Tell us where to keep up with you!
Nastia: You can find me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @NastiaLiukin and also at NastiaLukin.com