This is a continuation of the Meet the Badasses series, where each post will have a Q&A with the featured badass with topics covering business, entrepreneur, professional and personal growth, female empowerment and life.
Mental health has always been a delicate topic in our society. Because the symptoms are not as obvious, we have all these stigmas about it that refrains our society from progressing to a more accepting view on it.
The demands college students have placed on themselves has led to an increase in health problems within the younger generation. More than ever, we need to share and discuss our experiences. We should let ourselves be vulnerable and let others know they are not alone in their fight.
I personally had a low phase during my college career where I decided to seek professional help and it helped me come out with a more positive mindset. But during that phase though, I could not find an online community where I felt it spoke to the younger crowds like me.
Daniella Mohazab is on the mission to change that with her website and business, Happy Pill. Like me, she has experienced her own personal mental illnesses within her college career at University of Southern California (USC). She used these experiences to create a trendy and more attractive platform for young women who are dealing with these issues. Read on to learn more about Happy Pill, how USC has helped her, and Mohazab’s ups and downs as an entrepreneur.
What inspired you to start Happy Pill?
I have bipolar and anxiety disorders, which I was diagnosed with my sophomore year. I couldn’t find a site or community online that was young, trendy, and relatable so I decided to start it myself.
How has your time at USC helped you?
I attribute my success to the entrepreneurship department at USC, specifically to Patrick Henry and Paul Orlando. They have pushed me to see outside of the box, and have taught me to see a business from idea to execution. I am in the USC Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies’s incubator program.
When companies approach you to partner, what do you look for that makes you say yes to them?
I only say yes to people that I can tell are genuine, strong individuals. I love working with others and want to make sure that there isn’t a level of greediness in it. Being genuine is important. It is hard to find, and sometimes I trust my gut and my gut is wrong- but when it is right, the feeling is immeasurable.
What do you wish you knew when you first started your business?
I wish I knew that everything takes time and that I must continue to focus on the present rather than dream too much about the future.
You’re also a Google Student Innovator. Can you tell me more about that?
I represent Google and the Google Cloud Platform at USC. This past week, I helped plan a March Madness bracket event at USC, bringing 3 Google Engineers and a film crew to campus; there were over 144 RSVPs. I love helping find new and innovative ways to utilize this new software on campus.
Besides these two roles, you are also a student. How do you manage your time?
My professor Christopher Smith told me during a time of crisis for me that I should focus on what matters and what brings me happiness. He told me to spend time with friends and enjoy myself. This has been the key to my growth in the past six months. I have learned to give myself a break every day, and by doing so have become a lot more efficient with time. I still do take phone calls in between classes for Happy Pill, and sometimes I, unfortunately, have to choose Happy Pill or class. But ultimately, I have learned to have a strong balance of each in order to learn from both experiences as much as possible and to help others.
What was your biggest failure and how did you overcome it?
My writers on the site are predominantly individuals that submit their work to me. With Happy Pill being a startup, sometimes I get lost in my schedule and fall behind. Once, a peer that I met on Instagram wrote an article for me and I told her that I would post it within a few weeks. A month later, I received an email from the writer asking where the article was, confused and also rather unhappy. I felt terrible. I posted the article immediately. After that, I post articles as I get them. I continue to have a strong relationship with my writers and staff members so that each person understands their worth and that I minimize people feeling left in the dark.
How do you define success?
With Happy Pill, my idea of success is that I find success if and when I help an individual.
What is next for you?
I am working on my master’s degree in Communication Management at USC right now. For the next year, I will be focusing predominantely on both my master’s classes and also Happy Pill. I want to grow Happy Pill to become a household name (or apartment-hold name) among young women!