Yana Berlin & Fabulously40 Inc.
FINALIST: Fabulously40 and Beyond.


Yana set in her first grade classroom in Soviet Union, her very first day in school and dreamed. She had big dreams, she envisioned a happy life ahead. She thought of places she would travel, of all the people she would meet and of all the things that she still had to learn to get there. Her thoughts were interrupted as a big wooden ruler landed on her desk, a look of a mean teacher staring her in the face screaming a question for the whole class to hear.

"Are you a leader?"

Not knowing what was the right answer she scanned the room and found a girl on the opposite side of the classroom nodding her head while looking straight at her. Afraid of the teacher catching a glimpse of the girl who was anxious to help, Yana stood up and answered:

"Some of us are leaders and some are followers".

The teacher slammed her ruler again and repeated the question.

"Are you a leader?"

Again looking at the girl in the back nodding, Yana yelled back,

"Yes, I am"

Teacher looked right at her and said: " Then lead. You will be the leader of this classroom, now get everyone in line for recess".

The bell rang, and everyone formed a line behind Yana. As they walked to the cafeteria petrified of their teacher Yana realized that she learned two new things today. Number one was that it is important to have friends, number two she understood that a leader is nothing without her followers. She turned to the girl walking behind her and gave her a quick hug. This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


Yana loved learning, but not in school. She couldn't sit still for long hours, she only like few teachers, and the older she got the more convinced she became she would need to have her own business. Fortunately for her, the family immigrated to the United States and Yana realized her first opportunity to be an entrepreneur. She was the first to get a job. She was only 12 when the family landed in Los Angeles, with only few words of English vocabulary she began to babysit. Recruiting several of her friends shortly after, she formed a babysitting club catering to several streets in her neighborhood. With money maid she and her girlfriends bought presents for their families and clothes for themselves.

By 16, she was convinced that she will be in business for herself, she just wasn't sure in which field. At 17 she was offered a job in a Law Firm, while going to work during the day and college at night, she knew she wasn't going to pull in the grades expected of her.

She continued to do both, until she came up with a business idea. Attorneys were terrible managers, they always had some kind of problems with their calendars and unless they had really good secretaries they sometimes even missed important deadlines. Having a vision she approached few attorneys that didn't have the right help and offered her services. She would manage their calendars, over see their employees and in return they will pay for her services. She was shocked, happy and scarred when they agreed.

She also knew she would have to quit college.

Professional Challenge

In just six months her business quadrupled, she began interviewing employees. Surrounding herself with 17 top employees Yana's business flourished. It was always a team effort; it was always about the client and the employees, because she always remembered that a leader is nothing without her followers.

Running a successful business might sound glamorous, but it's not easy. Working six days a week, 16 hour days sometimes without vacations were tough. Yana soon realized that the lack of a college degree and the knowledge that she would obtain in college would have been very beneficial. She also learned that a successful team needs a positive leader. Staying positive at all times was not always easy, but is required of a team leader. Many self help books, managerial seminars, and speaking with successful entrepreneurs she understood what it takes to become successful, she also understood that she wanted to have it all. The next challenge was balancing family and business.

Personal Challenge

Be careful what you wish for. The Law Of Attraction does work, and if you can see it, if you can work hard for it, you will eventually have it. With four kids, a business and many hobbies that she picked up along the way it was always a challenge. By twenty-eight she knew that this was not a business that will feed her soul. Taking some time off to be with her children she soon realized that she needed a career and a family to keep her happy. It took few years and several different businesses to find her calling. As her girlfriends were turning forty she saw many changes happening in their lives. After many talks, walks and lunches, she woke up with an idea for a a social network for women forty and beyond. When asked why women at forty needed a social network she said:

"In my life my girlfriends have been the driving force behind me. They supported me, encouraged me and inspired me. Without them I don't think I would of made it this far. I was blessed and feel very fortunate to have them in my life, however, I know that not everyone is this lucky. allows women to build friendship for life, to find camaraderie, support, & encouragement from other women alike. After all who can't use more girlfriends in their life to tell them that "Yes, you can do it, and will be right behind you?", this is a place for "us" girls to connect, share and grow. We are old enough to know what we want, and young enough to do something about it."

Yana continues to work 14-hour days, except now she does it with a different feeling at heart. Having four grown children, three in college, her only challenge at the moment is spreading the word about, reaching out to women who have lost their identity and to reassure each and everyone of them, that forty and beyond are the best years of our life.