Very few people think of abstract algebra when they describe what helps them in business. But Stacy Taubman does, and as a result, her approach to business and life is refreshing, interesting and distinctive. Some of Taubman’s best business ideas have hatched using the skills she developed mastering math—allowing her mind to relax constraints so she can visualize an otherwise hidden solution. It’s part of what makes Taubman so original and successful.
She started her career as a high school math teacher and now runs one of the most unique office collaboratives in the country, RISE Collaborative. Ask Taubman how she got RISE off the ground, and she’ll tell you that it involved more than 300 networking coffees in the first year. But she also admits that coming from a linear math background, she learned that starting a business required her to engage in a very non-linear process. “Having strong objectives but not holding too tight to the plan was the key,” she explains. This flexible approach helped Taubman navigate the recent challenges of the pandemic as well.
She compares the process to one of her favorite paintings, George Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. In that example of pointillist technique, Taubman sees the genius of the artist: “Up close it appears as random dots of color, but taken together they form an image.” Likewise, Taubman attends to the details, but keeps her eye on the big picture. The result is an impressive canvas.
Women-centered but male-friendly, RISE Collaborative isn’t just a place to meet, work and drink coffee. It’s a thriving community here in St. Louis and in Denver, where Taubman also founded Spirtz Medspa. That sense of community is more important now as people heal from the hardships of the past year. And it’s the perfect place to work remotely if you’re tired of working from home. Thanks to Taubman and her team, RISE is a respite for replenishing and reenergizing. As she says, “it is a place where people know your name and truly want to see you succeed.” Spend some time at RISE and you will understand what being part of an ignited community feels like.
As a former math teacher, Taubman can quickly measure the probability of an outcome. But today, that is not where she applies her energy. Rather, she likes to concentrate on possibilities, which is where she says “all the magic comes from.” Measure the amazing things she has accomplished and it’s easy to believe in the magic of Stacy Taubman, too.
Beth Chesterton is a performance and career consultant.