Founder, How He Asked
Stacy Stahl is the founder of HowHeAsked.com – the digital destination for all things marriage proposal. How He Asked, acquired by XO Group, Inc. in September 2016 to allow The Knot to better serve its audience even earlier in the wedding planning journey, provides a platform for couples to share their engagement stories and has built a community of love-obsessed readers by sharing the best ones on their website and social media channels. With a library of 14,000+ proposals, the site also provides education, inspiration, and tools to help soon-to-be proposers plan their own life-changing moment. Stacy is now an expert in the pre-engaged world, and you can follow along with @HowHeAsked’s half a million Instagram followers.
Describe a moment that could’ve broken you, but didn’t. How did you get past the struggle?
During the first week of my first job, I raised my hand during an all-company meeting with an idea I had. The CEO pointed at me, said “not you, you’re too new” and then he called on someone else. I sank in my chair and was so embarrassed. Most of my other tough memories from growing up also came from times when I (and my eager self) was not well received. Back then, whoever criticized me, I believed them. I never stopped to think about why I believed them until a person I’d known for a long time– and truthfully never thought too highly of in the first place– told me I shouldn’t be a certain way. At first, I was ready to internalize her words like I was used to doing, but then it struck me how odd it was that I was accepting criticism from a person who I felt was a bully. It struck me that I’d let other peoples’ beliefs and predictions for me define how I felt about myself – even when it was clear to me in all other situations I didn’t agree with a lot of these people. I decided from that moment on, I would trust myself over others.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t be your own ceiling. Anything you can imagine, you can do. It’s about creating the vision and doing the work. The magic comes when you can look back on it all and say “I did it”.
Who’s your biggest inspiration and why?
I’m inspired by anyone who listens to their heart and uses their head to make it happy.
If you could create a slogan for your life, what would it be?
Do it or don’t.
How do you define your purpose & mission in life?
I believe the road less traveled is always more abundant. I also believe that taking those roads seems scarier than it ends up being, so my mission in life has always been about challenging constructs, replacing fear with experience, and encouraging others to do the same. A body at rest wants to stay at rest, but a body in motion wants to stay in motion – your few first steps go a lot further than you know and being able to inspire those steps in others makes my heart sing.