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How One Girl Is Redefining Astrology For a New Generation

How One Girl Is Redefining Astrology For a New Generation

Steph Koyfman is the journalist-turned-founder behind The Daily Hunch, a horoscope subscription service that provides personalized insights entirely specific to your birth chart. Think of her as a next-gen Susan Miller—a millennial astrologer that you'll soon obsessively read every day. Here's how she took a zodiac side hustle and turned it into a startup.

What were you like as a teen, and what do you wish you could tell your teenage self?
"Hyperactive" is probably the first word that comes to mind. "Angsty" is the second. I was probably the same exact goof I am today, only way less mellowed out. I think a lot of my acting out came from a sense of profound boredom. There wasn't a lot to do in the suburban town where I grew up, and high school isn't necessarily a time when anyone feels as though they have agency over their own lives.

Still, if I could talk to my 14-year-old self, I would probably say a bunch of lame, predictable things about focusing less on my peers (and their approval). If I could do it again (and I probably wouldn't for a million bucks), I would spend a little more time developing myself intellectually and a little less time worrying about people and things that would have zero bearing on my life in two years. Also, I'd like to think that I'd be way less oblivious to the shitty sexism, racism, and homophobia I grew up around.

How exactly did you get to where you are now, professionally? What was the step by step process?
You probably don't hear this answer a lot, but I'm actually doing what I went to school for. I majored in Journalism and English at Boston University, interned at a couple magazines, graduated during the height of the recession, and struggled for a few months before landing my first "real" job out of college. 

I've had a handful of writing jobs in the years since, but I've rarely been content to just do one thing at a time. When I moved to New York and got a job at a startup, I began writing freelance stuff on the side in the hopes that I could amass some clips and get a coveted, real-deal staff job at a hard-hitting publication of my choice (with benefits!). Then I landed a job vaguely resembling this, and I was like, "hmm, okay, a lot of people told me that journalism wasn't the most sustainable career path, and I believed them, but I also needed to experience it for myself, and now I kind of get and I'm over it." This realization led to a couple more side gigs until I had the idea to launch my own company a little over a year ago.

How did you first get into astrology?
It's hard to say when I first became interested in astrology. I actually did the horoscope column for the school paper in 6th grade, but they were completely made up and ridiculous. It probably caught my attention as something beyond a novelty toward the end of high school. Since then, I've let my nerdiness and curiosity lead the way.

What do you wish you had known then that you know now about having a career?
That you shouldn't discount your formative experiences, even if you think they won't be relevant to your Career-with-a-capital-C. And that you shouldn't discount the stuff that excites you, even if you think you can't make a Career out of it. Everyone has that nerdy thing they like to do "just because." I spent nearly a decade devouring information online about astrology, and the thought never crossed my mind that I could potentially make something out of it until very recently.

I also wish I had been less timid about promoting myself, but I guess that's something that mostly comes with experience and maturity. "Networking" as a concept was foreign to me, and I also didn't understand it very well, so I thought it meant awkwardly asking for referrals from people I barely knew. In reality, it's really just about building and maintaining relationships with people, which is no different from how you would approach a regular friendship.

What advice about work do you have for teens or for people just starting out? 
Don't sweat it if you don't have your entire life figured out yet. You're going to change and grow a lot as a person over these next few years, so don't assume you'll want the same things when you're on the other side of that. The best thing you can do is explore your options, explore yourself, and explore the world —but always show up completely, no matter where you are.

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