Presented by Cole Haan
We spend a lot of time together. Like, a whole lot. When we're not working, we're chilling, and when we're not chilling, we're texting. (It's not for everyone; Lena sometimes wonders if it's even for Jenni. The invention of the text message was not good for Lena's clinically diagnosed OCD. "Hello? Hello? Answer me!! Are you SAFE?!" ) But it's an inextricable part of how we run our business and our lives.
Deep personal engagement + nonstop commentary on the happenings of planet Earth x putting writing first = Lena & Jenni's proprietary mix for professional success.
So when the idea of interviewing each other about starting a business with your best friend emerged, we wondered how much there was to say that we hadn't shared already. After all, keeping our creative relationship fresh is a big part of the reason we pursued the side hustle known as Lenny.
But it turns out that when the audio recorder came out, with it came some hot new info. For example, Lena was surprised and inspired by Jenni's take on the "having it all" dilemma, while Jenni didn't know about Lena's long-held dream to be a drama teacher for tweens (that's in the outtakes, where Lena also wonders if "bed tester" is a job).
Our biggest hope is that when you read this, you don't take it like a line-for-line blueprint for your business endeavors. Rather, we want to be an example, letting you know that the passion — and shared connection — of two women is an unstoppable force. In the last seven and a half years, we have been through a stunning array of work disasters, family breakdowns, personal faltering, health crises, and even moments where we didn't quite know how best to hold the other up, or whether we had the strength. But the love and power that sparks when two women see the world through the same pair of glasses? Well, that's incredible, and it keeps you coming back, with more power than you knew you had. LYLAS.
Lena Dunham: You're a busy woman, a working mother. When you said, "We should have a web presence" and we came up with the idea for Lenny, what made you go, "Yes, that's a good idea, that's how I should be spending my precious time"?
Jenni Konner: I just felt like you needed a platform — we both did, but you especially — that was more than 140 characters. Girls could speak for itself, but at the end of the day, you needed to be Lena Dunham and not Hannah Horvath. You have such a strong political voice and a fierce feminist agenda; we didn't have the time to wait for books to come out or your mayoral campaign. We just had to get in there.
LD: People talk a lot about side hustles. At this point it's confusing: what is our front hustle and what is our side hustle? I think our main mission will always be to do what we started with Girls, which is to make really strong narrative content. Lenny and our other projects support that. I wonder how you think about the concept of a side hustle in your life and how you decide what to center for yourself. How do you split your time?
JK: I think you're right when you said it's hard for us to figure out what is a side hustle and what is just a hustle, because it just depends on the day.
LD: One of the big fears that a lot of people, particularly women, have when starting something like a side hustle is: How am I going to do this and continue to be engaged with my day-to-day work, and continue to be a parent, and continue to be a partner? How do you talk to those women who had a big dream, but also a fear around that dream?