ASMALLWORLD CEO Sabine Heller is in the midst of relaunching her company, taking it from an exclusive social network into an internationally-focused travel and lifestyle club with perks and privileges like travel discounts at top hotels and VIP access into some of the world's best nightclubs. In the process, she's had to pare down her site's membership (kicking out the likes of Tiger Woods and Lindsay Lohan) and introduce a subscription fee, moving away from the traditional advertising model.
ASMALLWORLD relaunched last month with a focus on improving its offerings to members, reducing its membership and introducing a $105 subscription fee. Heller says that has taken the one-time social network into a "club with a social networking aspect."
"ASMALLWORLD is, in many ways, much more than a social network," she said. "It has social networking components, but what it is is an international club, really."
But when it comes to her personal time, Heller told HuffPost Live host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin that she likes to unwind with a bath.
"I have a house in the countryside, and that's where I really unplug," she said. "I often will let my phone drain, and it's an incredible feeling, and then I just won't charge it again. I do take a lot of baths there...I find that, funnily enough, that's where I unplug: in the bath."
Heller's mobile device of choice? The BlackBerry, which she says allows her to easily respond to e-mails on the go.
"The reason that I have stayed with my BlackBerry versus an iPhone is because it's so easy to type on it," she said. "It's sort of a portable computer for me."
Heller, who grew up between New York and Bombay and now travels the globe on behalf of ASMALLWORLD, said that having an international perspective has helped in her professional life, but admitted that there are challenges to being a female CEO while traveling internationally.
"I recently started working much more abroad, and I've worked in the Middle East and places like Germany and Switzerland, and I have to say that I came back home thinking, 'God, I'm glad I'm a female CEO in this country,'" Heller said. "I was in Abu Dhabi at a media summit and it was hard. I definitely was rendered invisible if I were in the company of a man."
C-Suite is a regular video series featuring conversations with senior executives.
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