Levini Li

Levini Li Freelance Founders

Levina Li is a first-generation Chinese-American New Yorker by way of Shanghai and Kolkata. She is the creator of Creative Courage, a course and community that helps people design and launch creative businesses, and A Sex Journal for Couples, a journal that helps couples reflect on and communicate about intimacy, which is available in Goop, Babeland, Urban Outfitters, and more. Prior to launching her two businesses, she advised award-winning startups, nonprofits, and multinational corporations on new product and go-to-market strategy.

First question: Do you consider yourself a freelancer or a founder?


You have so many creative talents. Can you tell us about your career to date?

It's probably important for me to say up front that while this summary might sound obvious and straightforward, the actual journey was anything but — I'd say it was more unusual and unexpected. I've always been very naturally good at seeing the big picture and solving puzzles, so I spent the first few years of my career helping startups and legacy organizations imagine the future and bring new products, services, and ways of working to life. I found most of my clients through following my curiosities and a series of happy accidents. After half a decade of helping other people launch their ideas, I realized I had an itch to build products and companies of my own — partially because I'd never seen myself represented in the leadership teams of the organizations I'd worked with and partially because I was full of ideas I couldn't stop thinking of. That led to my first two companies.

You're the CEO of A Sex Journal. Tell us more!

Looking back, I can't imagine having not started this company, but at the time, it was a pretty random leap. My partner and I had just started dating. We both love reflection and journaling and, one day, came up with this structure for journaling about our sex life. It led to these beautifully intimate and revealing conversations we'd never had before. In some ways, those conversations changed our lives. Over time, we started sharing about our journaling structure and some of the conversations that were unfolding with close friends — eventually, that led to enough interest that we decided to design a physical, guided journal and see if we could fund a first run via Kickstarter. We ended up raising $27,024 for it.

A Sex Journal for couples has been a huge success, and is available at Goop, Urban Outfitters, and more. What did it feel like when your idea became a reality?

It was a really special experience. In terms of our retail partners, we found ourselves in a pretty unique situation where they were reaching out to us for the most part. We were proud to see the journal create a new space inside of their intimate and sexual wellness categories. More than that, though, as the journal became more popular, we got to connect with people from all over the world who were using it and having breakthrough conversations in their relationships. I can't explain how inspiring the messages I've received and phone calls I've had with our community have been. It's really reinforced for me how important it is to be generous with your creativity.

Can you tell us about Creative Courage and what made you want to start a creativity and leadership course?

Yes! Another unexpected turn of events. I get connected with people — especially women — who want to step into their creativity pretty often. If I'm not in a particularly busy period, I'm usually happy to have a coffee chat, hear where they are, and share anything helpful that I might have to offer. A few years ago, I had a week where a number of women I'd connected with — probably once or twice — all reached out around the same time to share how impactful our conversations had been. They'd published their book or launched their business or started their community event series, among so much more. It really highlighted how meaningful sharing thoughtful encouragement and lessons gained from experience could be. Shortly after that, my first coaching client found me, and that part of my work grew and grew until it became Creative Courage.

What advice do you have for creative people who want to pursue their passion as a career?

Follow your curiosity, practice standing in your worth, be open to evolving, and celebrate what makes you different.

What's next for you?

The Creative Courage community has been thriving, and we've been investing significantly in infrastructure over the past few months, so I'm excited to scale up our work there.

We're also working on Edition 2 of A Sex Journal for Couples, and we're incredibly excited to release it this summer. We've learned so much from our community over the last two years, and we're really looking forward to integrating that into the journal itself.

“Follow your curiosity, practice standing in your worth, be open to evolving, and celebrate what makes you different."

– L.L.