What inspired you to join/start your business?
I left my business 2010 and was inspired to start this one for three main reasons:
(1) I saw a need in the business world that I could address;
(2) I was a single parent and wanted to support myself and my kidlet with complete control over my schedule to dedicate myself to them;
(3) I strive to set an example for my child, as my mother did for me, that anything is possible and that we all create our own destiny.
What challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge was being taken seriously at first. In the tech space, as I'm sure is the case in other industries, there were very few women in executive positions. I was constantly hearing the words "your boss" as if there was of course someone in charge who was not me. I had to appear confident in all situations, no matter how I really felt, to deal with patronizing people.
What was your most satisfying moment in your career?
Early on, I was hired to teach Microsoft Word and Excel classes to the tenants in a low-income affordable housing development in Camden. When I got there, I realized the job presented was not the job at hand. The tenants were all single moms with zero computer skills, some did not speak English. Rather than teach what I was originally asked, I spent a few days with these women building flyers in Word to start businesses (like doing nails in homes), learning to use the internet to find online coupons, and writing resumes and cover letters for jobs. When the classes were done, my students made me a luncheon to thank me and shared some of their success stories. I still have all of the cards and notes they gave me.
How do you define success?
I ask myself one question: "am I helping?"
I want to help people learn, accept, and/or overcome their discomfort. Sometimes that's giving an employee an "ah-ha" moment about software that has been plaguing them. Lately, it's about helping business and individuals understand and become more accepting in the area of inclusion. My contribution to others is how I measure my own success.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Sometimes, done is better than perfect. I can struggle with the minutiae of making everything perfect, and I had a great lesson in a workshop once that getting hung up on every tiny detail can stop us from making forward progress, especially when it comes to starting your own business.
What women inspire you and why?
My original professional inspiration was my mother. She was a stay-at-home mom without a college degree, and at 22 years old, found herself single and in the workforce to support us. She started out as a secretary in a doctor's office, and through pure hard work and perseverance, worked her way up to the Senior Director of Operations of a Children's Hospital.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Don't be afraid to be yourself. Sometimes we avoid drawing any attention to the fact that we are women because we fear it makes us look weak. My advice is, don't worry about that. Be you. Be strong. Be a woman entrepreneur because that's who you are and you bring something to the table that someone else doesn't, whatever unique thing that might be.
Describe yourself in three words.
Intuitive, Quirky, Passionate
Fill in the Blank:
- When I face a challenge, I... meditate. Then, I research what's needed, I educate myself, and then I move forward.
- If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… to worry less about what other people think.
- The one thing I couldn’t live without is… my kidlet, Sagan. They are the hero of my story and the lessons they give me propel me forward.
- By this time next year, I will be… interacting, in person, with other humans ... teaching to a room full of people and not exclusively through Zoom. I hope.
- The best thing that happened to me last week was… the launch of my new website.
- To get my creative juices flowing, I… sing. Doing something creative opens me up to more creativity.