Tell us about your work. What inspired you to start your business? Where did you start and where are you now? satisfaction
I planned to become an editor and was an English major in college. I fell in love with tech when I got an internship for a tech company in Boston at the onset of the internet boom. I am not the kind of person who has a particular skill set – I am a generalist, and I have a real drive toward being profitable. I have always been fascinated by the idea of making profits – when I would work at various jobs, I always tried to make the company more profitable. After a while, I realized it was frustrating to watch people do this while I stood by. My co-founder and I decided we could do this even better, and after getting a good foundation in tech, I decided to be an entrepreneur. We then created the digital transformation agency Engagency (www.Engagency.com). satisfaction
What do you see for your future?
When you get to a certain point in business, you have to have the humility to step back and bring in other people who have different skillsets to grow the business. I am bringing in more people to take what I have built and make it significantly bigger and better. satisfaction
What gets in your way? What’s the one thing you’d like other female founders to know about overcoming that issue?
Fear. I am not an extrovert. Speaking up, early in my career, was scary. It was tough to be in a room often filled with men, and I generally felt intimidated when I voiced my opinion. It was tough, but I knew I had to speak because I had the knowledge. So I would speak, but I would turn beet red. I kept on talking because I wasn’t going to back down – I was going to get through it. Eventually, it goes away and gets easier over the years. satisfaction
What’s your favorite tech tool today – a “must-have” app, platform, or software that helps you run Engagency?
Google Sheets, as crazy as that sounds. We are exposed to so many different tech tools so it’s really hard to stick with just one, and we have to be malleable. The solid ability to work with data is what gives me the information I need to understand how my business is doing. I like to have the ability to run complicated spreadsheets to see how my business is performing. I am basically crunching numbers all day. satisfaction
What would you say is your entrepreneurial superpower?
Integrity. It’s easy to have a few clients that you do a little bit of work with. But to build solid, long-term relationships, you must look out for your customer’s best interests. Sometimes that means being brutally honest with them – telling them something is not possible, going in a different direction, or owning mistakes. Integrity is the most important thing I have brought to entrepreneurship. It sounds trite, but integrity lays the foundation to be honest with people when it’s not in my best interest because you can lose work being honest. In the long term, it establishes a more trusting relationship, and that keeps people around for years.
Who is the entrepreneur you admire most right now? Why does that person inspire you?
I really don’t have a specific person. I don’t have any heroes. I am hyper-focused on making my decisions based on the values I have carefully constructed for myself through the years. While influenced by people along the way in various aspects of my life, there is not a single person I look up to that I model my actions and life around. satisfaction
What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten and from whom?
My entrepreneur dad told me at one point – you need to exercise, and you need to have goals. At the time I hated and resented the advice. But over the years I have come back to it again and again, and I have respect for it. I respect the simplicity of it because everything comes down to that. Whatever you are trying to do – you have to have a goal, and you have to take care of yourself. That advice is simple enough to stick with me forever.