What inspires you to show up at work every day?
My appreciation of the Women’s Right Movement inspires me to show up at work every day. For many years women fought for workplace and economic equality. It is because of the Women’s Right Movement that I am afforded the opportunities that I have today. It is with great gratitude that not only do I show up at work every day, but that I demonstrate a commitment to excellence.
How did you determine your career path?
As a young child, I was always fascinated with the way things work. This fascination ultimately led me to engineering school to gain a deeper understanding of technology. Upon completing my engineering studies, I worked as a design engineer for a fortune 500 company. During my employment, I witnessed a major workforce lay off due to decreased sales, which was caused by sales lost to a competitor that was selling copycat products under market. This event changed my life and I decided that I wanted to be an intellectual property lawyer to fight against this kind of injustice.
Describe the skill sets that will be essential to future business leaders and innovators.
Define innovative methods you apply to your business and life.
Creative thinking – Setting aside time daily to think. Learning to think outside of the box is important when trying to problem solve and develop new ways of doing things.
Exploration – Ideas developed from creative thinking have to be explored to determine feasibility.
Experimentation – Trial and error is pivotal in determining whether proposed solutions and new ideas are effective. The failure of any given experiment opens the door to new areas for exploration and creates new learning.
How do you set goals and measure your success?
I typically set measurable goals and challenging goals. A measurable goal is a goal which allows me to measure my progress. A challenging goal is a goal which challenges my current abilities. The achievement of a challenging goal requires more creativity and effort than a measurable goal. For each challenging goal, I typically establish a series of milestones or mini-goals leading to the ultimate challenging goal.
The goal setting method and evaluation is as follows:
State the goal and the benefits for achieving it.
Set a deadline for achieving it.
Identify the obstacles.
Identify resources that can assist me.
Identify the skills I need to achieve the goal.
Develop a plan to achieve the goal.
Establish periodic assessment periods to evaluate status of the goal.
Success evaluation – Did I achieve the stated goal or milestone within the predetermined time period?
Names three books that changed how you saw life that you would recommend to others.
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
The Ten Effective Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen R. Covey
Describe why lifelong learning is important to you.
The ability to expand your mind and strive for continuous education is critical to being successful. By committing myself to lifelong learning, I can stay competitive in business. In addition, I believe that lifelong learning produces personal and professional growth which leads to overall self-improvement.
What are the three most important factors of being a successful woman?
Confidence – Have faith and trust in your own abilities.
Organization – The ability to prioritize and mange time effectively.
Perseverance – Do not be easily intimidated and do not be discouraged by rejection.
Technology plays what role in your daily life?
Technology plays a significant role in my daily life. It is a necessity in today’s fast-paced world. Cellphones keep me connected to clients, family and friends. Laptops allow me to work remotely while offering a myriad of other benefits. The Internet is also a big part of the revolution and has enhanced my life in many ways such as providing the ability to engage in online business marketing.
What social media or digital tool has made the biggest difference in your life and why?
LinkedIn, the professional social networking service, has made the biggest difference in my life. It has provided me with the opportunity to network with other professionals and entrepreneurs, whom I may not otherwise have had the opportunity to meet.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
If I could change one thing about the world, women all over the world would have equal rights. In some parts of the world, women are denied an education, the right to vote, and the opportunity to work outside the home. Women have a lot to offer the world and should be afforded all the same opportunities as men.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I am currently challenging myself to master the art of delegation. As a business owner, I am used to wearing a lot of hats; everything from handling accounting to replacing ink in the printer. The long term effect of wearing too many hats can lead to burnout, which also causes harm to the business. I have learned that effective delegation can be achieved by learning to let go, and developing a competent and loyal team to handle the delegation of tasks.
Who or what motivates you and why?
I am motivated by the desire to do a good job and to achieve the desired end result. I like to take on a challenge. It is very rewarding working closely with clients to help them achieve their goals. Moreover, it gives me a sense of accomplishment to help people and to rise to a challenge.
What are the dos and don’ts for young women in business?
1. Work hard. Be prepared. Do your homework.
2. Follow your instincts and believe in yourself.
3. Stay true to who you are. Do what you believe is fair and right.
4. Control what you can control.
5. Create value for yourself. Be good at what you do. Learn your intended business.
6. Develop a business plan.
7. Continue to acquire knowledge and new skills.
8. Try new ideas for expanding and promoting your business, and learn through experimentation.
9. Spend time listening to your customers instead of just talking to them.
10. Find a mentor and build a network of resources.
1. Be afraid.
2. Rush to start a business. Perform the proper due diligence.
3. Sell yourself short.
4. Be discouraged by rejection or closed doors.
5. Try to do everything yourself. Learn to delegate.
6. Waiver on your principles or values.
7. Risk what you can’t afford.
8. Let someone convince you that you cannot succeed.
9. Be defeated by a failure or mistake.
10. Take constructive criticism personally.
How do you successfully grow from business failure?
First, in order to grow from business failure, you have to maintain a positive attitude. Do not feel defeated. A business failure does not make you a failure. It is an opportunity to grow personally and professionally. Second, the key to growing from business failure is to learn from the business failure. Pick yourself up and study why the business failed. Use that information to revise your existing knowledge of how to manage your own business effectively.
Name three successful female role models and explain why you hold them in high esteem.
Oprah Winfrey – “Empowerment”
Oprah Winfrey started from humble beginnings as a young girl in Mississippi to becoming a world famous television host and businesswoman. Although she started from humble beginnings, Oprah Winfrey treats everyone with love and care. She has dedicated her whole life to improving other people’s lives. She gives her best to everyone and doesn’t expect anything in return. Oprah Winfrey is the quintessential teacher of empowerment. She teaches and inspires us to empower ourselves to be our very best.
Maya Angelou – “Perseverance”
Maya Angelou was an author, poet, dancer, actress and singer. She expressed her own vulnerable life experiences through a series of painfully honest autobiographies so that others would feel empowered to express their own. She fought for what she believed in. Maya Angelou is a woman that, despite her trials and tribulations and her many hardships and struggles, was able to endure and persevere. She was able to overcome the numerous challenges thrown her way and went on to become one of America’s most revered women. May Angelou is the epitome of perseverance.
Michelle Obama – “Pride”
Michelle Obama is the first African American first lady of the United States. She is a public exemplification of success, hard work, personal integrity and a positive role model for women of all ages around the world. Furthermore, her prominent position in the public eye has invariably shaped both black and non-black Americans’ perceptions of what a black woman is, and can be. Michelle Obama exudes intellect, elegance, grace, strength and hope. She models for us what it means to be a truly successful woman.