What is my story? My career as a woman in business has been a circuitous adventure encompassing nonprofit, service industries, corporate training, technology, and more. In each of my roles, I had little to no direct previous experience. What I had was intelligence, persistence, critical thinking skills and an ability to solve problems. What I did, was ask the question: "Why not?"
My approach with regard to my career choices has always been to answer the question, 'Why not?'. Why not try? Why not me? This entrepreneurial approach has led me to decades of amazing career adventures, all over the world.
Imagine: Why not be on the front lines of the talent hiring wars as a headhunter, discovering the next generation of tech superstars? Face-to-face with the best and brightest talent, who were and are leveraging technology to disrupt, innovate and change our daily tech experiences. Immersed in college campus engineering departments, building partnerships while supporting academic and technical goals.
Now imagine: Why not move into an organization specializing in global information security? To co-exist at the intersection of security technology and brilliant hackers, spending time in dark corners of the world helping individuals use their powers for good versus evil, changing the global perception of corporate software security.
Next: down to the Bay Area to work for a startup, using quantified data as a business lever. Why not try a smaller company pre-IPO, in an ecosystem of smart people making fun products?
All along the way, I have been lucky to work alongside some amazing colleagues. From my few female colleagues, I learned that no woman in technology is alike. Whether she is a new graduate entering the workforce, a mid-career woman looking to make her impact, or more like my septuagenarian mom who recently launched a website, none of our entry points or paths are the same. What is the same: women in technology is a good thing for everyone. From business strategy to diversity of thought and attracting investors, including women simply makes sense.
And the most rewarding personal and professional questions I've asked myself in business so far: Why not start my own company? With leaders I want to work alongside and learn from? Why not reward people for their work? Why not create diverse opportunities for social impact and social entrepreneurism?
Through much observation, I had amassed a long list of items for the 'how not to run a business' checklist, in addition to learning 'how to win' from some incredible leaders and mentors. I turned my lessons into action, and a few years ago embarked on a journey to lead my first startup.
Ask yourself: Why not?