One of my earliest and strongest memories from when I was a little girl was watching and getting ready for the day every morning with my mom. Mom got ready for her work day while simultaneously making breakfast and helping me get ready for school. My mother ran the Anesthesia Laboratory at UCLA and it was a job that took up a lot of her time. Despite the constant hubbub at the hospital she dealt with, I also have vivid memories of her still attending each one of my cheerleading games and of her picking me up after school every day, without fail. Even later in life, when I had my own kids, she graciously watched them one day a week for me up until she retired – and now she’s at least two days per week!
All throughout my childhood and young adult life, there was no other option in my mind to be when I grew up than a hard-working career woman. My mom taught me from a very young age how to be strong in the workplace as well as in every other facet of my life.
That’s where my success all started: with my mom.
At some point along the way of growing up, I became acquainted with the company I would later own, MyCorporation. I joined in 2004 as VP of legal and business affairs, leaving behind a law firm partnership in Los Angeles. I thought the switch would allow for greater flexibility in my work life, plus I was excited to be a part of an entrepreneurial venture. A few years later, MyCorp was acquired by Intuit and I was appointed to run the company under them. In 2009, I purchased the division and began running the company myself, as a business owner.
Since then I have been riding that entrepreneurial wave, and learning new lessons every day. Being an entrepreneur comes with its own sets of highs and lows. On the plus side, I have complete flexibility; if I need to pick my boys up from school I can do so on my own time so long as I accomplish everything I need to do for the day. I get to grow as a business woman and learn from every business venture in which I partake. And, of course, you learn to take the bad with the good. The pressure of having an entire business as your responsibility can be overwhelming at times – dealing with payroll and the daily employee matters aren’t exactly a walk in the park! But the freedom and flexibility it gives me are all part of being an entrepreneur and I wouldn’t trade any of it in for the world.
The biggest entrepreneurial lesson I have learned thus far is how to deal with those above mentioned employee matters. I am an attorney by trade, an individual contributor, so initially I was not used to addressing so many employee issues on such a regular basis (hiring, firing, employee reviews, conflicts, and so forth) but what I have learned to do is to try and stay ahead of the curve. I strive for constant communication, to be fair and not get too involved. This has enabled me to focus on the mission and goals of the business.
Coming into this business, new female entrepreneurs will hear time and time again of the stigmas women face in being entrepreneurs. Now having done it for years, I think being a female entrepreneur is actually an advantage. I’m a friend, wife, mother, and room mom; of course I can handle being an entrepreneur as well! Gender aside, keeping a great attitude and always seeing the best side of every situation are great business traits to have whether you’re a man or a woman. As my mom taught me from the get-go, it’s not about ‘surviving’ as a woman in the workforce, it’s about keeping great focus, treating others well, and, at the end of the day, getting done what needs to get done all with a smile on your face.