Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.
Hello all, I am a professional (lawyer and accountant) who has worked in various roles in all types of businesses, including my own companies. I also consult and write - two books so far, both bringing business and finance principles to the legal industry plus numerous articles. I am now focused on strategic partnerships for my software company, Traklight. The software is a series of checklists for business owners and lead generation for companies and lawyers.
Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?
I was excited to recently return to Ellevate because I was so busy with a company that I since sold, Evolve Law, that I paused all business memberships. I was a member early on in Phoenix, AZ and I still keep in touch with many of the women that I met, particularly Kathy Lynn-Cullotta. I enjoy the energy and inspiration gained from others plus the Phoenix chapter has excellent events!
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
Persistence - I used to think that it was passion but I think being persistent or showing up and doing the work, while never giving up, is critical for success in any business role or profession. Thick skin - I read The Four Agreements this year. Life changing information - I don't take anything personally now in business. Inquisitive - Do not make assumptions; ask questions to clarify and be upfront. Empathy - Ask about other needs and put yourself in their place.
What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?
Creating my software company, Traklight. Although I was a Vice President at 30, when I was pregnant with my first child, I was working in my area of expertise. When I set out to create checklists and a turbo tax for business risk and intellectual property (IP) identification, I was out of my comfort zone. Building the team and working with customers to hone the platform was tough but I learned so much. Plus all the mistakes that I made have helped me write lessons learned for others!
What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?
After turning fifty, I shifted my focus to making a difference through education and awareness around both business and legal. I have always enjoyed mentoring and helping others - my software company Traklight provides free risk assessment and education on business, but I was seeing many unhappy lawyers and law students. I have written much about how to better measure success and how to align firm goals with team member goals. I hope that my work will allow entrepreneurs to succeed and lawyers to be happier, while improving access to justice.
What is your morning ritual?
Over the past couple of years I have shifted my morning ritual to NOT jump into work. I try to wake up slowly, without an alarm if possible, and I will meditate for about 10 minutes before any screen time. Then I will scan emails on my phone and if nothing is urgent, I will go on a thirty-minute walk. The idea is to delay working until about 8am my time. However, it's a work in progress.
What would you say your personal superpower is?
Connecting people. I see synergies and potential partnerships everywhere. I enjoy making those introductions and have heard later how those relationships have worked out - it's extremely gratifying! PS I even inadvertently matched up two people that ended up married.
Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
Yes, it is a struggle but in the past six months, I think I have turned a corner. I have started saying no. I evaluate the request for my time based on how it will impact my work and my personal life; I then decide if I will nip it in the bud and just say no. It's liberating to politely decline and is allowing me a better balance. When my life is balanced, then my work time is more productive.
What is the best career advice you ever received?
I heard Sally Krawcheck speak years ago and she said, "you can always get another job, but you cannot get another reputation." That has stuck with me and I have shared it widely. It's part of my philosophy now when it comes to follow through, which is critical to success.
What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?
Don't try to be perfect; just do your best. Your kids will not remember half of the things that you are stressing about today. It's difficult to juggle work and children but ask for help and do not be afraid to say no!
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
30 years of varied leadership, management, and business & financial consulting experience including successful turnarounds in Canada and the US. Specializing in leading companies in transition or start-up phase and creating sustainable operational and financial growth. Volunteer on non-profit boards, including Group Legal Services Association (GLSA), and committees. Co-founder and Managing Director of Evolve Law. Passionate supporter of access to justice through consulting as an Access Advocate for LegalShield. StringCan Interactive Advisor. Forbes, American Bar Association's... Continue Reading
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