- What’s a typical work day in your life?
A typical day starts with a 7 am workout at the gym and is followed by a mix of investor meetings, conference calls, a webinar pitch, a few walks with Luna (our furry “bark of reason” in the office), a team meeting and a networking dinner.
- What’s your job like?
My job involves advising companies and organizations on sustainability strategies – working with them to lessen their environmental footprint or overall resource draw while educating and engaging their key stakeholders. I find it extremely rewarding because it ties education to impact on a macro scale. I also see a key part of my job as managing and guiding the workflow of a great group of people.
- What kind of experience led you to the work you do today?
I have been in the environmental consulting arena for over 10 years and, prior to that, worked as a program supervisor for the City of Santa Monica. I credit my project management and organizational skills to my time as an undergrad at UCLA. I was actively involved in student government and ran an office on campus called the Cultural Affairs Commission. I learned the art of managing a budget, hiring staff and volunteers, event production, contract negotiation and many other core business skills in this role. I also managed reggae bands from Jamaica during my undergrad years – nothing teaches you patience and the art of negotiation faster than the music business!
- What was/is the toughest thing about getting started?
Taking the first step. Deciding to put your time, resources and name on the line by signing up for a wild, new venture is a big commitment. After you take that first step, the rest tends to fall in place and your passion and drive can help guide you forward.
- What excites you about LA right now?
The tech and startup scene in LA is bubbling up now in a way that is drawing attention, talent and capital that never considered LA as a potential home in years past. It is almost as if the rest of the world realized what a gem we have here (weather, existing industries, diversity, etc.) and they are scrambling to get a piece of it.
- Who are some of the women you admire for their support of other women?
I have met some incredible mentors and advisors who provided introductions and offered counsel to me as I embarked on the journey to launch my second company. Too many names to list but I also want to emphasize the importance of mentoring younger women entrepreneurs. We have a robust internship program and have hired 6 of our past interns. Allowing younger women to gain professional experience and to build their networks early on is a key step in their journey.
- What surprises you most about being your own boss?
That you don’t really feel “free” in a way that people assume you are. You have employees, clients, and vendors who all demand your attention and your time. You are still bound by your commitments and, yet, you chose this path because you value independence. An odd paradox!
- Where do you turn for inspiration?
I subscribe to a few blogs (sethgodin.com, gregmckeown, ryanweiss) and also follow Instagram (@paulocoelho) accounts. I also have really enjoyed learning how to meditate and have found podcasts which help guide you through various meditations (flight, work break, sleep).
- Favorite quote or words to live by?
I have had my favorite quote pinned up on my office board for the last 15 years as it reminds me to focus on alignment.
“There is but one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.” – Christopher Morley