June 21, 2017
As a kid, you grow up with certain beliefs that will stick with you throughout your life. But as you mature, experience the world, launch a career, and find someone to share the journey along the way, your beliefs might change and alter the way you approach life and work experiences.
At the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council event, Jen Consalvo, cofounder and COO of Tech.Co, shared how her beliefs and lessons learned from childhood to today have helped her forge her own path to success.
Growing up, Jen learned from her parents about the importance of family, enjoying the outdoors and water, developing her own independence and the belief that if you work hard, you’ll succeed. After taking a dream job after college at a media company, she experienced being passed over for a promotion. She learned that getting ahead isn’t all about working hard.
“Working hard and doing your best isn’t enough. You’re surrounded by people who work hard, you have to get noticed,” Jen said.
As her career progressed, Jen landed a position at AOL where she remained for 13 years, longer than expected for any employee at an online company. It is here she learned that sometimes you need to create your own path and change your approach to succeed.
“After 13 years, I was a completely different person. What I liked about AOL is that it was never the same and was an evolving and changing place. That allowed me to learn, forge my own path and create my own role several times.”
She also learned the value of networking and building her leadership skills.
“I made sure I met everyone in the company and became the best internal networker and connector,” Jen said.
At the 13 year mark, Jen decided to take a year off and try to build a few startups on her own. While none of them panned out, another idea was brewing – with former AOL colleague Frank Gruber, now CEO of Tech.Co Media.
Together they built on what he had already started as a blog and community to connect startups with investors and corporations, and today has turned into a large media and events company with over 10 million readers, corporate partnerships, and an annual tech competition and conference.
In the talk, Jen also shares about what she has learned by building and running her business. One of the main take aways was to make sure to stay true to yourself.
“You are not your company. Your identity is not linked to your company,” Jen said. “You can be the biggest risk if you start to believe in what you see instead of what you know.”
Watch the talk here and below for more inspiration.
Read more inspiring interviews at Tech.Co
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