Office Hours Recap: Meet Kathleen Warner of Startup America
This blog originally appeared here.
If you’re not already familiar with Levo’s weekly Office Hours, get ready: every Thursday, the Levo team hosts an online interactive video chat with someone who we look up to in business. We’ve hosted Susan Lyne of Gilt Groupe, Gina Bianchini of Mightybell and Ning, and this past week, we were delighted that Kathleen Warner of Startup America took the stage with us. As COO of an expansive partnership that sources funds for and supports new businesses, Kathleen is responsible for everything from resource allocation to engagement initiatives. She had fantastic advice and experience to share. Check out our favorite moments from Kathleen’s Office Hours below – and view the full video recording here.
On “having it all”:
“When I speak to groups of people, my first question is always ‘who has it all figured out?’ Nobody ever raises his or her hand.”
“When looking back on my career, I thought I had to have it all figured out. I was so worried that I was going to get it all wrong. It’s great to be prepared, but sometimes you just have to go for it.”
“For me, it’s about being open to possibility, understanding that a career path is not a linear thing. It’s the intersection between passion expertise and opportunity. A career is up, down, sideways, backwards.”
On being open to possibility:
“Everyone has a story to tell– and I want to know that story.”
“You hear a lot about networking, but I think what’s important is relationship building. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself, what’s the worst that can happen? Someone turns their back and walks away? That’s never happened.”
“It’s important to understand and identify what you’re trying to get out of that particular relationship in order to make worthwhile—no one size fits all. Be diligent and ask questions. Once you go and do it, it gets easier.”
On stepping up to new challenges:
“I learned early on to make sure that you put yourself in the mix and take that seat at the table.”
“Steep learning curves are good. I learn a lot more from the things that I try and screw up. I love being in positions that are challenging and being surrounded by really smart people from whom I can learn from and give back to.”
“I’ve been in places where I’m often the only woman in the room. It’s all about making sure that you put yourself at the table. Don’t let your self sit in the back of the room and fall into a supportive role.”
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Opinions and statements expressed by guest bloggers are theirs alone, not opinions of The Startup America Partnership.