My interview with Carolyn Parent
Amy Powell: Is there one piece of advice that you wish your 9 year old self would give you today that would make an impact on your career?
Carolyn Parent: You deserve to be in any and every opportunity as much as anyone. Being humble is important but so is knowing your worth. Never let anyone make you feel like an imposter — you are talented, smart and prepared — go forth with confidence — as you belong and deserve a seat at the table.
AP: Was there a time you messed up and felt like you’d failed? How did you bounce back?
CP:I did a startup and was in charge of sales. After getting the first few customers we determined we needed a different product that was going to take a year to build and I had to get another job. I felt like I failed for not reading the market need the first time. I took those learnings with my next two start ups and did a lot more market research in advance of launching my companies.
AP: How did you learn to embrace risk-taking?
CP:I ask myself — ‘what is the worst thing that could happen?’ That helped me balance the risk taking with knowing we could recover from just about anything and it was worst not to try. I have faith in my team, investors, family, partners and friends. A supportive network helps me mitigate risk and impact. If I fail, I know I can pick myself up and this network will be by my side and help me. Fortune favors the bold — surround yourself with great people and they will help you take risks and succeed.
AP: What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned and how has it proven invaluable?
CP: Nothing great happens without the collective work and support of a team. Teams are all the people in your life, friends, family, co workers, partners, investors. So many times in my professional life I have relied on counsel, support and wisdom from my team to help me navigate a challenge and an opportunity. It’s ok not to have the answer and to get support and perspective from your network. Their advice can help you as data points in making an important decision.
AP: What is the most fun part of your job?
CP: Working with amazing teammates and customers. It’s so fun to build technology that solves real problems for customers and to work together to bring solutions to life as a team!