When you seize opportunities and push yourself, you’ll meet people who “welcome you, encourage and challenge you,” says Leigh Fonseca, LivingData’s managing director.
“They are your advocates and your allies. Be willing to change course, to ask for help, to stumble, and to learn,” she says.
Trina Chiasson, who founded the startup Infoactive in 2012, says she made a strategic choice in her early startup days to find more mentors and role models.
“There was a time where I felt like I was just making it up and I wasn’t sure how to be successful. When I started, I didn’t know many women who ran tech companies and I didn’t really have examples,” she says.
Trina began working to connect with people who possessed the skills she wanted to build. She asked colleagues and friends for introductions, and arranged coffee meetings with potential mentors to pick their brains.
“I try to pull strengths from lots of different contacts—a friend who’s extremely good at managing diverse communication channels, or another friend who’s good at taking business risks — and not focus on one role model who’s the be-all, end-all,” she says.