20 Words of Wisdom from Boston’s BizWomen

The ladies of 451 Marketing

For the first time ever, the Boston Business Journal brought together 35 of the region’s leading female executives for BizWomen, an unprecedented speed-dating style mentorship event this past Monday.

After an energizing networking hour, the hundreds of attendees sat down for a keynote address from Lori Greiner, millionaire investor and entrepreneur on the ABC hit television series Shark Tank. The 35 local mentors from a cross section of industries then rotated around the room in five-minute sessions to coach tables of aspiring professionals at every age and stage of their career.

BizWomen mentor Ann Meade of Webster Bank advising our PR account coordinator Meghan Keefe.

The event was part of the new BizWomen initiative launched by American City Business Journals, the parent company of the BBJ. In just one day, 43 “Mentoring Monday” BizWomen events around the nation hosted 10,000 women.

The catalyst behind this initiative:

Women in business are big and getting bigger all the time. We’re leaders and decision makers with our own perspectives and our own challenges. We like to feel connected to each other and the issues that affect us. I’m big and I’m going somewhere.

Inspirational words flowed freely. Here is a collection of advice we will certainly be taking to heart as we continue on the journey of our professional careers:

  1. “Know yourself first.” – Clare Cox, TideMark Owner & President

  2. “I’m married with kids and a full time job. You can’t be an A in everything every day… You can’t get everything perfect every day. [Once you accept that, you’ll be] much happier.” – Cynthia Izzo, KPMG Managing Director

  3. “Work-life balance is an elusive concept.” – Deborah Enos, Neighborhood Health Plan CEO

  4. “Relax. When I was 30, I had jobs I hated. The first 10 years of your career are spent figuring out what you love. Try to get a higher percentage of that time [doing what you love].” – Dianne Hessan on advice she’d give her 30 year-old self.

  5. “Care about what you do and let people know it. Show it.” – Deanna Penn, Liberty Mutual Brand Management & External Relations VP

  6. “Go to something that’s not what you do all the time. Always try something at least once – as long as it’s not illegal or unhealthy. What do you have to lose?” – Vivien Li, The Boston Harbor Association, on how to broaden your network

  7.  “Show that you’re doing a little more – be thoughtful, do a little research and show initiative – that’s what all bosses want to see.” – Vivien Li

  8. “The older you get, the more clarity you get on who you are. When you make a mistake, it’s just a mistake – it doesn’t define you.” – Carol Fulp, The Partnership CEO

  9.  “Self-confidence. I tell people now – don’t worry! Just think – if I didn’t worry so much – how much further would I be?” – Carol Fulp, on the biggest obstacle women face in business

  10.  “If you’re successful and you don’t pass it on, it dies with you. It’s about paying it forward – that’s leadership.” – Carol Fulp

  11.  “The Imposter syndrome – it’s something all women have.” – Debra Drapalla, Webster Bank Senior Vice President, on the biggest challenge facing women in business

  12. “Clients come first, but it’s only good for them if I feel good. You need to be your personal best. Seize opportunities and ask for help.” – Clare Cox, TideMark Owner & President, on what to spend your most time on

  13. “We spend lots of time figuring out the game. Study them and play by them. It’s important but fatiguing. Don’t be afraid to let your voice and style come through.” – Catherine Moy, BDO Managing Partner

  14. “I don’t revisit every Monday morning where [I stand in my career and how that measures up to where I thought I’d be]. Keep your eye on the horizon. You don’t invest yourself if every Monday you’re trying to decide what you want to do.” – Catherine Moy

  15. “Do something that sets you apart – if some people see 3 years ahead, see 5” – Catherine Moy

  16. “Don’t go into business with friends. In business, you have to make tough decisions. With friends, they tend to take it personally, but it’s not personal. It’s just business. [Instead, look for] a complementary skill set and work ethic.” – Windsor Hanger, HerCampus Co-Founder and President

  17.  “I learned to play golf. Find that common ground. Prove yourself. Find a way to speak their language.” – Ann Meade, Webster Bank Senior Vice President, on making it in a male-dominated industry

  18. “If you’re sincere, honest, hard-working, responsive – you just earn it.” – Ann Meade, on respect

  19. “Differentiate yourself. Ask, what can you do to amplify whatever you’re doing?” –  Barbara VanCaeseele Kardon, Grameen Research Senior Vice President

  20. “Do everything as if you were creating it for scale – good work product and energy equals success.” – Barbara VanCaeseele Kardon

Thank you to all the women who graciously shared with us the secret to their success and the BBJ for bringing together a community of Boston women in business.

Who or what inspires you in your career?

Pampan Zhang

Pampan Zhang is a Marketing Coordinator at 451 Marketing. Follow her on Twitter @PampanAllday!

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