June 26, 2018 | 05:09 AM

Millionaire Mindset

17.10.20113 Success Lessons From Top Women In Finance and Tech

How can you say YES to more help, to more balance, to more luck?


In the past few weeks, I have had the privilege of hearing from 2 women both with amazing careers:

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Janet Hanson was in senior management roles at Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers, ran her own investment firm, and is founder of 85 Broads, a 30,000-strong international network of women in financial services. I interviewed Janet for an online career conference about her multiple career reinventions, and she shared her career path from the 1970’s till today. 

Kate Swann is COO of Frog Design, an innovation consulting firm, after stints at NYU and Organic. Her field is technology, and her formative career years were during the dot-com era of the 90’s and the Millennium. Kate spoke at an event for Step Up Women’s Network in New York.

These 2 leaders came up in different industries and different generations but shared some common advice: 

Accept help. Both Janet and Kate mentioned several people who gave advice, leads, and connections. Interestingly, Janet had predominately male supporters and Kate female. Maybe it’s their respective eras or industries, but it could also mean that help comes across gender lines. Do you have supporters? Do you take advice, take introductions, and accept help from others?

Integrate your career with your life – it’s not either/or. Janet co-launched her own investment firm to have more time for her kids. Kate took a part-time role when she started a family. Neither of these women stopped their careers to accommodate family, nor did they give up on their family goals to maintain their career. Do you feel pulled in opposite directions? How can you embrace both the personal and professional goals that you have? 

Say yes to serendipity. Janet talked about jumping into business school and into publishing at the advice of a mentor. She didn’t have one grand plan at the outset. Similarly, Kate talked about starting off as a writer and then falling into tech unexpectedly when she volunteered for a CD-ROM project (remember those?). Both of these illustrious women leaders had unexpected opportunities, and most importantly, both said YES to taking the chance. Are you waiting till you have it all figured out before you make your next career move? Is there an opportunity right in front of you that you are overlooking because it’s not what you planned?

Success can come as a result of many things, but for these two women, it came from a supportive network, from embracing both personal and professional goals, and from having the courage to accept opportunities that came their way. How can you say YES to more help, to more balance, to more luck?

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