Monday Motivation from Georgene Huang, CEO and Co-Founder of Fairygodboss.com
Mondays can be rough and, sometimes, we can all use some motivation. Our #MondayMotivation blog series brings you tips and life hacks from industry leaders and some of the most creative entrepreneurs out there.
This week, we chat with Georgene Huang, CEO and Co-Founder of Fairygodboss.com, which aims to “improve the workplace and lives of women.”
What inspired you to start your business?
Fairygodboss is a career community for women to get the inside scoop on culture, benefits and job reviews from other women. We’re also a marketplace where employers who care about gender equality can reach women who are trying to make the best career decisions for their lives. It was born from a personal experience I had while job-searching and two months pregnant. I was an executive, looking for jobs and not telling people in my interviews that I was pregnant. I wanted to ask about maternity leave policies, how much face time there was at a company and whether there were women and other mothers in senior management. Even in 2015, I felt that asking these questions outright was taboo, and meant risking negative judgements even though I was — and remain — incredibly career oriented.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
In a startup, I believe there are so many potential distractions and so little time to get everything done. Therefore, I think the biggest challenge for me is not to get distracted by things that aren’t really important at the end of the day. We try to keep our business KPIs very simple and clear and reinforce them to the team all the time so as not to lose sight of what matters.
What’s been the greatest reward?
I’ve been fortunate to start a company that has a social mission to improve the workplace for women, which is in itself very fulfilling. However, what I didn’t foresee as clearly was the added benefit of being able to recruit a team of colleagues who are also attracted to our social mission. That creates a common goal beyond business success and survival that has made a huge difference in terms of culture and day-to-day office camaraderie.
What is the biggest thing you’d like to see changed in your industry, and how are you working toward making that change happen?
My industry, writ large, is human resources technology. Historically, it’s been very focused on simply fulfilling large numbers of job applicants to employers and less focused on the quality or type of job applicant. It’s also a very transactional space and we’re working on creating a real community of women helping women and connecting the right candidate with any employer or job.
Who or what motivates you to keep going, even when things get tough?
The idea that we’re helping women make better career and job decisions and avoid bad places to work is inspiring all the time — during the good times and the less good ones.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to another entrepreneur just starting out?
I think you have to be realistic about your odds and understand that it’s not about being perfect, but about adjusting, being flexible and getting back up after any failures come your way. There are a lot of unexpected twists and turns in an entrepreneur’s life and you have to be prepared or mentally ready for that reality.
What do you do every Monday morning to prepare and motivate yourself for the coming week?
As I said before, I believe one of the dangers of a start-up where a lot needs to get done is the lack of focus on what’s important. Every Monday, everyone on my team — myself, included — shares with every other person what his or her top priorities and focus areas are. That helps hold ourselves accountable to ourselves, which is just as important in many ways as communicating with the rest of the team.
For more #MondayMotivation, check out our interview with Maude Okrah, Founder & CEO of Bonnti, “a mobile platform which helps you navigate and simplify your hair experience.”