One high-tech CEO shares her tips for staying inspired.
By Perse Faily (CEO, EMN8)
As our careers progress, plenty of amazing opportunities and inspiring moments will present themselves. However, there will be times when we find ourselves lacking that fire-or passion- for our current roles and we will be motivated to consider a change; it is at these times that we experience something I like to call "inspiration block." I’ve found that the key to overcoming "inspiration block," and ultimately feeling fulfilled in your career, can be found by answering three simple questions.
I began my career in venture capital and private equity, where I helped inventive technology companies get started. Constantly seeing the passion and new ideas coming from these entrepreneurs and startups was a daily dose of inspiration. However, I soon found that I, too, wanted that passion that came with leading a company I really believed in. A series of events led me to my current position at EMN8, the leader in digital ordering and engagement platforms for the restaurant industry, as President and CEO after being an investor in the company – which was not an easy transition to make.
When I first made the decision to leave the venture capital world and become a CEO, my first thought was: how can I sustain that passion and motivate others to continue to help the company and its employees grow? Taking the helm of EMN8, adding Hope Neiman, our Chief Marketing Officer, and a fantastic female leadership team, I realized that our biggest challenge as a team would be to create a clear strategic vision to establish the company as a leader.
While we’ve been on a major success streak recently - the acquisition of Snapfinger, Inc. and raising an additional $50 million of new funding - my role is not met without its challenges. Working with large, multinational brands, and ensuring we remain competitive while providing a unique value are just two of the challenges my team and I face on a daily basis.
I’ve learned quite a bit during my nearly six-year stint with the company, including building culture, balancing priorities, and how to delegate effectively , and as the company continues to grow, it is important for me to remain inspired as well as serve as inspiration for my team and others who are considering a career jump. For anyone considering making a career change I recommend that you take the time to ask yourself these three questions, prior to doing so:
What Are You Doing?
Literally, ask yourself "what are you doing?" What are you doing in your current role, what will you be doing in your new role? Do you know? Is it clear? Malleable? Once you take this simple step, it’s easy to see if your work and responsibilities still excite you.
Are You Inspired?
Beyond the salary, prestige and title, is the work that the company is executing inspiring to you? Your motivation as a leader is contagious. Your team can feel if you’re passionate about the work and your role. It’s crucial that you understand this prior to accepting a new job or making a change.
What Is Most Important to You?
This is a key question. We are all motivated by different opportunities and accomplishments. As a leader, you have to recognize this and have a clear understanding of what is important to you, your team, industry and other stakeholders. For me it’s moving the needle on behalf of our customers, but for someone else it may be innovation or pushing into new categories.
Remember - you don’t need to have all of the answers, but it’s important to have at least a personal understanding of yourself and the prospective new role before making the change. This will enable you to be successful—an inspiration to others, and ultimately, an inspiration to yourself.
How do you decide whether to make the jump to a new opportunity?
About the guest blogger: Perse lives in Los Angeles and is CEO of EMN8 Inc. She worked as a venture capitalist for more than 20 years before joining EMN8 in her current role. As CEO, she strives to bring new and innovative solutions to the restaurant industry through emerging technologies.