According to Clara Angotti, President & Co-Founder at Next Pathway, the Automated Cloud Migration company, who spoke to MBA candidates at the Rotman LEADS Industry Event, there are four key lessons for success she’s learned along the way:
The Key Lessons For Success
Lesson # 1 - Find and ride a wave; then get off the wave
“I attribute our success to being able to identify and capitalize on technology waves. Knowing when to jump on a wave is important, but equally as important is recognizing when to jump off. Waves don’t last forever. They represent an opportunity to provide a service or product that is relevant to your customers, but then you need to know when it's time to move on.”
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“In some cases you intuitively know when you need to diversify your business. Every good business person will know when it's time to change their services or products; losing touch with the market is very dangerous. The important point is that every successful business knows how to evolve their services and/or products in order to continuously add value and stay relevant to their customers.”
Lesson #2 - Always be in a growth mindset and be ready for trial and error
“You constantly have to be in a growth mindset. Which means that you need to be really comfortable with trial and error. And being data people, you're used to experimenting (with data) and trying out a hypothesis and then adjusting accordingly."
“It's the same when you run your business. You know that there's going to be setbacks along the way. You have to be expecting them. You can't be so egotistical that everything you do will be a success. You need to be acutely aware that you could fail and be ready to adjust and get back on your feet."
Lesson #3 - Take every opportunity, no matter how small; treat it as a gift and nurture it.
“My business has been a culmination of small breaks that I got along the way. Nobody came to me with a big bang idea. Nobody came to me with millions of dollars and said “Start this business. Here you go.” Every step was a calculated move - slow, methodical and progressive.”
"It could be a modest pilot that only lasts a few weeks. But if the work is important and meaningful along your growth path, then take it. Take every important piece that you get and show people what you're capable of doing and blow that piece into something much bigger.”
“You will see this in your own career. And I find that the people that wait for the big opportunity are always disappointed, because it never comes.”
Lesson #4 - Hire the right people
“What has served us incredibly well is hiring the right people, not the smartest, not the most experienced; I am talking about the right people. And by that, I mean, people that intuitively, who they are in their DNA, are capable of getting any job done.”
“Because, as I mentioned, change is constant and your business is constantly shifting. And when you have the right people around you and you need to pivot your business, the right people will follow and retool themselves accordingly.”
Please feel free to use all or some of this commentary for any relevant stories. Clara, being one of the few women to hold an executive position at a tech company, is available to discuss this topic further.