"I would also caution against thinking so much about work/life balance. Find *your* balance. Find the balance that works for you. If that is 80 work / 20 life or if that is 80 life / 20 work or 50 / 50...figure out what you think is 'balance' and go from there."
Instagram Handles: @angthompsscott @searchinfluence
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Occupation: COO / Co-Founder Search Influence
Secretly Obsessed With: iPhone Activity app
On My Nightstand: Essential oil diffuser, glass of water and my phone (when you have a teenager, you sleep very close to your phone).
Last Thing You Read: The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier
How did you get started on your career path?
When I was working at a local coffee shop, CC's, while attending college, I served a couple each weekend who I got to know pretty well. The woman was working in the website building industry (this was back when websites were NOT something everyone had...in 1999 or so) and they were looking for someone part time to help her out with accounting duties. She offered me the job and honestly, it is where my love of business, accounting, and technology all started. It is also where I met my now co-founder and husband. We later had an opportunity to start our own company and we knew we wanted to help the small businesses of the world, as both of us had worked in small techy businesses for our professional careers.
What key elements played into your success?
Good business sense. I was very lucky to have been in the tech industry for many years (including the bubble). Therefore I experienced a lot and I bring those experiences to our business, including the do's and don'ts.
What struggles did you face getting to this point?
The largest struggle we have seen was when we had one customer get so big that they represented a large percentage of our revenue. You will always hear to not 'allow' this to happen, but sometimes it just does. When they decided to take our services in house it was a new struggle we had not been through before. We were and still are exceptional at documentation, processes, training, scaling. Our strengths are what many we know say are their biggest struggles, but we had built a company that thrived in those areas. We had been in expansion mode for so long that when we found ourselves having to scale back It was new and It was tough. But, you learn and grow from these moments.
Who was the biggest influence in your professional life?
My husband. We work together, live together, parent together. We even share an office. People say we are the yin and yang for each other and even all of our personality tests come out that way, so we balance each other out and I would not be here without him.
When do you feel most successful?
I love it when I get to watch someone that we hired and trained grow and achieve their goals. Then to see them getting married, have kids and continuing to grow and achieve new goals all while having a family. It makes me proud that they have set their own work/life balance and that we get to be included in it.
What’s the best piece of advice you received?
Work hard. I know, lots of people say 'work smart, not hard', but if you want to have a career and see success, you have to work hard. I spent my high school days working over 50 hours as a supervisor at a fast food restaurant, who then offered me the chance to have my college paid for if I continued to work hard. It paid off - literally! My parents are the hardest working people I know and each of them are successful and believe in hard work. Maybe it is the farm girl (Iowan) in me.
What advice would you give to women looking to enter your industry/space?
Stick up for yourself and don't back down. The strongest women in our industry are the most successful and those are women who did not give up, did not sit down and be quiet. They stood up for their beliefs and opinions and made people listen to them.
I would also caution against thinking so much about work/life balance. Find *your* balance. Find the balance that works for you. If that is 80 work / 20 life or if that is 80 life / 20 work or 50 / 50...figure out what you think is 'balance' and go from there. I do not think that work and life are always going to be a 50/50 balance, but there are many who strive to get there and it may be that everyone's idea of balance is different.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
It's tough to narrow it down to one. Overall, I think I am most proud of my kids who are kind hearted people. I also see their determination, work ethic, and organization and hope that they are getting that because they see my husband and me setting a good example.