What is your story? Or in other words, what made you your awesome self you are today?
Ever since I could remember, I was always finding ways to be entrepreneurial and financially independent, even as a kid, and that momentum keeps going strong! My competitive nature in sports and appreciation for autonomy has led me down the path to a business career. I like to win, which requires an indefatigable attitude and skill. I was fortunate to have just enough of both, and the ability to make up for any shortcomings by hard work. My natural independence as a little girl manifested resourcefulness by selling moonstones on the playground and developing a lawn mowing service with my brother. My first role out of college was working in an intense investment banking business environment during the mortgage crisis, which made me incredibly tough. I was one of the very few women there. I then went on to a more entrepreneurial role at a start-up search fund where the founder mentored me and gave me space to run, experiment, and develop a go-to-market plan to source business. I now use my experiences to mentor and support my team to the best of my ability at Sundberg America as I encourage them to be resourceful, creative, and, most of all, empathetic leaders.
What message do you promote?
First and foremost, take very good care of yourself because you are creating your own reality. Secondly, treat people well, and they will treat you well.
In what capacity do you LEAD UP in your community?
I’m on the auxiliary board for Girls in the Game, a non-profit that promotes girls gaining access to sports to develop strength and confidence, which then translates into their leadership and personal growth on or off the field. Everyone can be a leader, and this gives girls the ability and permission to try new activities, succeed, fail, and ultimately, learn how to become better teammates and leaders. I want to be someone who young professional women can connect with and learn from. I have outstanding mentors who have helped me along the way, and I would like to serve in that role for another – my door is always open!
In business and/or in life, share a struggle you overcame that other women can relate to?
When I first started my career, I was working in a predominately older, male-dominated industry, and it was a challenging adjustment. I was young and looked to my fellow female colleagues for support. However, I didn’t receive it. This imprinted on my mind: why don’t women help one another? From that experience onward, I decided to extend myself to professional women in developing themselves in their careers.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
When people succeed, the business succeeds. Being an influence on each person’s success has been a rewarding aspect of my work.
How do you SHOW UP?
I think of every day as a new beginning with great possibilities ahead. I am present, deliberate, and ready to succeed in all aspects of business and life. I hold high expectations for myself and the team. I continue to be hopeful regardless of how a day unfolds.
If you could give one piece of advice for women who are entering the workforce or launching their own business, what would that be?
Take risks. Take ownership of what you want your career to be and go for it. You don’t know your full potential until you make your own plan and act on your ambitions. Most often, your risks result in constructive changes around you, better professional relationships, increased creativity and productivity, and more positive momentum and profit.
Contact Karen Daniels