Professional Relationship Building

Part Two: How to Get People to Back Your Ideas

By Poornima Vijayashanker Last week I talked about the importance of finding people who will back your ideas, and shared what Erin, one reader was going through. I provided 3 strategies: start with people who already support you, reach out to people whose mission is aligned with yours, and don’t just ask them to back you, present them with an offer. It was great to read through people’s responses, and as I engaged in conversations a number of you asked me the following ... Read more

How to Get People to Back Your Ideas

By Poornima Vijayashanker I always enjoy receiving emails from readers like you, and this week I received one from, Erin. I’d like to share Erin’s email to me with you because you might have faced a similar situation. Erin wrote: Hi Poornima, I’ve been following Femgineer for awhile now. I’ve read your book and enjoy watching FemgineerTV. Thanks for taking the time to create such helpful content. I also want to strike out on my own, and build products like you have. But it feels like ... Read more

Trust Your Team or Hire People You Do

By Poornima Vijayashanker A couple months ago I sat down with a startup founder who was also the CEO of the company. He said he felt really overwhelmed and had too much on his plate. So I asked him to list out EVERYTHING that was vying for his attention, including personal tasks. Here is the list he came up with: Hiring a new front-end engineer Hiring a new designer Closing 3 enterprise sales customers Creating a new sales deck to pitch the 3 enterprise sales customers Prospecting 100 new ... Read more

Trying too hard to land a whale?

By Poornima Vijayashanker A little over a month ago I began advising a new startup. The founders told me about a deal they were working on to acquire a pretty big customer. They were trying to “land a whale”. The founders went all in because they were pretty excited about the prospects of the deal. If they closed the customer it would give them the credibility they needed to attract employees and additional customers, and increase their revenue, which would attract investors. If they ... Read more

How to Use Empathy to Build Software Products

By Poornima Vijayashanker There’s one skill that every wildly successful product manager, UX designer, businessperson, and leader has in common. It helps them unite teams and ship products that customers love time and time again. What could possibly unite all these technologists? It’s conscious and deliberate empathy. Most people believe empathy is just about being compassionate, like lending your friend a shoulder to cry on when they’re going through a breakup. Others dismiss it altogether as a distraction, because they believe it’s more important to be ... Read more

This Is No Joking Matter

By Poornima Vijayashanker As you know today is April 1st aka April Fools' Day, but I’m not here to tell you a joke or to play a prank on you. I want to highlight a series of incidents that have been going on for awhile. You might already be aware of these incidents... … and you might be sick of them. … or you might just be unaware of them, because you’ve been heads down or you’re new to the scene. Each year, slowly, more and more ... Read more

Stuck in your Career? Here’s a Tip that May Scare You

By Karen Catlin It's happened to all of us. A promotion denied. Feeling stuck in our careers. Frustrated by the recognition others get while we're working just as hard, if not more. At some point, you decided you had to change something to push forward your career. Maybe you started blogging or tweeting. Perhaps you started building more relationships with people at work. Now you're ready to do even more to increase your professional visibility. As scary as it seems, you know what ... Read more

Stop Being Serious ALL the Time

By Poornima Vijayashanker It’s been a really fun two weeks at Femgineer! Karen and I have been filming lessons for our upcoming Confident Communicator Course. And in case you’re curious about how much fun we’re having, well I’ve included a few funny pics from our sessions together. Once we’re done filming all the lessons, I’m definitely going to get to work on the a blooper reel to share with students in the course. Now it’s not all fun and games at Femgineer… OK it’s like ... Read more

Stop Speculating and Start Speaking Up

By Poornima Vijayashanker One of my mentees, Ada, reached out to me last year, and mentioned that there was a new opportunity to head the new mobile division in her company. She really wanted to do it: mobile meant everything to her. Ada is like Penny from Inspector Gadget, she has a smart watch, a smartphone (both Android and iOS), an iPad, and yes even her dog had been chipped! She spends her nights and weekends building apps and refining them. When her ... Read more

What to Do When You Just Can’t Find the Right Words to Respond

By Poornima Vijayashanker I’ve got a TON to share this week about my latest trip to Chile! You’re probably wondering, “Why did she pick Chile?” Great question! I had 2 reasons. The first reason was that last year I had a pretty busy summer, I was writing my first book, and working part time as an EIR at 500 Startups. It was a really productive summer, and was happy because I had found flow. But I couldn’t help but feel like I had missed out on ... Read more
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