Marielle, tell us what your business ‘Women Who Influence’ is all about
We help female entrepreneurs build powerful personal brands and get featured in the media. We are a global PR and personal brand firm for female entrepreneurs.
What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I’d worked at some of the largest companies in the world for 10 years but never felt fulfilled. I don’t do well in overly structured work environments. I knew that to design a life and career that would enable me to work with women around the world, splitting my time between London and New York, I’d have to create it myself.
How long did it take for you to put your idea into action? What prompted you to act?
I moved from London to New York in 2012 with the global firm I was with. But got a real culture shock, naively expecting the New York work environment to be like the London office. It wasn’t! It was massively bureaucratic and job titles seemed to matter more than anything else. After I got my green card, I decided that I’d give my all to building my own company. I never want to look back on my life and regret not following my dream out of fear. Regrets motivate me more than anything.
What has been your proudest moment?
I’ve a few! 1). Getting my green card in 18 months, when so many people told me it would take 10 years! 2). Being invited to speak at Yale University. 3). Getting one of my clients featured on the BBC to promote her film to raise awareness of mental health. The global exposure helped her to surpass her Kickstarter goal, to promote the film across the African continent.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned from founding your own company?
So many lessons! Cash is king, getting comfortable selling and the importance of being visible are probably the most important.
What one thing do you wish someone had told you when you first started out?
To get help even if it’s an virtual assistant, sooner rather than later. No-one achieves anything great alone.