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A successful entrepreneur for 20 years, Stephanie Breedlove has made a powerful impact in the payroll industry.
After launching her career with Accenture, she later found her purpose as the co-founder of Care.com HomePay, the country’s biggest household payroll and tax firm.
Stephanie’s expertise has been featured in Forbes, The New York Times, and Working Mother, among others. She is also the author of “All In: How Women Entrepreneurs Can Think Bigger, Build Sustainable Businesses, and Change the World.”
On the podcast, Stephanie discusses the myth surrounding “If You Build It, They Will Come” in the sales sector.
At one point in Stephanie’s career, she made a pivotal decision to leave her safe job and become the captain of her own ship.
Stephanie refers to this type of decision as an “all in” moment. While it’s scary, it can also reap major rewards, as it did with her.
In fact, this is an example of why the “If You Build It, They Will Come” mindset is false. It doesn’t matter how good your ideas are–no one’s coming to you.
Instead, you have to go out and sell yourself to the world.
The stories of the entrepreneurs risking everything make the rounds, but most entrepreneurs actually become successful by mitigating risks.
Therefore, after you save up money to develop your product and enter into the marketplace, don’t use it all at once. Use a fraction of the money you’ve saved to create the bare bones of your product, then test it and see what happens.
As for Stephanie, she spent about six months over two years testing her product. During that time, she became well acquainted with the product–pitfalls, target audience, etc. She took all this information and used it when launching the full product.
When Stephanie was coming up in the ’90s, she believes the environment was more difficult for women than it is today. For instance, when she had her child, she found out there was no maternity leave offered because a woman had never returned to work after having a child.
At one point, Stephanie was looking to take on a business development partner but was turned down for a competitor. When asked why the woman at the company said that a man ran the other company and men were better at business.
Even though Stephanie believes that things are better today, she still doesn’t think there’s enough walking the walk.
If you find yourself at a company that doesn’t respect you simply because of your gender, Stephanie suggests leaving for a different company. She says there are plenty of companies that will value you based on your skills and business success–not your gender.
When Stephanie built her product, HomePay, nobody came.
This was partly because in-house, full-time nannies weren’t as popular as they are today. Plus, people didn’t want to pay their household workers legally, because it came with taxes.
Therefore, Stephanie and her husband–also her co-founder–had to work for it.
They scaled the product nationally, built software before the internet existed, and a full-service model, all of which took about nine months. Then, even though she wasn’t good at sales, Stephanie had to go through the ringer to get people interested.
Through this determination, Stephanie came out the other side with a successful product and with enhanced sales abilities, honed by experience.
While you shouldn’t abandon what you’re best at, Stephanie says, it’s never a bad idea to develop tangential skills as icing on the cake.
You can find Stephanie’s book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
She can also be found on Twitter, her website, and On the Dot, where she writes a weekly column. If you’d like to shoot her an email, it’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author