Wendy Mascio has been in sales her whole life. She initially wanted to attend Medical School but found her calling in medical sales. She excelled at her job and was a talented salesperson. However, when promotions came, she was disappointed that she was not being compensated enough for her work because of the system that was in place at her company. She decided that she would move on and start her own company where there would be no restrictions on the amount of success she could attain. Her story alone teaches many lessons. She had a steady job when she started her first company but decided to take a risk and work for herself full time. The risk paid off, but many people would be hesitant to leave a stable job and steady income to pursue their passions. This doesn’t mean that everyone should quit their job and pursue their wildest dreams, but it does mean that to be successful, one must take calculated risks and really put themselves out there. She also talked about some pivots that she had to take when the Affordable Health Care Act was signed. The health care reform intimidated doctors and really made her business take a hit. If she wished to continue growing she would have to make major changes. She looked to places where the reform had not effected the market, overseas. This pivot was risky since she had no experience in international business. She again, took a calculated risk which eventually paid off.
The biggest things that I took away from the two lectures of hers that I attended were; risk is good, and calculated risk can have big payoffs. Also, she has a degree in biology and now works as an executive for a type of business consulting company. This brings me to my next two points. Just because you have a formal education in a subject does not mean that you are tied down, pursue what you love and what you are good at. She also stressed the importance of networking. We are constantly told how important it is, but this real life example really put it into perspective, never burn bridges. The project I am currently working on through venture lab directly applies to her to company going international. We originally focused on selling our products locally, but after networking and building business relationships, we have opened the door to exporting to neighboring countries. It is a risk, but after some research, and more research to come, we hope to expand our project and begin exporting in the later phases of the startup. Attending her lectures provided a plethora of information as well as some lessons that are applicable to everyday life and the business world.