Gail Weiner is director of Simpatico Technology. She has worked in software development for over 20 years’, delivering projects for
enterprises and startups. Her passions lie in the innovative technology space, with hands-on experience in Blockchain, AI and Mobile development.
1. Biggest mistake of your career?
The belief that I needed a male partner in my business in order to succeed in the technology sector. The tech sector is a male-dominated industry and for years I believed that I could only truly be successful if I partnered with a male in the business.
This was totally unfounded as my business was doing pretty well on my own but the belief had been built off years of working under males in corporate environments.
So a few years back I partnered with someone in business, within days I became a subordinate, looking at him for guidance, taking his advice and going with his decisions, even though this was his first business and I had been up and running for 4 years already.
I took a back seat and let him run with what turned out to be the most unprofitable period that my company had ever experienced.
The funny part was I was too afraid to tell him that I wanted out. I did the
obvious thing and ghosted him, yes, I did not take his calls for days on end till he realised it was over.
The lesson I learnt is that I am good enough and I am smart enough to run the business myself. I have the tenacity and need to not second guess my decisions. I don’t need anyone to tell me what I should be doing. It’s my dream, let me do it. He was a nice guy but I honestly did not need or want a partnership.
I also learned the art of saying no, I should have stopped allowing him to make decisions far earlier in the partnership, which would have saved me a loss of income and waste of time.
Looking back, I was also too open. I shared my contacts and connections with him, so he actually got my database for free.
What is interesting, is that the universe continues to test me, by bringing similar situations back to see if I have learnt my lesson. Just yesterday an old work colleague contacted me to partner with him in business. I said no.
What I still need to learn is the power of my own voice and to say no with authority and not say, um let me think about it. I’m still learning that.
Currently ‘pivoting’ has become the new ‘hustle’ and I find that word so
annoying. Everyone is suddenly pivoting their business to meet the new world, which currently is not happening because how can we pivot when the economy is pretty much at a standstill and we’re not really certain what world we will be entering after this pandemic.
Also, ‘futurist’, everyone is a futurist and keynote speaker, stop it now. If you all were truly futurists, you would have invested in Bitcoin back in 2011.
I would love to see more women in the tech industry and I get so excited when I do see them. It’s an exciting industry and there is no reason why more woman can’t jump in and take control.
Also, the fact that remote working has not been mainstream until now frustrates me. It should have happened a long time ago and would have really helped all our work-life balance, cost of commuting, unnecessary expensive office space and the environment.
3. Useful advice
One of my mentors, an ex CEO of a successful startup, which I worked at many years ago, once told me – never jeopardise your integrity and morals for money. If the deal could make you loads of money but tarnish your name as dishonest or lacking morals, don’t take it. Money will come and go but your name will always remain with you.
I stand by that always.
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