Billtrust Business Advice – Colleen Ciak
In both our careers and personal life, we all have heroes that inspire us. We all have been given, or have shared advice that has sparked a passion. Billtrust’s Director of Marketing – eAdoption, Colleen Ciak, shares some business and personal advice that has helped her throughout her life.
1. Who is your hero or someone that you have looked up to through your career and why?
Richard Branson is someone who I have looked up to because he thinks differently and isn’t dictated by his surroundings. His passion and enthusiasm bring out the entrepreneur in everyone.
2. What is the best piece advice that someone has ever given you and why?
Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” was impactful because I was taught to be about the “how.” The “why” is what connects you to people and in business I think we sometimes forget about the power of influence and emotion in a world of data.
3. What piece of information would you give to someone that is just starting out in their career?
Think of your first job as a continuation of college. Up until now, most of your life has been about academics, but your learning has just begun. Truth be told, I use very little of what I learned in college academics as the world has changed so much. You will always be learning; learning new ways to do something, learning ways to influence, and learning how to be a leader.
4. What are three things that you hope to accomplish before your career is over?
I have had male employees go on to own successful businesses or become VPs. I would like to see that happen for one of my female employees. 2. Take a real vacation. I never unplug. 3. See my children benefit from having a working mom as a role model.
5. What would you tell yourself 10 years in the past based on experiences you now have?
Never underestimate how much you can handle, learn, and grow. The more you are given, the more you can handle even if it doesn’t seem possible.
6. What advice or motivation would you give yourself for 10 years in the future?
“Don’t be afraid of change. Be afraid of not changing.” I actually have this sign in my office as a daily reminder.
7. How do you believe the business world has evolved in the last decade, and what predictions do you have for the future?
Ten years ago, we were using Blackberries. Today we have smartphones. Technology has changed how, when, and where we work. We communicate more today than 10 years ago, it is just different. I think we will continue to blur the lines between work and home as we want to fit everything in our lives. Millennials are pushing the boundaries. Instagram’s most popular pictures are vacation destinations. Technology is making it possible to work harder, play harder, and intertwine the two.
About the author:
Colleen Ciak is the Director of Marketing, eAdoption at Billtrust