mPower: 'Entrepreneuring Your Life'
By Mike Sorohan
February 4, 2019
SAN FRANCISCO--"Women remain under-represented at every turn of the leadership ladder," said MBA Chief Operations Officer Marcia M. Davies and founder of mPower. "Companies need to change their policies and procedures at every level, from senior management to entry level."
mPower--MBA Promoting Opportunities for Women to Extend their Reach--is exclusively for women in the real estate finance industry. Since its inception two years ago has held more than 25 events, attracting more than 6,000 participants.
"The mPower community is standing up and doing great things," Davies said here at the Mortgage Bankers Association's Independent Mortgage Bankers Conference. "The word of mPower is making a difference."
The mPower event at IMB featured Jane Hyo-Sung Park, former CEO and Founder of Julep Beauty and a nationally recognized expert in e-commerce, consumer retail, social media and branding. She shared her seemingly improbable story of arriving in the U.S. as a non-English speaking refugee from her native Korea to Yale Law School and as an entrepreneur who raised more than $50 million in venture capital to found Julep, on omnichannel brand distributed nationally at Ulta stores as well as on QVC and at Nordstrom.
Prior to founding Julep (which she recently sold), Park served as an executive with Starbucks in its New Product Division and worked for the Boston Consulting Group and the CEO Forum for Education and Technology.
Park offered seven lessons of entrepreneurship:
--Your Strength Starts With Your Narrative. "You are the entrepreneur of your own life," Park said. "This is your journey. There is no such thing as noise-canceling headphones in your life. You have to pay attention to the noise. Finding your way to tell your narrative-connecting your ups and downs-is hard but incredibly rewarding."
--Don't Waste Time Looking for the Rulebook. When Park began school, she couldn't speak English. "I didn't even know where to use the bathroom at school," she said. "I thought there was some sort of rulebook that explained everything." Park overcame the language barrier and graduated from Yale Law School. "Not having a rulebook allowed me to move between two worlds, my American world and my Korean world," she said. "When you learn that there is no rulebook, you can create your own."
--Go Ahead and Imagine the Worst-Case Scenario(s)-in Detail. "No one is taking your children away from you if you fail," she said. "Imagining the worst-case scenario enables you to realize that the situation in imminently survivable."
--The Small Step You Take Today Might Later Reveal Itself as Part of ‘The Leap.' "Maybe you can't draw the picture today, but you can draw a dot," Park said. "And later you can connect the dots."
--Count Your Rejections. Learn to Expect Them. Park said she asked 77 people to invest in her ideas. Fifty-eight said no; 19 said yes. "What it did for me is that the first ‘no' didn't feel like heartbreak," she said. "The world will say ‘no' a lot, so don't say no to yourself."
--Shame Cannot Survive the Light of Connection. In other words, Park said, "don't cry alone on your bathroom floor." When you feel bad, she said, "call someone who can be empathetic, because we can't be empathetic to ourselves; we need others."
--Know Your Own True North. "Go back to why you're doing what you're doing," Park said. "What is your action today; what is your ‘why' and is your action in service of that ‘why?'"
Park said women must assert themselves. "If we wait for equality to occur, it will take decades," she said. "Open your eyes to when you have moments of leverage."
For more information about mPower, click https://www.mba.org/get-involved/mpower.