Girls in Tech NYC and Pavilion (formerly the Revenue Collective) are hosting a very special gathering designed to provide inspiration and connect you with seasoned sales leaders and veterans as you build and navigate your career in Technology Sales on March 3 at 5:30 P.M. ET. The evening’s agenda will begin with a Fireside Chat between Rachel Mayes, Girls in Tech NYC Board Member & Nowsta’s VP of Sales and Stephanie Blair, CEO of Know & Flourish.
We’re all looking forward to hearing how Stephanie successfully navigated her incredible career in sales, eventually rising to the ranks of Chief Revenue Officer. But more importantly we’ll get access to recommendations and tips she normally reserves for her clients, leaders and executives in high-growth tech climates, as she works with them to level up in their careers, enable their teams, and transition into new roles more effectively.
We recently sat down with Stephanie to talk about her career and better understand how she built her business. Read our conversation below and check out more about Know & Flourish here. You can also sign up for the event at this link!
Girls in Tech: Tell us a little bit about your career path. How did you get to where you are today?
Stephanie Blair: Sales was always in my DNA. Whether it was shoveling snow for neighbors or selling lemonade, I was always drawn to identifying the need, finding the people or solution, and connecting these things. I studied International Business in college and joined the sales department at The Daily News after graduation. After about 4 years, I realized how important digital transformation was going to be, and I wanted to be at the heart of it. So, I moved over to eMarketer. That’s really where my career took off — I started in account management and became one of the drivers of their shift to an enterprise business focus. I held a number of international individual contributor and leadership roles and ultimately, I ended up overseeing all of the account management activities at the company. In that role, I worked with pretty much every Fortune 500 or major digital company you can name. And I got really close with a lot of leaders. I began to understand what you could do and accomplish when you marry digital and great executives. I also had the opportunity to work with a coach, and it sparked a desire in me to help other leaders achieve their own goals. So, I launched Know & Flourish about 3 years ago. I do strategic coaching for businesses as well as 1:1 coaching for executives. I especially love to help women achieve their goals and own their careers.
GIT: What is the mission behind Know & Flourish? Can you talk a little bit about your experience founding the company?
SB: Entrepreneurship runs deep for me. I always thought I would run my own business at some point, but I wasn’t sure what that would look like for a long time. I realized from working with a coach myself that there is a gap in how many tend to approach it. Coaching can be very off the shelf and almost theoretical. I thought that, with my operational background, I could really drive something more actionable that ties a person’s objectives to business outcomes and results. That’s really the mission behind Know & Flourish — it’s about being aware of what you want and your strengths and then finding tactical ways to level up from there. I use a system of operational excellence paired with a strength-based approach. In practice, that means I work with clients to lean into their strengths and understand their development areas, and once they have that awareness, we work on creating actionable goals and outcomes that can be tied to their business performance.
GIT: What are the challenges you most often find your clients facing?
SB: I work with incredible leaders — some who are very seasoned and others who are on the rise. And I am constantly blown away by what they are up against and how resilient they are. A major challenge today is the uncertainty at a macro level — I’ve had clients in roles overseeing products that are no longer viable, so they really had to pivot quickly. So, that is one I see a lot. Another issue is communication, and this is a big one because there are so many different communication styles. It’s really important to set a tone and clear expectations when you come into a role and to understand the most effective way to communicate within your company. I love helping people to set the stage in a productive way. And then, sometimes, the biggest challenge is just ourselves. I deal with a lot of imposter syndrome. And it’s not just women, men also feel this pang. Overcoming imposter syndrome is about remembering that, just because you haven’t done something, it doesn’t mean you can’t. I help my clients find those ways to win.
GIT: What kind of changes would you still like to see in the technology industry?
SB: About 80% of my clients are at technology-related companies. In this field, there is an old-think approach that is very much “move fast and break things.” I would like to see that spirit live on with more of a clear north star. There are so many leaders that do not have a clear goal for their company. Let’s set that goal, then we can refine it and be agile. But it is up to leadership at the top to set the vision of what success looks like, and I think we can do a better job there.
GIT: When you think about your own journey, what is your proudest moment?
SB: I had always wanted to live in Europe, and in my late 20s, I made that happen. I had begun to travel abroad with eMarketer, and I mentioned at the business dinner that if the company ever wanted to set up an office internationally, that I would be interested in leading that effort. Months later, they came to me and said that would be a goal for the next year, and I would be the one to do it. It’s a real example of thinking about what I wanted and finding a way to get there by tying my objectives to a real business outcome. I am very proud of that. The other thing I would say is my decision to found Know & Flourish. I think it’s really important to know when a good thing isn’t good for you anymore. When I left eMarketer, I was burnt out. I was experiencing so much stress that it began to impact my health. Today, I try to help people before that moment comes. And it’s extremely rewarding.
GIT: Can you share some of the advice you give to your clients?
SB: Think about your career and growth with awareness and intentionality. Many think of their career path as a ladder they can climb to success. But it doesn’t always work that way, things can zig and zag. You have to know what you want for yourself, remain agile, and take the bull by the horns sometimes. That means not only knowing where you want to go, but also being able to take clear actions that will advance your objectives. That’s what I hope to communicate to this audience at our event — of course, I want to share stories and provide inspiration, but I also want people to have something actionable to walk away with. You need to have a vision, but you also need tools that will help you to bring that vision to life.
Come hear more from Stephanie and other special guests at our event on March 3. Sign up here!
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This post was written by Kate Drew, voluntary board member at Girls in Tech NYC.