What is the proudest accomplishment of your career thus far?
I would say that the proudest moment of my career thus far would be rising to the position of CEO of Autel US. It speaks both to the truth of the adage that with hard work and sacrifice, you can reach your goals and was a tremendous show of confidence from our owner that he believed I was the right person to take the company into the future.
Also, I am so proud of the company’s growth in such a short amount of time. We started the business with just two employees in a small house behind a gas station. Now we have a growing staff of 140 and last December we moved into a new 50,000 square foot building. We started with just $50,000 and last year we made $170 million in sales. It’s a fantastic accomplishment as an individual and a massive milestone for the company. We built something from nothing and a great team around it. Without our team, we wouldn’t have come so far.
What is your best advice to other women who want to excel in the automotive aftermarket?
The automotive industry is a challenging environment for women. As a woman, you probably need to work twice as hard behind the scenes, but that’s what makes it exciting, and proving your value to those that doubted you just because you were a woman makes the success even sweeter.
My advice to women in the automotive aftermarket is probably no different from my advice to men. First and foremost, know your products inside and out and understand what problem they were trying to solve that initiated their development. That knowledge is essential to correctly position your products in terms of sales strategy and marketing plan to succeed in the market.
How do you build up confidence to prepare for challenging professional situations?
I think you must be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses and be confident that who you are at your center is enough. Everything in life has a learning curve, and it’s okay if you don’t know something because you are not going to know everything.
Focus on your strengths and capitalize on them and never allow anyone to tell you who you are and who you are not.
How did get started in the Automotive aftermarket?
I used to work in the banking industry. I was recommended to Autel’s founder through a family connection at college. I started my career in the aftermarket in 2011.