She Knows: Big Ideas and the Power of Pausing

Get to Know: Andrea Mac

Company/Titles: Growth Strategist at Prequal, LLC

Location: Chicago

Tell us about your business/job/position:

Prequal is an innovation consultancy that solves business problems, improves client and employee experiences, and generates revenue opportunities for womxn in leadership, womxn-owned businesses, and those businesses serving womxn. 

Now do it in 6 words only: Generating growth opportunities for womxn.

(I did it in five, do I get bonus points?) (I sure love to win, even when there’s no contest.)

If you had an extra 5 hours a week to spend on your business, where would you invest the time?

I would write and then write some more. I spend so much of my day talking with people, strategizing, and ideating that I would love more time to record those thoughts and share them widely. It seems like a fulfilling way to help more people and attract a wider audience.

What is a goal that you have for your business?

I want to grow our social media followings.

It’s funny, when we started, we created goals for each platform. By 6 months, we aimed to attract 7K email subscribers, 3K to our texting community, 50K on Instagram and 10K on LinkedIn.

Update, we haven’t exactly met those goals yet.

We currently have about 300 email subscribers, 50 text members, 175 on Instagram and 340 on LinkedIn. Facebook wasn’t on our goal sheet but we have about 550 followers there.

We underestimated the time it takes to grow an engaged following.

Give Us Your Wisdom

What will you always spend business budget on?

I will always spend budget on gifts to celebrate and thank those around me.

What is a piece of advice that you have received or read that has stuck with you throughout phases of your career?

Pausing can be an effective tool to use in challenging times (negotiations, conflict, disruptions) and strategic times (planning, hiring, buying).  Pauses work well in conversations where you need to drive an outcome, a good night’s sleep helps when you are making big decisions and waiting to reply to something upsetting is almost always a good idea.

If you could save readers from one misstep, what would you share?

When you resign from a job, negotiate anything extra that you are asked to do including staying longer, documenting all of your wisdom and future recommendations, prorated bonuses, cobra coverage, etc.

Negotiate in a way that benefits you first and before the company that you are leaving. This is actually the right thing to do, not vice versa.

Do you have an absolute favorite business tool or resource?

I’m a Grammarly devotee and rely heavily on the Book of Power Questions.

Connecting Personally

What is your personal favorite quote or life motto?

“The trouble is you think you have time.” – Buddha

Is there a pipe dream or bucket list item that you are willing to share?

On my professional bucket list: Someday, I hope to partner with international organizations that are focused on accelerating economic empowerment globally by offering my services to female entrepreneurs in developing countries. I would like to provide my strategy and implementation skills to individual entrepreneurs who might not have access to the same resources that I do. I would love to work with the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women.

On my personal bucket list: I would like to write and maintain a personal blog for my children to read. I have started, but it is slow-moving. See above related response and below corresponding response. 

What is the most significant/impactful purchase that you have made for under $100?

In Bhutan they say contemplating death five times a day brings happiness. So for the bargain price of $1.99, I bought my first app, “WeCroak.”

It sends me a quote at five random times throughout the day to remind me about the importance and fragility of life.

A little heavy but also effective.

I’m sensing a theme here.

Do you read or listen to anything on the regular?

I read a lot of medium.com and the MarketingProfs daily email.

I listed to Dax Shepherd’s Armchair Expert Podcast pretty regularly and anything/everything that Malcom Gladwell and Macklemore put in the universe.

What else should we know about you?

I have four kids, I plan to hike many volcanoes, and I will always have an idea for you, if you ask and likely, even if you don’t ask.

How can readers connect with you and follow your journey?

Useful links all in one place in case you need them @theprequal

Prequal Profiles are intended to capture the diverse stories of womxn in business to spread wisdom and create connections. If you would like to be considered for a future profile, please fill out our questionnaire here.

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