In case you haven’t heard the (amazing!) news, our founder and CEO, Megan Driscoll, was recently named one of PR Week’s 40 Under 40. Megan received the accolade on the heels of ten industry award-wins, including Female Entrepreneur of the Year – and all this in less than three years after EvolveMKD opened its doors. To sum it up, Meg is #GOALS, and serves as a huge inspiration to all of us at Evolve.
We have an open-door policy at our office: The doors of the senior staff are open to you – literally and figuratively – for whatever you may need, regardless of your position. Taking advantage of this perk, three of our junior staff members sat down with Meg to learn how she earned a position on the most coveted list in the industry. Keep reading for the advice Meg would give to her 23-year-old self, her tips on how to break into the world of PR, and more. (And stay tuned for Part 2!)
Female CEOs are now, more than ever, visible in – and celebrated by – the media. We are inundated with stories and images of women who have “broken the glass ceiling” and made a name for themselves in an historically male-dominated domain. For someone at the junior level, the idea of starting your own business is certainly aspirational, but seems like an abstract, unattainable goal. How do these women – you being one of them – actually do it? What are the concrete steps aspiring female business owners can take to make it to the C-Suite?
The hardest part of starting a business is starting a business. It’s going to be difficult, but use fear as your motivator. I have learned that most things that elicit fear are the ones that are most worth doing. It also helps to have experience in the field in which you are starting a business. I read a statistic that 50% of all new businesses fail, but I think that’s because a lot of the time people try to start companies in areas in which they have no experience.
Have you encountered sexism during your career? Have you ever felt discredited as a professional or business owner because of your gender?
I honestly thought sexism was over when I became a business owner, especially in New York City. I encountered it more than I expected, and I was shocked. When I was leasing my current office space, they asked if my husband was co-signing the lease. But most of the sexism is covert or veiled by politeness. There is, unfortunately, still pressure to “act like a lady,” even in business.
Knowing what you know now, if you could go back in time and give advice to your 23-year-old self, what would it be? Is there anything you would do differently?
I would tell myself not to be in such a rush. I would enjoy not having all of the responsibility on my shoulders and have the opportunity to just be a sponge, learn everything, and live in the moment. I would also enjoy my free time! As for what I would do differently – if I knew when I was younger that I was going to open my own business, I would’ve saved more money and focused on building my credit score.
What advice do you have for recent female college graduates trying to break into the PR world?
Network, network, network. Meet with anyone and everyone that you can – meet for coffee or even a 30-minute call. I searched through my alumni network and found the 4 people who worked in PR and met with every single one of them. Don’t be afraid to start as an intern. I started as one, and look where it got me. Always say yes to everything, and do it with a smile. Also, confidence is key. You won’t get anywhere without confidence.
Keep checking the blog for the Part 2 of our interview with Meg, coming soon!