What is your name, age, and location?
Suzanne Bates, Boston, MA – United States.
What is your profession?
What did you study in school and what degrees do you have?
BS Journalism, University of Illinois.
What was your first job?
In high school? I was a lifeguard. First professional job: television reporter, Rockford Illinois.
Who or what inspired you to break into your current line of work?
My father who told me you can be whatever you want to be. He was an attorney. I had planned to go to law school. But after college I wanted to take a break, and landed a job reporting the news. I loved it and my dad encouraged me to follow my passion.
Name/describe what has been your most rewarding project so far?
Writing three best-selling business books has been a wonderful journey. I’ve learned so much by interviewing and writing about leaders. Speak Like a CEO is now in its 11th printing and published in five languages. My new book, Discover Your CEO Brand, has already hit three business best-seller lists on Amazon.com.
Name/describe one incident when being a woman has helped your career?
In television, being the first woman to walk in the door of several newsrooms was an advantage because I stood out. It’s almost unimaginable but it was only a little over two decades ago when women were still a novelty in television news. Today I’m delighted to see so many women rising to the top of that profession. And television was a tremendous launching pad for a successful business.
Name/describe one incident when being a woman has hindered your career?
I can’t think of a single time in my life when I’ve felt that being a woman was a disadvantage. I think women can get trapped in that kind of thinking. In my work with women leaders I have seen how women who know who they are and what they stand for build strong brands and rise to the top.
Who is your role model or mentor (alive or dead)?
Without question my father who was a remarkable force in my life. As an attorney in a small town, he modeled the values that are important to me and told me I could be anything I wanted to be.
If you could give one piece of advice to a woman starting out in your field, what would it be?
Starting out as an entrepreneur is something you can do at any point in your life, but if you’re starting a business as a second career, I would say do it sooner than later. Be confident, work hard, believe in yourself, follow your instincts, and know that you will learn as you go.
Follow Suzanne on Twitter: @CEOCoachBates
– Interview by Elena Rossini