Founder and CEO Catherine Tabor was recently featured on the Student to CEO podcast, a podcast designed to encourage young entrepreneurs and provide resources, inspiration and connections.
“I have had so many people support me on my entrepreneurial journey,” Catherine, said. “I would not be here without their insight and encouragement, so I think it’s important that I pass that on and share my story with today’s young entrepreneurs. Being an entrepreneur is not easy, but it’s worth it, especially if you have an idea that you truly believe in.”
On the podcast, Catherine shares how she started her first business, a concierge service, 20 years ago while a student at Georgia State as a way to make extra money to pay for school. That business evolved into a contract with The Coca-Cola Company where she managed their employee discount program and ultimately served more than 1 million employees at 150+ companies. As part of that experience, she saw firsthand the missing links in connectivity in the digital space and offer management ecosystem, leading her to build Sparkfly’s Offer Management Platform.
As she shares her journey in the interview, Catherine reminds young people that being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart.
“I’ve heard no probably 10,000 times,” Catherine shared. “Don’t let those roadblocks stop you. They will always be there and you have to keep moving forward. Trust yourself and believe in your abilities.”
Catherine’s takeaways for entrepreneurs include:
- Be creative, make it work and figure things out
- Embrace the uncertainty and excitement, believe it is possible
- Cultivate grit, determination, and perseverance, the most important traits for success
- Be brave, trust yourself, and listen to your gut
- Know where you want to go, make a plan and work that plan
- Surround yourself with people you trust, give them a vision and a path
Catherine leaves listeners with this bit of encouragement, “Don’t give up. It’s absolutely going to be hard, you’re going to make mistakes, and have disappointments, and people will tell you no. It’s not easy. But if you’re doing something that you truly have passion about and believe can change the world, don’t give up.”