Women in Tech Tampa Bay: Whitney Marshall, EVP and Co-Founder of qualifiedMEETINGS
In celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, Embarc Collective is excited to introduce you to Women in Tech Tampa Bay — a content series profiling women who are building at Embarc Collective and how they’ve built their careers.
Meet more women tech founders and investors across the state of Florida here.
Meet Whitney Marshall, EVP and Co-Founder of qualifiedMEETINGS.
What pivotal points in your career led to your current role?
Everything that has led me to where I am today is because I took a chance. When I graduated college, I accepted a job that I thought I wanted as a career based on my major. I quickly realized it wasn’t the career I wanted so I took a chance and applied for a position in tech sales that I knew very little about. Ultimately, I fell in love with the industry and the opportunities that came along with it. When starting qualifiedMEETINGS, I took a leap of faith and just went for it! There’s never going to be a perfect time to start a business but if you have a great team (or you’re flying solo and can make the time), a vision and the tenacity, you can create something amazing.
What do you wish you had known earlier in your career?
Something that isn’t discussed nearly enough for entrepreneurs is prioritizing mental health. When starting a business, you are going to have to wear multiple hats, be a “yes” person and feel like you need to be Super Woman all of the time. This is important to you get your business off the ground but not for a long-term strategy to scale AND to stay happy and healthy. Compartmentalize all of the things you do into specific job roles and know that you will need to hire people to specialize in them. Designing your business to operate without you from time to time allows you to take the breaks you need for self-care that helps avoid burnout. Neglecting your mental health will become detrimental to everything you’ve worked so hard to build. Being an entrepreneur will always have its stressors but it is critical that you care for yourself and train to cope with anything that’s thrown your way.
What communities, networks, or resources have helped you build in your career?
The Tampa business community in general has been an incredible place to network and learn about other entrepreneurs and their journeys; more specifically, Embarc Collective and Synapse. They have truly been wonderful, welcoming, diverse and educational resources. From meeting emerging leaders & successful entrepreneurs, getting advice on any topic I need insight on or just having someone be a sounding board, I genuinely feel lucky to be a part of a community that is the biggest advocate for people like me and couldn’t be prouder to be involved.
Books in general have also been wildly helpful resources for me on this journey. No matter what I’ve been going through, there’s always been a book for it. Reading has helped me pause and be in the moment which allows me to come back and be a better me for my business.
What is one piece of tactical advice that you would give to another woman considering your career path?
My ultimate #1 piece of advice is if you’re offered an opportunity and don’t feel you’re ready for it, take it anyway and work hard to figure it out as you go. That’s what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. When I began my career in this industry, I didn’t know everything but I had the will to learn, the mind to be innovative and an amazing mentor who I now call my business partner. Because of that experience, I felt more comfortable starting a business knowing that I was going to have to figure things out along the way.
Connect with Whitney and follow qualifiedMEETINGS.
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