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Thoughts on Becoming the CEO of Your Own Career

Sharon Owens Robustelli  

First, let’s start with why I started TEN3 Public Relations: I knew I loved what did. But, after being at agencies of all sizes, I realized I never quite loved my job. Here’s why: 

     There were always things I thought could be improved with little effort; 

      just the awareness, desire and power to make changes. 

     The more senior I became, the further away from the work I got 

      It took a village — all the time. 

      Villages move slowly and all the villagers expect to be paid, so execution 

       was slow and costly.  

       I saw that clients shared my frustrations, so building strong relationships 

       and loyalty became challenging in the traditional agency model. 


On my journey to founder, I picked up 3 keys that would open many doors: 


First, learn to say yes first, which means that sometimes you just have to do it scared.  

     This requires trust in your knowledge and expertise, trust in your network, 

     and the understanding that your lived experience has value. 


Which leads to the second key, if you have a seat at the table - be present.  

      Appreciate that you are where you are for a reason and show up with all 

      your imperfections. 

      Recognize that your point-of-view and voice can change the game 

      When you look around the room and don’t see what you’re looking for 

      realize that you are it. You are the hero of your own story. 


The third and final key is that you don’t have to do it alone.  

      The most successful people surround themselves with the right team 

      You are responsible for the outcome; not the process. So, understand that 

      there are many ways to get a job done and burning yourself out by going it 

      alone doesn’t have to be one of them. 

      It’s never too early to learn to manage others. Building leadership skills 

      early in your career can take some of the fear out of creating your ideal 

      team when the time comes to step out on your own. 


If you’re not making mistakes; you’re not in the game: 

      The sooner you realize that every wrong turn is a learning experience the 

      better off you’ll be. 

      But, if you look around, you’ll realize you don’t have to make all the 

      mistakes yourself. You can learn from the mistakes of those around you no 

      matter their level. For example, a bad boss was my greatest teacher. 


The person in the C-suite doesn’t have anything you don’t: 

       If you’re thinking, “what do they have that I don’t,” you’re asking the 

       wrong question. 

       It’s not what they have, it’s what they believe that informs how they move 

       through the world. 

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