In an attempt to grow her network and surround herself with successful women Justyna Kedra wasn’t interested in doing things the traditional way. Justyna says, “The goal was to connect female entrepreneurs that have successful businesses globally, but are not on the “Top 100 Influential People on Planet Earth” list… yet!” So she founded We Rule, a digital platform dedicated to connecting entrepreneurs, business opportunities and accredited investors from all around the world. Today, more than 350 members and contributors collaborate to tell the entrepreneur story through the eyes of women entrepreneurs who are on the journey to achieving success.
An interview with Julie Gareleck, CEO & Managing Partner, Junction Creative Solutions (Junction) is featured on the site. Julie provided her perspective on entrepreneurship, the meaning of success, and empowering women to build scalable businesses.
“Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. You have to be willing to take big risks without the expectation of rewards and work harder than is often humanly possible,” says Julie Gareleck, Founder and CEO Junction Creative Solutions (Junction). “It takes blood, sweat, and tears. I was raised by entrepreneurs. I grew up watching my parents work insanely long hours to build a business. While my friends were on Spring Break, I was scrubbing tile floors with a toothbrush in their restaurant. It wasn’t glamorous but it ignited a passion for building something greater than what we started with. As an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to do the things that no one else is willing to do.”
Junction is a hybrid firm, with the intellectual capital of a management consulting firm and the creative execution of an advertising agency. More than eight years ago, Julie set out with the intention to create impact for her clients and has since facilitated more than 225 brands, 100 of which are companies in the Fortune 1000, do just that. Success follows the execution of a clear and meaningful strategy, a plan with clear goals and objectives that allows for flexibility in order to respond to inevitable shifts in the marketplace and course corrections for changing assumptions. “You have to be able to react and adapt to those changes. In 20 years of working with entrepreneurs, I have yet to see one client who was successful “going with the flow”, notes Gareleck. As the marketing landscape changes and consumer expectations evolve, it’s critical to remain ahead of trends.
Success is a journey, not a destination. The pathway is constantly evolving with new and sometimes unforeseen twist and turns; challenging the entrepreneur to alter their route in order to respond to the dynamic environment, using one accomplishment to set the stage for meeting the next objective. “Some would call it perseverance or being tenacious, I would say that I just don’t know how to give up.”
In 2015, Forbes reported that while 30% of small businesses are women-owned, only 2% of women-owned businesses break the $1 Million mark. When asked by We Rule Interviewer, Christina Blackburn: “Why do you think that female owned businesses are a VERY small percentage (that has not been growing) of businesses that get funded by venture capital? What can we do to change that?” Julie responded, “I don’t think it’s a question of how do you increase the percentage of businesses backed by venture capital but how do we empower women entrepreneurs to build a business that is truly scalable. A business has to be investable before we can increase those percentages.”
To read the entire interview: