Dr. Susan Amat is the founder of Venture Hive, an entrepreneurship education company that provides innovation management content and support for corporations, governments, university, and incubator program clients.
One thing I wish I had known when I began my career is that execution is everything.
The books that have had the biggest impact on me are Sam Walton’s Made in America and Akio Morita’s Made in Japan, both of which I read when I was 19. Both men had great humility and earned trust and loyalty by doing the right thing at the right time and creating real value. Their stories shaped me and make me acutely aware of the kind of team member and leader I strive to be every day.
A major challenge I’ve faced was being diagnosed with ADD when I was 38-years-old. I manage my time and resources very differently now.
The women who changed my life are my mother and my daughter. My mom earned her law degree while bringing up three kids, then graduated first in her class from Georgetown for her Master of Laws. I grew up with a workaholic perfectionist mom and when I started to become that, my daughter Frances taught me that even though she knows the impact of my work, she needs me more, and that is my most important job.
My first job was selling fruit and lemonade in front of my house when I was a kid. I learned that I loved the whole process of engaging a customer—making signs and selling someone more than they intended to buy by being a ham.
The thing I’ve achieved that I’m most proud of is raising two tenacious problem solvers who aren’t scared of hard work and accountability. I also find great joy in being a founding board member of the Coral Gables Museum, which celebrates the civic arts and tells the story of the founding of my hometown.
I also find great joy in being a founding board member of the Coral Gables Museum, which celebrates the civic arts and tells the story of the founding of my hometown.
The most important feature of a business pitch is clearly and simply communicating what problem you are solving, for whom, and how your solution will be monetized. It is a business, pitch, not a “nice idea” pitch.
I maintain balance in my life by not pretending I am maintaining balance. My kids know what I do and why I spend time away from home. They meet the entrepreneurs, and they know how we change lives and communities. They have visited our programs from Nepal to Norfolk and seen the results. When I am home, I am not checking email or ignoring them while I text.
Venture Hive empowers women by training them to represent themselves and their businesses in the most authentic way possible. Helping women think bigger, take bigger risks and communicate authentically is always at the center of our training.
Prospective entrepreneurs should be aware of the balance between “fake it ’til you make it” and reality. When an entrepreneur begins to believe his or her own hype, it is very hard to assess his or her ability to lead a team.