How I Succeeded is a regular series on Lifehacker where we ask business leaders for the secrets and tactics behind their success. Today: Angie Bell, Head of APAC Growth for Twilio.
Current gig: Head of APAC Growth
Location: Hong Kong / Sydney
Current mobile device: iPhone 7 Plus and Nexus 5
Current computer: MacBook Air (2015 model)
One word that best describes how you work: Customers-first
What apps/software/tools can't you live without?
Google Cloud suite, Salesforce Cloud, Zendesk, Worldtimebuddy, Zoom, 1 Password, Authy, Uber/Lyft/Grab/Gojek (depending on which country I am in)
What social network do you find the most useful?
Facebook and LinkedIn still hold the professional edge for me. My kids are on Snapchat and Instagram so apparently “there's no way” I am allowed on those apps!
What were the most important lessons you learned while growing your business?
Get comfortable with change.
Twilio is a cloud communications platform, which means that there are endless possibilities for what developers and businesses can build using our technology. Our customers are some of the most innovative, forward-thinking individuals and they are constantly figuring out new ways to use communications to better connect with their customers.
My job is to collaborate with these customers to understand what their unique business challenge is and how Twilio can help them stay on top of their game. Every customer I work with has a unique approach which means that I have to be prepared everyday to work on something I’ve never worked on before.
What has been the most surprising part of your business journey?
Sometimes the best planned out programs do not turn out the way you expect them to. It take persistence, patience and determination to continue forward when you hit those speedbumps. I constantly remind myself and my team to never lose sight of a customer-first mindset. Putting the customers first leads to success - regardless of where you work.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Hmm, does making a cup of tea count? I also like to think I do a good job of keeping the team motivated and inspired.
What's your sleep routine like?
Depends on which timezone I am in but I typically get a minimum of 4 hours sleep on weeknights and 6 hours on weekends.
What advice would you offer to other businesses on how to succeed?
If you believe that your business is truly transforming lives and that there is a gap in the market to fill, take a leap of faith and get your product or service out there. I see a lot of entrepreneurs who hesitate because external advisors or potential investors have questioned their approach.
My advice is to do your homework, truly understand the value of your product or service, figure out who your customers are, and understand which markets you can win first. Once you combine that research and work with your own determination, everything else will fall into place.